The Futility of Complaining

Shannon Hicks February 8, 2018 2

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The physical impact of complaining will surprise you

As I was running the Turkey Trot I said to family member running next to me. “it’s pretty warm today”. Since it was 87 degrees at 10:00am Thanksgiving morning he could have replied “I never thought of that”. With few exceptions most of us struggle with negative thinking. I most certainly do, and I’m not alone. One of my favorite weekend reads is an outdoor enthusiast blog. A recent article put it this way. “Cold? Should have brought more layers. Tired? Should have gone to bed earlier before our 3 a.m. start. Getting rained on? Could have waited for a day with a better weather forecast. Scared of a hard move on a climb? Should have trained more and gotten stronger.”

Let’s admit it. Complaining feels good. It’s a cathartic exercise. But like other enjoyable activities such as eating a pound of bacon or indulging our sweet tooth, complaining often is unhealthy. The more you complain the more your brain begins to catalog and connect other negative experiences rewiring our brain to quickly connect you to negative emotions more efficiently. Research from Stanford University shows that habitual complaining impacts the hippocampus, the area of the brain we use for…

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  1. John A. Smaldone February 9, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply


    Unfortunately, we are finding more people in our industry are complaining in a negative way.

    You are right, if we are to complain, we need to complain in a positive way!

    We have a lot to be positive about what our industry does have to offer, we just need to look at our industry differently than the way we did in the past!

    That is my c0omment for the day Shannon!

    John Smaldone

    • The Positive Realist February 10, 2018 at 2:13 pm - Reply


      I hope what you are not saying is that we should stop trying to encourage the powers that be to make needed changes to the current HECM. Yet the changes we desire should not impede our marketing of the HECM in its current state.

      Complaining is but voicing dissatisfaction and, in fact, those who hold in their complaints are likely to eventually be harmed by not voicing those complaints. Yet those who continually lift up their voice in complaint are heading into the same type of harm.

      The most important part of life is growing, learning, and giving voice to thanksgiving through godly attributes. But the greatest of those three is giving voice in gratitude for what God has given us.

      What we need to do is not look differently at the industry but rather to look at the way HECMs are with a view for supporting specific change.

      While I support substantial change to the current financial assessment, that does not mean I do not understand having it is now is a positive marketing point which needs to be stressed. Marketing and selling the current HECM are exactly the WRONG times to do anything other than stress the consumer positives that financial assessment provides, even LESA as it is now constituted.

      In going out with some originators to provide positive feedback about their presentations, it is strange how many gave voice to negative opinions about the current structure of today’s HECM, despite the fact that their idea of a HECM is not what they are selling. Being observed in a presentation is nothing more than the practicum course of HECM Marketing and Selling 101. Yet seeing failure there is not the end of the game but simply an opportunity to understand how to upgrade presentations to match the selling points of today’s HECMs.

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