When you want something to change, the first thing you need to do is stop complaining about it.
You may not truly whine about it; complaining takes many forms. Perhaps you lament about it with your colleagues at lunch, or even work yourself into a loathsome frenzy about who is to blame. You might lead an educated discussion in a meeting about why the current way doesn’t work. If all you do is point out the problem or the thing that needs changing, you’re complaining.
Complaining is passive. It assumes no responsibility, and seeks blame. Complaining means it’s someone else’s job to fix it.
Complaining about wanting something to change usually involves criticizing other people (especially leadership): their inability to change, or their cluelessness about the problem, or their unwillingness to do something about it. While popular and cathartic, complaining about others does nothing to solve the problem. In fact it contributes to your becoming known as someone who talks behind others’ backs – leading to a serious erosion of integrity.
Complaining also locks you into a specific mindset that affects your own willingness to act. A lot of time and energy is spent watching for confirmation of your complaint and seeking acknowledgment from others that they agree with your assessment. You stop noticing evidence that change is possible and ignore opportunities to make a difference.
When you stop complaining a marvelous thing happens. Without an outlet for all the negative information, you stop collecting it. All the attention spent on proving the problem can now be focused on something infinitely more effective: finding a path to the solution.
If you truly want to see something change, choose to view the situation as changeable. Make the conscious decision to stop complaining about what is. Open yourself up to the possibility that it doesn’t have to be that way, and that you can have a hand in making it better.