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Internships, Happiness, and the Big Leagues
Professor SunWolf is teaching Communication 100A: The Science of Happiness. On the second day of class, she gives each student a purple no-complaint bracelet, which they are told to wear continuously for 21 days. This is part of the now viral Complaint-Free Movement, started by a minister, Will Bowan, who challenged his congregants to stop complaining.
Studies show that to change a habit, it is necessary to string together 21 days of the behavior you want to start (or stop). While Professor SunWolf’s students would not have time to string 21 complaint-free days together — it took Reverend Bowan six months to do that himself — they are challenged to journal each day and string together as many complaint-free days as they can as they study the toxic effects of social complaining on happiness.
Peter Summerville is taking the class and interning for Gabe Kapler, a former Major League Baseball player who is now a health and fitness guru. Kapler publishes a popular blog, and he gave Peter a chance to create a guest post that touched on the course. Peter wrote:
"You may be asking yourself what the point is. The major by-product of not complaining is happiness. I don’t think I am re-inventing the wheel when I say that complaining is a serious factor affecting moods and happiness in all people.
"One of the most rewarding parts for me has been writing in my journal every night about my complaints. Through my writing, I note and accept my mistakes, but also consider the reasons why other people are complaining, so that I can learn from others. I like the personal evaluation I have given myself, and I have learned a lot about when others tend to complain."
Read the entire post here.