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A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted Hardcover – October 16, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bowen is a minister with a very simple message: quit complaining. If you do, you'll be happier and healthier. Hence his Complaint-Free World challenge; the goal is to stop for 21 consecutive days. Why 21? That's how long it takes to break a habit, according to Bowen, who has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show discussing his challenge. And while there's no scientific proof his program works, he includes testimonials from people who've stopped their chronic carping and now lead more positive lives. As for issues that might make you complain about not complaining-e.g., how do you enact social change without first finding fault with the present situation?-Bowen points to Martin Luther King Jr. and his I-have-a-dream speech. He "did not stand on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and say, "Isn't it terrible how we're being treated...." Not to be critical ("Criticism is complaining with a sharp edge") but how could Bowen forget King's great rousing line that day: "America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.' " (Oct. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


A Complaint Free World is an engaging, enjoyable, easy-to-read reminder that the only permanent, constructive changes you can make in the world are the changes that you make in yourself.”
—Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul and Soul to Soul 

“It's rare to read a book that has the potential to change the world, but Will Bowen's masterpiece could do just that.  I highly recommend this book to you. It will change your life for the better as it has mine.”
Roger Dawson, author of Secrets of Power Negotiating
"This is the most inspiring book I've read all year. I love it!”
Dr. Joe Vitale, author of Zero Limits and star of The Secret

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385524587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524582
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Will Bowen is a catalyst for personal transformation. He has been featured on "Oprah," NBC's "Today Show," ABC's "World News Tonight," CBS "Sunday Morning," "Fox News," "The Wall Street Journal," "Newsweek," "People," "O," "Self," "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and in hundreds of media stories around the world.

A Complaint Free World, the non-profit organization he founded, has sent more than 10 million Complaint Free bracelets to 106 countries.

Will Bowen's books have sold millions of copies around the world and he was a 2014 Audie Award Finalist for "Best Narration of a Personal Development book."

Bowen regularly speaks to audiences presenting practical, life-changing programs for tens of thousands of people around the world. Clients include:

*The Million Dollar Roundtable's "Top of the Table"
* Volvo Motor Company
* Price Waterhouse Coopers
* The Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA)
* Pratt & Whitney
* Kimberly Clark

Web sites:
* WillBowen.com
* AComplaintFreeWorld.org
* ToYouLoveGod.com
* HappyThisYear.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading A Complaint Free World and I must say that I was floored with this guide on becoming a complaint free person. As a Christian I believed that i was a very positive person but after taking on this challenge I found out that contrary to what I believed, I complain quite often and i wonder if I will ever make it to 21 days, but I will continue to go forward and strive towards that goal.
This book is maybe one of the 5 best books I have ever read and I believe that this concept can change the world, because I believe that all of us are complainers and that complaining really doesn't do anyone any good.
As well as being a guide to a system that I believe could end complaining in our lives, this book also describes complaining, how it effects us and what it does to others.
This book is an absolute must to read and to practice, heres to a better world.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Etc. VINE VOICE on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a practical program for increasing happiness and satisfaction by becoming aware of one's unconscious complaints against life, then consciously giving up short-term griping and gloating in favor of long-term gratitude. It's a non-denominational approach that starts working when you merely hear about the idea!

If you think about complaining to others being like second-hand cigarette smoke, you can see how complaining poisons the common breathing space. The goal is to go 21 days without complaining, and when you catch yourself complaining, you switch an inexpensive plastic bracelet to the opposite wrist. When you don't have to switch the bracelet for 21 consecutive days, you've met the challenge.

The book is easy to read, encouraging, and addresses most of the objections our silly, fearful minds are so quick to raise. For me it is a support to the Buddhist value of "Right Speech." My husband and I have not yet received the purple reminder bracelets, but we joke about switching our imaginary bracelets to the other wrist whenever we catch ourselves complaining. It's a program worth trying.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Handley on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You're in for a wonderful read that bears a gift! Will Bowen uses his talent for heart-felt storytelling, laced with humor, to help you identify and eliminate complaining and negativity from your life. What a gift that is! And, that's just the start, he also guides you through an inspirational step-by-step process for living more joyfully and spiritually every day. You'll love this book immediately, treasure it forever, and want to get a copy for everyone you love.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edit of 28 May 08 to correct typo pointed out by a reader, and to add links.

My wife asked me to buy this book after hearing about it. I did, it is a worthy useful book, and I will take its challenge.

The author does a tremendous job of gently pointing out all the things about complaining that are both negative and futile:

+ complaining is about what you cannot have or get--get over it
+ avoid chronic complainers, the disease spreads
+ Takes 4-8 months to move from unconsciously incompetent to unconsciously competent.
+ Complaining traps you in a constante state of "something is wrong."
+ Complaining is a form of manipulation
+ Instead of complaining seek alternative language or BE SILENT
+ Silence is mature self-possession
+ Commit to what you want and go after it--WITHOUT COMPLAINT when stymied

The book is quite effective at an underlying theme, God will provide. In acceptance lies happenstance, coincidence (or not), and harmony. The church that started this movement has given out 125,000 free purple bracelets, and issues Certificates of Happiness when anyone can attest to going 21 days without a complaint. They are starting up spin-off programs such as a Complaint-Free Relationship, School, or Workplace.

The author touches briefly on the strategic game of nations, pointing out that instead of negotiating the negative (like nuclear proliferation) why not spend more time sharing information and strategizing the positive, like the end of poverty and disease? Amen.

The book concludes with a raft of first person accounts, roughly one per page, and they are all serious and meaningful, not at all trite of hokey. This is a serious book for serious people.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing to understand about A Complaint Free World is that Will Bowen is NOT saying to be a doormat! He explicitly says "Directing a comment to someone who can improve your situation is not complaining." He says "I am NOT advocating remaining silent when there is something that has happened which you need corrected." His assistant, Marcia, says "It is NOT about stuffing your emotions in and putting on a Pollyanna face."

What they are going on is Dr. Robin Kowalski's definition, which was used in a famous study on complaining. "Whether or not the particular statement reflects a complaint ... depends on whether the speaker is experiencing an internal dissatisfaction."

So it's important to know this up front. This book is ALL for speaking out, speaking up, making changes, seeking improvements. It is about doing those things in a way that keeps you healthy, and will best reach your goals.

So, with that being understood, what is this book about? Will Bowen was trying to inspire his church members to live more attentive lives. Many of them had financial difficulties. The financial planning books they had talked about how complaining did little good to help - that people had to face their problems head on, work out solutions, and then work through them with energy and focus.

Will liked this idea and thought he could help people with the complaining part at least. He ordered 500 purple wrist bands that said "spirit", passed them out, and asked everyone to try not complaining for 21 days. If you complained, you moved the wrist band to the other wrist and started counting again. The moving-the-band was key - it was a physical action, something that your brain began to pay attention to.
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