30-Day Challenge: Speak No Evil

30-Day Challenge: Speak No EvilHow do you feel around negative people? How do you feel when someone you know is always complaining? Have you ever met someone who seems to always be so negative when you’re with them? Have you ever met one of those people who is always doom-and-gloom, who never has anything nice to say about anything or anyone?

When you spend a lot of time around people who are always complaining about things, or bad-mouthing other people behind their backs, it can be very draining — emotionally, mentally, and physically. But let’s face it, we’re all guilty of this from time to time. Right?

So you have to ask yourself, is it possible that sometimes you are that person for somebody else? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but perhaps when you’re with certain people, all you do is complain to them…or even complain with them. Do you ever get carried away in negativity so that all you tend to notice is what’s wrong with your job, your spouse, your friends, the media, those other politicians, the economy, gas prices, food prices, your neighbor’s pet rock, and the fact that there’s only two Starbucks on the corner instead of three?

You, my friend, may be a catalyst of negativity; a lightning rod,  so to speak. And I hate to break it to you, but if you are, people probably don’t enjoy hanging around you. And your kids? Yeah, they’re not really into how you’re always ticked off about something, always grumbling. Your significant other doesn’t like it either. It get’s old…fast.

But fear not. I have a solution. It’s not going to be easy, but I think it will definitely be worth it. You can’t change yourself overnight. Self-improvement takes time and patience with yourself. Whether you’re a pretty negative-minded person who’s always complaining, or a very cheerful person who always ready with a complement or optimistic thought, this challenge can be a real eye-opener.

30-Day Challenge:
Speak No Evil

For the next 30 day, STOP COMPLAINING! But more than that, stop obsessing over all the negative stuff in your life and constantly talking about it and bringing yourself and other people down. When you feed into your own obsessive thoughts about the bad stuff of life, you’re training your subconscious mind to easily notice more of the same kind of things you’re obsessing over, which, of course, is the bad stuff. And paying more attention to bad stuff wires your brain so that reacting negatively becomes a knee-jerk reaction. That’s not really a good idea, is it?

So for 30 days, stop…

  • Mentally reacting to the bad stuff
  • Talking about the bad stuff
  • Engaging in group-complaining
  • Saying anything negative about anyone or anything

Basically, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. But if you do slip up, that doesn’t mean you have to start the 30 days over. Just keep at it.

In the same way that a negative mindset can develop by habitually thinking that way, a more grateful, optimistic attitude and an overall happier mindset can develop with practice, as well. So this challenge can be a jumping off point for becoming a happier person. The road to self-improvement begins here.

So post a comment below and let us know when you’re starting your 30-day challenge. And when you’re finished, be sure to come on back and tell us how it went for you. Good luck!


  1. I like he disclaimer for in case you slip up during the 30 days. I’ll give it a try. 🙂

    • Vicki,

      Great! Of course, you can always go extreme and restart your 30-day challenge all over if you slip up. 😉 No matter how you choose to do it, I hope you’ll come back and share your results.


  2. Scott, I am back after 30 days of the Speak No Evil Challenge, and I survived! I have to say that I feel better about myself after the past month. Rather than jump on the bandwagon with others when they were negative, I picked my words carefully, and really had to think about my thoughts, words, and feelings. I won’t say that I was perfect, but I always caught myself, because the Challenge always stayed on my mind. I think that, overall, doing this challenge helped me to remain MUCH calmer with people and situations than normal, and probably made me appear to be a nicer person, in other people’s eyes. I plan to continue speaking no evil, because as I see and hear so much negativity in the world around me, I want to be the change I’d like to see in others. That being said, if I attempt to start a career in writing, the writing will comment on what I see around me, and that may not always be positive. So, Scott, thanks for helping me to be a better person. 🙂

    • Viki,

      That is awesome!! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. I’ve done this challenge many times. And I’ve also done variations on this one. It seems like it might be a tough challenge, but it’s even tougher than it seems. Right? LOL I had to restart many times during my first attempt. But that was years ago. By now, it’s a behavioral habit. When my initial experiment concluded, it made me more aware of my words and their impact on myself and other people. And it sounds like that was your experience too. And if I have, in any way, contributed to you being a better person, I’m deeply honored to have played a role.

      So what’s your next challenge, Vicki? Do you have any suggestions for challenges that I haven’t written about yet? All the best in your future endeavors, Vicki.


