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by Pete on May 20, 2013

“The squeaky wheel get’s the grease” may be one of the worst sayings in the English cliche box. It’s created a society based on complaining to get things. We learn from childhood that those with problems get special attention from teachers and parents. As we mature into adulthood we find that we can get our peers to give us attention, whether in the form of pity or recognition by talking about our personal challenges, past hardships, and “how tough our life is.”


Even to say that things are going well we tend to use phrases like “can’t complain,” “could be worse,” and “same stuff, different day.” Choice of words is more significant than many realize. Culture creates language and language creates culture. We live in a culture of complaining.

The “Self-Help” section in the bookstore is another example. There’s nothing wrong with improving yourself. In fact, personal development is one of the most exalted ways one can use one’s time. However, calling it “Self-Help” suggests that the person needs help. If you approach improvement from the “needs help” angle, you’ll always see yourself as broken.

You don’t need help. You aren’t broken. Your life isn’t bad. You are already perfect and you have everything you need. Don’t question whether or not life is good. Recognize that it’s good that you are alive! That’s the only way for you move up.

Most people don’t actually try to improve their situation, they just try to “fix problems.” When their problems are fixed, they get upset then create more problems. The worst part is our “squeaky wheel gets the grease” culture rewards people who have problems. We idolize those who go from terrible to good. Few recognize good to great because many are bothered. People hate being reminded that they can be doing better. You don’t have to be one of them. Stop squeaking. Make your own grease.


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