How to Avoid a Life That Sucks

Here’s a way to make sure that your life never sucks again…

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See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World

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Let’s face it, we all have a lot to complain about. Maybe it’s our partner who just doesn’t get or appreciate us, the crummy job, the crummy job lorded over by an asshole boss, inequality, inequity, politics, the weather, news, wars, not enough money, too many people, no one notices, no one cares, life in general, blah, blah, blah.

No matter what your station and circumstances in life it is not hard to find something to complain about. And if you let yourself fall into that trap life will most certainly suck. And, it is so unnecessary because you have absolute control over whether your life sucks or not.

Smiling Faces of Poverty

My partner was telling me about her extended trip to Thailand. She shared how in addition to being a beautiful country, the people are beautiful also –primarily because so many of them genuinely smile, seemingly all the time. This is fairly poor country run by a harsh government yet everywhere she went men, women and children were smiling. How many Americans do we see with the same beatific look as we walk down the streets of our richest cities and towns?

So what is really going on here? One could argue that the lives of the rural Thai are much simpler than ours and don’t experience the stresses of our technologically advanced society. While true, most people in the developed world don’t have the stress of meeting basic survival needs that many in Thailand do.

When you think about it, they have plenty to complain about, in fact much more than most of us. Yet, I suspect that the majority of them don’t bother with that pointless exercise. Apparently they don’t allow themselves to become victims of their circumstances.

Complaining: Choosing to Be a Victim

After being a champion complainer most of my life I realized that all it did was make me, and those around me, miserable. I even got to the point of complaining about my own complaining! Which is pretty pathetic when you think about it.

By complaining I was in effect choosing to be a victim of whatever circumstance that prompted the complaint. Then I finally realized one of the most important lessons: when life hands you something you don’t like either do something about it, or if that is not possible, accept it fully and move on. Complaining is simply not an option for me anymore because it never, ever, serves me. Metaphorically speaking, we are never victims unless we choose to be.

Gratitude: The Antidote to a Life that Sucks

Complaining is an easy habit to pick up (because so many around us do it) and a hard one to break. The reason it’s hard to break is there is always a big payoff: not being responsible for how we experience life. When we complain, we are essentially saying it is someone or something else’s doing that is making us unhappy –which effectively (at least in our own mind) takes us off the hook.

The best way to break a habit is to replace it with another, ideally, positive one. I have personally found that the habit of expressing gratitude for everything, even the challenges, in my life is a powerful way to eliminate compulsive complaining and the sucks-ness that comes with it.

Gratitude expands your outlook on life, complaining contracts it. Gratitude is stress relieving, complaining generates it. Gratitude will attract others to you, complaining will drive them away. A good way to undermine the relationship with your significant other is to complain about everything, especially small things. A wonderful way to bring them closer is express gratitude about everything, even those things that at first appear to be challenges or even tragedies. When you fully feel gratitude for everything you can’t help but smile more. Complaining is one of the surest ways to wipe the smile off your face and that of those around you.

If you find that some part or even all of your life sucks, chances are you are looking at it through the lens of complaining. Change your glasses to one that sees everything from a state of gratitude and watch how you and the world around you transforms.

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About the Author

MichaelJRusser_TEDx_150x150Michael J. Russer is a prostate cancer survivor who was left completely impotent as a result of his treatments. Yet, it was because of his impotence that he and his partner discovered an entirely new approach to emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy that far exceeds anything either experienced prior to when things were working “correctly.” His mission is to help men, women and couples everywhere to achieve extraordinary intimacy on all levels.

He is an international speaker, author and thought leader on the issues of human connection and intimacy. He also speaks pro-bono to Cancer Support Centers and Gilda’s Clubs around the U.S. for cancer survivors and their partners about regaining intimacy in the face of cancer. Go to to explore the possibility of having Michael speak at your next event.

Michael is also a champion of the nonprofit men’s work being done by the ManKind Project ( He completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 2012.

iTunes:           Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Disconnected World
TEDx Talk:




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