If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.


If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. – Jim Rohn

Even a tree doesn't just stand there and complain! Look at what this one did to the sidewalk!

Even a tree doesn’t just stand there and complain! Just look at what this one did to the sidewalk! You can certainly do better than that, can’t you?

What does that mean?
To me, this quote is about action. It reminds us that we can stand there and do nothing, or we can try to change things. What do you tend to do when things are not how you would like them to be?

And even then, the quote isn’t exactly correct. Trees change the ground they are in. Have you seen a sidewalk cracked and buckled from tree roots beneath it? Driveways and building foundations, as well as rocks, boulders, even mountains have been moved by trees.

Those who complain are actually doing less than a tree, right? They aren’t even making oxygen for us to breathe, their complaints actually cost us precious oxygen. Long live the trees, movers of buildings and sidewalks, and producers of oxygen! You go, tree!

Why is taking action in our own lives important?  
I might have been a little silly with that last paragraph, but the quote is trying to remind us that we can do things. If we don’t like how things are, we can take action. We can try to fix things. We may not always succeed, but we can certainly try.

If we just sit and complain, whine, and mope, we’re doing less than a tree. And that is a waste of our abilities. As thinking and active beings, we can come up with ideas for possible solutions, and try them out. We can also learn from what we tried, and adjust our subsequent attempts.

Trees just do the same things over and over. Complainers just whine over and over. I would like to think that anyone reading this is at least a little more motivated than that, and is willing to try to change what they don’t like. Even if it’s just a little, you’re doing more than the complainers. I consider that to be a good thing.

Where can I apply this in my life?
I imagine you already use it in your life. I imagine you use it far more often than you think. When you run out of toilet paper, do you sit there and complain until someone else comes and changes it for you? Possibly, but somehow I doubt it.

What about when you get hungry? Do you whine and complain until someone else fixes something for you, or do you find something to eat? I know that I don’t let something like that get to me, and I ask around if anyone else is hungry. If I’m going to fix something, might as well have company, right?

That said, there are probably some things about which we complain and do very little. National politics might be one of them. Many people complain about taxes or corruption, but what do we do about it?

I applaud those who have taken action, but must admit that I haven’t done much to directly change things. Yes, I take part in elections, and engage others in discussions, but I rarely attend protests and have never run for office.

Where in your life have you complained, yet not taken action. I’m asking about things about which you are serious, not the complaints related to your favorite sports team, and the decisions of the owners or managers of the team.

What bothers you enough to cause you to complain, and what are you willing to do about it? Are you going to complain about the curtains yet again, or will you instead discuss colors and the methods of hanging them? Once that discussion has concluded, get to the store, and then put the new ones up.

Take a moment and consider what you have complained about in the last day, week, or even month. What of those are serious enough to motivate you into taking action? What about the others, should you still complain about them, or should you be quiet?

Complaining with out taking action isn’t going to help all that much, is it? While you might not be able to do much about it in the outside world, you can do something about it within yourself. What can you do to change your attitude or feelings, in order to make things less annoying?

If, on the way to work, someone annoys you with their driving. Can you change that person’s driving habits? Probably not. Will you simply complain, or will you do something about your attitude towards other drivers?

Could you cut them a little slack and give them the benefit of the doubt? They might have been in a big hurry, or they just might be world class jerks. Either way, you’re not going to change them, are you? You might want to consider that when you think about complaining.

My advice is simple. If you care enough to complain, you care enough to take action. Either shut up, or get busy. Consider all your options, then decide.

From: Twitter, @mister_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jimrohn147488.html
Photo by Kristian Bjornard

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About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in action, choice, decision, emotion, judgement, personal growth, thinking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

  1. Pingback: As the twig is bent the tree inclines. | philosiblog

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