No Excuses, No Complaining, No Whining? No, Bullshit!

February 9, 2021


I subscribe to The Champion's Mind app on Android. I read the book during summer 2019 and like its message. I felt happy to give Jim Afrenow some modest financial support to help his crew get their app off the ground.

Each day, Afrenow's crew sends me a powerful affirmation. I typically appreciate them. One day, unfortunately, I saw this:

No excuses, no complaining, no whining.

Dana Scully is not impressed.

As much as I understand the intention behind this pseudo-inspirational comment, I have to push back.

No. I have to call "bullshit". Mostly because it's bullshit.

How It's Bullshit

First: "no excuses". Not every explanation is an excuse. The difference between an explanation and an excuse is how much you trust the person talking.

Next: "no complaining". Complaints are a fantastic source of useful information. When someone complains they are telling you what they care about. This is precious information.

Finally: "no whining". I see whining as a form of grief. We whine because we have lost something. I feel compassion for people who have lost something, not contempt. Yes, we all know Sean Connery's famous lines from The Rock, but even so, if you're whining, that's a tragic expression of unmet needs. Why would I kick you when you're down?!

If I trust you and I care about you, then you don't have excuses, you can't complain, and you don't whine. I simply can't hear it. Instead, I comfort you. You feel safe. You let go. And you get back to the game. And you kick ass.

And that's how it should be.


What do you think? Am I insane? Come at me in the comments.