      • Scott, my next challenge in life is working on doing some sort of online blog. As far as my next challenge for self-improvement, that would be to continue the speak no evil challenge, and rather than it being a challenge, just having it become a habit, as you say it has become for you. As for suggestions, I’ll need to check out what all you’ve written about thus far. And I AM curious to know what the variations were that you did on the speak no evil challenge.


        • Vicki,

          What might your blog be about? As for the variations on this challenge, I would sometimes focus on a specific detail, if I found that one thing in particular would trip me up most often. For example, let’s say there was a person in my life that liked to step on my last nerve and I found my speak-no-evil efforts often foiled as a result. Then I might adjust my challenge for a month and try to not react for at least 5 minutes every time I was around this person. If it was a person I was around every day, say, at work, and that person seemed to often be the reason I failed my speak-no-evil challenge, I would focus my challenge efforts there.

          For me, it was about smoothing off the rough edges that I didn’t know that I had. When one was revealed, I would narrow my focus until I learned new ways to react or to deal with the specific situation that was a trigger for my anger, and particularly, my verbal reactions. You can really spin this challenge in multitude of ways. It’s a powerful challenge. And I’m pleased that you’ve gotten some value out of it.


          • Scott,

            My blog will be totally about something else…observations and humor…with some side interests/pages. I’m still working on my exact combination.

            To respond to one of your questions, I think that your “Creating Automatic Emotions” kind of goes hand-in-hand with the Speak No Evil. I say that because you’re learning to keep your mouth shut, in certain situations, which is a departure from how you would normally react in those same situations. So, like now, post-Speak No Evil Challenge, I find that I’m calmer if someone cuts in front of me on the road. I anticipate that some people will cut me off, and back off a bit, but even if I don’t anticipate it ahead of time, I calmly back off, and then just move on to something else, mentally (recalling that I’ve done the same thing…cut in when I had to…a few times in my life). I wasn’t as calm when, from a red light, (two lanes were turning left),the pickup that was up on my right, pulling a trailer, was turning left, with me, but the guy driving didn’t make a wide turn, and so his trailer was more in my lane. I stayed back a bit, not wanting to clip the trailer, but I couldn’t believe the guy didn’t make a wide turn. I think I said something like “what the heck are you doing?!” I did not, however, hit the horn, flip him off, or give him the stink-eye when I eventually passed him (and he couldn’t hear what I had said, anyway).

            In response to your asking about any other challenges, one thing I’m working on is to try and speak in a different way with my husband. I know that married couples often can get on each other’s nerves, and I notice how he and his friends get along, and they normally don’t get so annoyed with one another. That got me to watching more how they talk to one another, and what they talk about. I find that when I talk in a similar way to him, we enjoy each other’s company more, and we kid more (just like he does with his friends). I just talk like we’re equals, and try not to be critical or judgmental, not be too nosy, not do the baby talk, or sound like I need him to make all of the decisions…or most of the decisions. I think that some things draw couples to one another, initially, but as we age and mature, those things don’t appeal to us as much, anymore. This is more a way of handling/managing things, rather than a way of reacting to things as they happen, and I’m happy with the results. Anyway, Scott, that’s just a thought, as you’d asked about suggestions for challenges.

            Good luck in dealing with the “foilers” who try and mess up your Speak No Evil. I wonder if they know you’re on the challenge when they’re annoying you. Of course it’s easiest when we don’t have to deal with toxic people (we don’t work with them, or have them as friends or spouses…the latter two are easier to get out of our lives), but occasionally we do have to deal with them. Again, the best of luck with that! Thanks, and take care.


  3. Very well written and a very great challenge. I think I will incorporate this into my to do’s for 2014.

  4. Hey Scott!

    I just found this blog and I really liked this 30 day challenge. I am starting it today as I speak. I will let you know how it was a month from now!

    Thanks for the great blog!

    • Hey, Rodrigo!

      Sorry I didn’t see your post sooner. This blog had to take a back seat to living my life for a while. So I haven’t been writing here for some time. I was busy taking care of my own goals, which led me to accomplishing one of my biggest goals, moving to Thailand. So right now, my wife and I are living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have been writing and helping people, but I needed to priorities other goals and there wasn’t room for all of my blogs.

      Do you recall how your 30-day challenge went? I’d love to hear about it.


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