I bet you say that you won’t whine. I bet you think yourself as somebody who is not complaining much, and definitely not whining. I don’t know if that’s true or false, and I think there might be a chance that you also don’t know that you actually are whining.
I could be wrong – but I think you need test you need to pass. It’s called a whining game producer test.
The test is extremely simple, and doesn’t require much effort. There is basically only one thing you need to do, although it helps if you have somebody to help you.
There’s one pretty simple thing you need to do:
Every time you think or say out loud that “something sucks” or “weather is bad” or “darn artists, never here when you need them”… basically complain about anything then you must draw a line (use a notepad or anything). It can be anything. If you are complaining about your children scream, draw a line. If you complain that politicians aren’t running the country as they should, draw a line. If you complain that life isn’t fair, draw a line. If you complain that your coworkers are always late, draw a line.
If possible, ask others to notify you if you are complaining (because it might not be easy to spot by yourself). Tell your spouse or coworkers (or children or anybody) to stop you whenever you are complaining. Simply ask them to remind you about drawing lines.
Do this for one week (even day or two can be enlightening…) and count how many lines you got. Feel free to use the game producer forums to tell “another line received” (here’s a thread where you mark lines), and count how many posts you end up having by the end of the week.
If you got more than zero lines (yep, whining game producers will have one or more lines) then you are a whiner. If you complain that one should allow to have at least one line and not to be considered a whiner, that means you just earned yourself one line.
Whiners draw lines – rest of the people won’t.
One tiny note to the end. The purpose of this exercise is not to think only positive things and never notice if something goes bad. Nope. The idea is that if something goes wrong (let’s say somebody is late from a meeting), then you must realize that complaining or nagging (saying “he is always late”) won’t have any impact. Instead of complaining, you can (and should) figure out a way to solve the problem (like discuss with the guy who comes always late and explain how being 15 minutes late costs $500 to the company or whatever).
That’s what the test is all about. Draw a line whenever you find yourself complaining about anything, and replace the habit of complaining with the habit of suggesting solutions.