Stephen Hawking’s wise words, “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining,” carry a timeless truth. While occasional frustration is a natural part of life, chronic negativity, sulking, and complaining can alienate others and cast a shadow over our own happiness. So, how do we break free from the cycle of negativity and cultivate a more positive outlook?

Shifting the Focus:

  • From Excuses to Action: As the SuG saying reminds us, excuses and alibis reflect a lack of dreams and drive. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, ask yourself, “What can I do to make things right?” Channel your energy into finding solutions, not focusing on problems.
  • From Complaints to Gratitude: The Law of Attraction emphasizes that our mindset shapes our reality. Constant complaining attracts more things to complain about, while practicing gratitude brings more things to be thankful for. Shift your focus towards appreciating the good, even amidst challenges.
  • From Whining to Doing: As William James pointed out, complaining rarely leads to progress. If you have the time to whine, you have the time to take action. Take ownership of your circumstances and actively seek solutions rather than passively lamenting your situation.

Embrace Constructive Criticism:

  • Shikwa vs. Shikayat: Urdu poet Ravish Siddiqi brilliantly highlights the difference between complaining (shikayat) and earnest inquiry (shikwa). Instead of simply ranting, approach challenges with a constructive mindset, seeking understanding and solutions.
  • Allama Iqbal’s Example: In his poems “Shikwa” and “Jawab-e-Shikwa,” Allama Iqbal doesn’t just complain about the state of affairs; he offers profound critiques and proposes hopeful solutions. This exemplifies how constructive criticism can be a powerful tool for positive change.

The Path to Positivity

To foster a positive outlook:

  1. Practice Mindfulness: Stay present and aware of your thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness helps in recognizing negative patterns and consciously shifting towards positivity.
  • Develop a Gratitude Practice: Daily reflection on things you are grateful for can significantly improve your outlook on life. This could be as simple as writing down three things you’re thankful for each day.
  • Engage in Positive Self-talk: Replace negative thoughts with affirmations and positive statements. This can help rewire your brain to think more positively.
  • Surround Yourself with Positivity: Choose to spend time with people who uplift and support you. Positive relationships can greatly influence your own mindset.
  • Take Action: Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment. This can range from pursuing hobbies to volunteering for causes you care about.

Quotable Quotes:

  • “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela.
  • “Complaining is the noise of the loser; excuse-making is the bark of the dog who just missed the bone.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “Focus on the positive not the negative. Every small action you take matters.” – Chris Gardner

By shifting our focus from negativity to action and gratitude, and by embracing constructive criticism, we can create a more positive and productive environment for ourselves and others. Remember, sulking may offer temporary comfort, but it’s action and optimism that propel us towards brighter horizons. Let’s choose to be the architects of our own happiness, one constructive thought and action at a time.

By sharing this message and these resources, we can encourage others to join us in this journey towards a more positive and fulfilling life. Remember, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” Let’s take the first step together.

Additional Resources:



  • “The Science of Why Complaining Is Bad for You” by The Atlantic.
  • “5 Ways to Stop Complaining and Start Living” by Forbes.
  • “Cultivating Gratitude: A How-To Guide” by Psychology Today.

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N. B
09 January 2024

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