Everywhere I go, people are complaining. But 99.99% of them do absolutely nothing about it. And then complain because matters don’t improve or don’t change.
And the excuses are oh so amusing. “I don’t have time.” “It won’t make any difference.” “Someone else will do something.”
No, someone else can’t do anything, not without your help. And, you are wrong, if you do something, together with others, it will make a difference. If you don’t have time, then nothing will get done, so why waste precious energy complaining?
But it isn’t just people complaining. People develop a “comfort zone” around them and are happy to remain in that warm comfortable and pleasing area.
These include managers, directors, housewives, clerks, restaurant owners and chief constables.
The Richard Branson’s of this world know that to succeed where others fail takes many steps, but the first step of any importance is to break out of your comfort zone. It is only by breaking out of your comfort zone that you will begin to put in place the other steps needed to succeed.
The more alert amongst you will have seized on my words “chief constables” and began to wonder if this is what my blog is really about.
You’d be right.
I read on the Telegraph website this morning, an article about Bernard Hogan-Howe, from Sheffield, a man who was the product of a one-parent family but who managed to get A Levels at school. His second job, after a stint as a laboratory assistant, was that of a Police Constable who soon made such a huge impression on his superiors that they sent him to Oxford University to study law. Clearly someone from a poor family who had the gumption to pull himself up by his braces and make something of himself.
Andrew Pierce of the Telegraph wrote: “Mr Hogan-Howe’s Merseyside police force has, for the second year running, reported the largest fall in crime, down 18 per cent after an 11 per cent drop last year. His no-nonsense approach appears to be working, making him a serious contender to replace Sir Ian Blair as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. “
So what can we learn from this? Evidently he is doing something right. This is a chief constable who believes in zero tolerance, people with knives are immediately arrested whether the knives have been used or not.
He is only one man who wanted a safer place for people to live in. So he joined the police force and diligently rose through the ranks until he was in a position to do something about it.
I am not advocating that everyone be so dedicated when they complain about things. One doesn’t have to take such drastic steps. But how many of you, who do complain, spend their evenings sitting on their arses watching television. The biggest way known to debilitate man? Why not give up an evening or two to pursue that which you are unhappy about?
If everyone, of working age gave up one evening of three hours a week, that would be approximately 624 man weeks, a huge amount of time and effort being put in to solve our problems. That is 12 man years – and these working population figures were based on the 2005 census before the huge influx of people from the EU into these islands. A man week (or man month or man year) means a collection of all the peoples efforts added together and treated as if it were one person. It is a standard unit of measurement in these issues.
So let’s take a look at these excuses again?
“I don’t have time.” “It won’t make any difference.” “Someone else will do something.”
If you say you don’t have the time, are you saying you don’t spend lots of time watching television or drinking in the pub?
If you say that it won’t make a difference, your tiny share could be part of twelve man years every year. OK, not everyone else is doing this, but there are thousands of people out there who, instead of complaining, are doing a small “bit” to try and make a difference.
Finally, saying someone else will do something just means you won’t be adding your tuppence worth to the collective effort. And whereas doing something by yourself may not make a difference, withholding your share for the collective effort could ensure that effort fails.