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2 Step Formula for a Complaint Free Life


Do you have problems in life?

I know… Who doesn’t?

But I’m going to show you a simple way to get rid of all your woes.

Yes.. seriously!

But before that, a quick story.

Last year I and Arif were in Amsterdam with David Allen getting trained in GTD® Level 2 “Projects & Priorities”. Out of curiosity, I asked David, “What’s the vision for the David Allen company.” His reply was, “To help create a world where there are no problems, only projects.”

That answer really stuck with me. It seemed like the ideal answer to the question, ‘How to stop complaining?’ 

What I loved about David’s reply was that it empowered me to re-frame any problem into a Project.

A project in GTD terms is the list of all your successful outcomes that take more than one step to complete.

This is what a projects list could look like:

  • Digitize old family photographs
  • Launch new version of Company Website
  • Implement Systems in Customer Care department
  • Get tooth filled

Nevertheless, circling back to my initial point on how you can get rid of all your problems.

When you think you have a problem, it puts you in the mindset of a victim. And when you’re a victim, there’s only one thing you can do well. COMPLAIN!


… if you view the problem objectively, and ask yourself “What’s the successful outcome I desire from the resolution of this problem?” & “What’s the Next Action?”, you automatically move away from being a whiner to being the driver – the empowered individual who is now in control.

Here are some examples of how you can convert problems into projects, by asking the two critical questions discussed above:

Problem: I’ve got a short temper

Project: Control Over How I React to Situations
Next Action: Search online for good anger management classes in my locality

Problem: I don’t have enough money to buy an iPhone

Project: Save $200 for the next 3 months, to afford an iPhone
Next Action: Do a budget review to identify areas where I can cut unnecessary expenses

Problem: My customer is giving me a tough time

Project: Turn Annoying Customer Into Evangelist
Next Action: Discuss with partner why customer may be behaving the way he is and what can be done to offer better experience  to him

Problem: I’ve got a tooth ache.

Project: Ensure Proper Care to Eliminate Toothache
Next Action: Call dentist to book an appointment

2 Steps to Start transforming Problems into Projects

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed and catch yourself complaining,. take these two steps to get back in the Driver’s seat.

Step 1: Collect your thoughts and write down all the problems you think you have. Nothing is off-limits – issues can be spiritual, emotional, physical or to do with relationships.

Step 2: For each problem ask yourself:

– What’s the successful outcome that would eliminate this problem from my life? This is your project.

– What’s the very next action to move forward on this Project? Now, this is where some people slip up. A Next Action is a single, tangible task that shouldn’t encompass more than one step. Ensure that your ‘Next Action’ is simple and not a mini project in itself.

Do these two things and you will notice yourself experiencing a shift right away. You will no longer be at the mercy of external circumstances. You will re-discover your inner warrior spirit!

So the next time you’re faced with a difficult situation, tell yourself “There are no problems. Only Projects.’ 🙂

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