02/28/2013 09:11 pm ET Updated Apr 30, 2013

Your $14,000 a Year Investment in Rotten Eggs

A big, old, nasty blizzard wipes out your electricity for seven days. All of the food in your refrigerator goes bad, especially the eggs. They have this rancid smell that is so bad that even the freezing cold air does not contain the odor. Would you pay $14,000 for those rotten eggs? Even worse, would you wrap them up in pretty pink paper, add a bow, and gift them to your best friend or co-workers? This is exactly what you already may be doing.

I have had it with the snow.

The traffic is awful.

This economy is killing me.

I hate it when the office is cold.

That movie was awful.

I wish I didn't waste my time on that book.

The interest rates are too high.

The waitress was rude to me.

The food was awful.

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Stop complaining! Complaints are the rotten eggs that you are currently investing in. Even worse, you are gifting them to those around you. I'm about to show you the price you are paying for your grievances. Hopefully you will finally see that there is true cost, a monetary expense, for whining.

Let's say for the sake of argument that your earning capacity is $40 per hour. Let's also assume that you complain one hour a day. I know that you don't complain one hour a day, but you know someone that does, right? I've never met a person that acknowledges one hour a day of complaining, yet almost everyone knows many people that do just that.

You complain one hour a day seven days a week, about the weather, your boss, the economy, your company, your spouse or anything else, and that amounts to seven hours per week, or 28 hours per month. That is more than one entire day per month spent grumbling. More than 12 full days a year, discarded. The time is wasted because most of what we complain about cannot be fixed. You cannot control the weather, the economy, the rates, or just about anything you are bothered by. Why verbalize it?

Let's analyze the cost. You spend one hour a day voicing your grievances to the world at $40/hour x 365 hours a year, that's $14,600 you have invested into your complaints. The numbers are even more staggering if you consider that when you are complaining, you are usually not complaining to thin air although sometimes you might, but rather you are likely complaining to others. Complaining to friends, family, or co-workers is the same as putting your hand in their pocket and taking lunch money. As well, you are letting them do the same to you by listening to their fodder.

I've monetized the cost of your complaints because I hope it gets through to you that it truly costs you when you complain. This includes complaining about your own circumstances, passing along someone else's complaint, or listening to someone whine. If you find the money staggering, which I hope you do, then consider that the monetary loss is a drop in the bucket as compared to the real loss, which is your time. Every second you waste complaining is a lost opportunity to achieve what matters most to you. It is lost time with your family. It is lost productivity at work. It is reading a book, meditating, and it is greatness. Complaining can cost you your life, or at least a big chunk of it.

Say no to complaints and complainers. Be part of the solution, not the perpetuation of the problem. If you don't like the weather, too bad, deal with it or move. If you don't like the company you work for, offer a solution to contribute to their greatness, or leave. If you don't like your spouse, get counseling, make yourself better, or move on. Bottom line, you are cheating yourself and others out of a great existence if you spend even a second complaining.

The moral of the story is this: Don't invest in rotten eggs and when someone offers you a bright, shiny, handsomely wrapped package that smells bad, politely decline by offering your own gift of an opportunity to focus on those things that are worthy of your life.

For more by Stacey Alcorn, click here.

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