Sunday, October 14, 2007

Step Right Up, Place Your Bets!

Please join me as I embark on an adventure. I'll be "blogging" daily as I progress through a regimen suggested by the book "A Complaint Free World."

As titles go, that's pretty idealistic, but if you want to test reality, read the subtitle: "How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted: Take the 21-day Challenge."

Those of you who know me well understand that for me to stop complaining is to take away a big part of who I am. As some critics of the book insist (and I find myself agreeing with them as I begin this journey), it might well be immoral to stop complaining.

Nonetheless, starting Monday night, I'm going to begin reading the book (by Will Bower) and putting into practice its thesis. Not knowing all the details of the program, I'll be flying blind at first, but here is what I'm going to do:

Beginning when the alarm goes off Monday, I will refuse to complain. Given that I am seldom alone, I'll be counting on those around me, including our patrons, to keep me honest. If, while in the presence of another person, I issue a complaint of any sort, I will report it here.

Exempted will be any complaints I make while alone, unless I later discover that the program requires me not to do that, either. Also exempt will be reports of complaints I was tempted to make. If I don't tell you where "not complaining" was tough to do (not do?), it won't be interesting now, will it?

To make it interesting, I'm offering a betting pool tied to the price of the book. If and when I break and make my first complaint, I'll offer readers a 1% discount on the book. Upon my second complaint, I'll double that to 2%. Here's where it will begin to get interesting.

Every complaint that follows will see the discount double - to 4%, then 8%, then 16%, and then 32% off the cover price of $16.95. If my number of complaints exceeds that, I will have failed - in my mission and as a businessman, and we'll stop the pool.

If you don't like to gamble, then we're offering a flat 12% discount to blog readers. You can take that discount now. If you think I'm going to fail more than 4 times, you'll pass up the open discount and hold out for the 16% or 32% levels.

The 12% discount is in place for one week (until close of business on Sunday, Oct. 21) or until I make my fourth complaint.

Can I do it? We'll see. I'm told there is a theory that if you can "break" a habit for 21 consecutive days, you can break it forever. I don't know if I believe it, but I do have enough faith in the try itself that I believe it will make me a better person.

See you here on Monday. Think I can make it until then without complaining?

I invite you to post your prediction of the over/under. The 12% wager is an over/under bet of 4.5. If you think I'll wimp out and complain more than 4 times in the next 21 days, then hold out. If you think I can make it, you'd better grab the 12% now.

Please add your comments as we go along. The 21-day countdown starts...NOW!


All4Word said...

OK, the feedback is already coming in.

A reader says the challenge is to "not complain, not criticize, and not gossip."

She asks, "what about cursing or its polite cousin, grunting."

What do you think?

What about sarcastic comments that fall short of complaints?

What about merely reporting that "my foot hurts?"

I guess we'll learn together.

deb bulleit said...

"My foot hurts" is DEFINITELY a complaint (unless you can convince us you like pain!)

Sarcasm, while usually not a good idea for other reasons, can't really be automatically considered a complaint.

I think the non-verbals (grunting) can also be excluded, but cursing is done in words and is USUALLY a complaint - unless you can show it was something more like surprised amazement!

What fun - I'm in for the whole discount - I want the free book!

deb b.

Anonymous said...

"My foot hurts" is not a complaint, it is a statement. If you make the comment more than twice an hour, THEN it becomes a complaint.

Sarcasm can't be considered a complaint.

Are we "talking" verbal commentary only, or is written included?

This should be fun to watch.

Ceece said...

I'll be in shortly for this book! In the spirit of being supportive I'll go ahead and take the %12 betting that YOU CAN DO IT! :-)