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

176 customer reviews

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 59 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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27 of 28 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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30 of 32 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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20 of 21 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Phillips on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read far too many self-help books than I care to admit and I have found that about 80% of those books are either fluff or actually make you feel worse because they have THE plan, rather than A plan. Only about 20% of most the self-help books contents really were something of value. What I have found that actually works in most books can be summed up to the following:
1. Be mindful of what you are saying in a non-judgmental way.
2. Interrupt negative thinking before it interrupts your life.
3. Don't take yourself (your thoughts) so seriously.
4. Don't take others (their thoughts) so seriously.
5. Positive thinking is usually forced and doesn't typically work for most people.
6. Focusing on self-improvement too much puts you out of simply enjoying your life for what it is and is not right now.
Since reading this book, by watching my thoughts and making the effort to not speak negative I have been more creative in my thinking and that has allowed me to apply 1-6 above in my life right now. I have noticed my overall level of enjoying my life NOW has improved and in one month of trying this I have only made it one day so far completely complaint free. However, I will continue to work at this until I have gone the 21 days. Both my wife and I are loving the results of enjoying our life now rather than waiting for some "better" future. Which is why I love the subtitle, "How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted." What I am discovering is the life you always wanted is happening right NOW when you practice being complaint free. Were you planning on waiting for some tomorrow to start truly living anyway?
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