On Complaining, Pain, and What to NOT Focus On…

The following excerpt from The Tim Ferriss Show where Tim interviews Tracy DiNunzio is fantastic!

Tracy DiNunzio: Yeah, I tried like complaining and being bitter. It didn’t
work. It was just terrible and I was definitely bitter. I
definitely went through my ups and downs. Okay, so
Stephen Hawking actually has the best quote on this and
also the best like legitimate story of, you know, has the
right to complain probably more than anybody. He says
that when you complain nobody wants to help you and it’s
like the simplest thing and so plainly spoken. Only he
could really say that brutal honest truth, but it’s true, right?

If you spend your time focusing on the things that are
wrong and then that’s what you express and you
projection to people you know, you don’t become a
source of growth for people, you become a source of
destruction for people. That draws like more
destructiveness. I think that because that was how it felt
for me when I was thinking about how I was in pain and
talking about how I was in pain, it started a momentum
that went in a negative direction in my life. At one point, I
would say, I don’t know, probably in like 2006-2007, I just

decided to, it’s kind of like Tim Ferriss challenge, but I
didn’t know you then. But, I put myself on like almost a
complaining diet, where I said like, “Not only am I not
going to say anything negative about the situation I’m in,
but I’m not going to let myself think anything negative
about it.” This coincided with, I had lost feeling in my feet
because of the surgeries, so I don’t have any feeling in
my feet, so I have to keep my eyes open when I walk.

At the time, I was reading about how plastic the brain is
when it comes to filling in the gaps where you’re losing
information and starting to understand just scientifically
how plastic the brain is, I thought, “Well, I refuse to have
negative thought and I only let myself have a positive
thought, eventually that’s going to change my brain, I
don’t know how long it’s going to take thought.” It took a
long time and I wasn’t perfect at it, but I definitely feel like
… Not only did replacing those thoughts helped me start
moving my life in a better direction, where I wasn’t
obsessing about what was wrong and I was just thinking
about what was right, it also made me not feel physical
pain as much, which is very liberating and kind of
necessary if you want to do anything because if you’re in
pain, it’s really hard to do anything else but feel it.

You know probably more about this than I do the way that
the body processes pain and how pain is in a way just a
thought. Yeah, I did this experiment where I tried to
control my thoughts for some time. It just started things in
the right direction. It doesn’t mean that everything is
always good. I definitely have days where I am still like,
“This sucks, I wish I just had like normal feet and could
go, run around and not think about all the little things that

I have to think about.” But for the most part, I just don’t
think about it anymore.

Pair the Interview with this blog post by Tim: The 21-day No Complaint Experiment



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