I was reading this article on 3 East Easy Exercises to Boost Your Creativity when I spotted the “Bug List”, or “list of annoyances” and thought it was a brilliant idea! I could probably write 200 pages of it, but was immediately halted with a Facebook status update that said “if all you can do is get annoyed and complain, how about shut up.”
Many get upset with the barrage of complaints people make. The optimistic few believe that the world is their oyster and nothing can stop them from all the possibilities out there. They look with distaste at the negative comments others make. Yet they don’t realise that sometimes, that it is the very annoyance that breeds innovation.
I put forth this argument to support healthy skepticism and my favourite term – constructive pessimism. Before you next berate the guy who posted an update about bad customer service, take note that he might have also identified a loophole that we can improve upon instead of simply brushing it off as a useless comment. There are different ways to approach a complaint – we can get annoyed by his rant and continue in our state of ignorant optimism, or we can see his problem and suggest the solution.
Let’s put this in context. someone out there must have made a remark of absolute inconvenience to walk to the TV set just to change a channel. Someone built the TV controller. Someone complained about the inefficiency of boarding a plane. Some many others applied decision sciences to come up with more effective ways of boarding. (see this)
I don’t quite understand why a cheery individual is entitled to an opinion but the annoyed character is told to shut up. Maybe as the saying always goes, negativity is poisonous and it spreads – but in my opinion, only if you allow it to. How does avoidance bring improvement? If we could look negativity in the eye and find out the root cause of it, we might just be able to make further advancements in life.
Time to create your “bug list” too!