Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Trevor E.S. Smith | The life-changing ‘sunshine diet’

Published:Sunday | February 2, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Unpaid bills! Pesky mosquitoes! Violence!

It is challenging to get far into the day without finding something to complain about.

Add work pressures, relationship issues and then the news! Yes. We are bombarded by negative events. Complaining is a constant feature of our lives.



What we focus on manifests in our lives. Our minds are like factories. They produce thoughts that eventually become reality.

“Energy flows where attention goes,” says Tony Robbins.

Think of how much energy is being channelled nationally into things that we do not want! One fundamental key to success is to stop focusing your attention on what you do not want or what you do not have. When you do that you are investing in the status quo. You are anchoring your energy into the very situation from which you are trying to escape.

A daily litany of complaints is a prescription for merely expanding the list. Constant complaining inhibits positive thinking. It impacts our mood, our relationships and indeed our health – mental and physical.



If constant complaining is so bad for us, why do we put so much time and energy into it?

1 Habit. It is a national, family or work group pastime. It is what we do.

What we saw on the road or heard on the news, or is going on in our rumbling stomach, must be shared.

Yet, what are the chances of a video of an average man helping an older woman across the road going viral? Zero. Because nobody would post it!

2 Another reason why we like to complain is that we feel that we are guardians and watchmen. We have a duty to open the eyes of those around us who have dozed off in false comfort. They don’t understand how bad things are and we have to awaken them to today’s reality.

That is why it is so important for us to present the realities in such a graphic and gut-wrenching way so as to shock the sleepers.



Being consumed by negative thinking is not going to improve our lot. Wallowing in our present circumstances is not going to result in us magically coming out squeaky clean on the other side.

We have to look beyond our situation and challenges. We have to imagine a new reality. We have to own a different perspective of who we are. This is the new me.

The truth is we have to work to stop so much energy from flowing to the things that we do not want. That energy is fuelling more and more of the very things we hate. Hence, my sunshine diet.



For the next 90 days, we are going to replace complaints with expressions of gratitude. We are going to allow sunshine into our lives. Instead of complaining, we are going to identify things for which we are grateful.

Also, when our colleague or family member complains about something, we will take the opportunity to add a tone of gratitude to even the most depressing incoming information. After we commiserate appropriately and sincerely, it might be alright to add ‘Well, at least we can give thanks that...’

This might shift the energy and provide a level of relief or encouragement.

Also, when it comes to habitual naysayers, highlighting gratitude may change their outlook. The key to doing that is to adopt a new way of thinking. Work at processing information from a different angle.

I am going to share some examples. Please do not think that I am in any way minimising the trauma and genuine pain that these situations produce.

The objective is to send the message that even in dire circumstances, a sense of gratitude can have positive benefits.

1. The results of the blood tests indicate a serious medical condition. I give thanks that I got the results now and not much later – perhaps, too late.

2. I am being laid off. Well at least I was able to put food on the table while I was there and I benefited from the experience.

3. I am having serious differences of opinion and frequent spats with my partner. I am grateful that this has entered my consciousness and drawn my attention to the need to address the root causes of the problem. I give thanks that I am motivated to take positive action to address the situation. Left alone, it could escalate and end up where neither of us want to go.

4. I just can’t make ends meet financially. I give God thanks that I still have life and my senses. With both, I also have hope. And I give God thanks for hope, because that is what sustains me.



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Trevor E.S. Smith with the Success with People Academy.We guide the development of high-performance teams. We are interpersonal relations, group dynamics and performance-enhancement specialists. We provide learning and productivity-enhancement technology solutions. We offer behavioural Assessments from Extended DISC, sales & sports competence assessments on the FinxS platform and e-competency Frameworks and e-onboarding solutions in our SPIKE technology platform.E-mail: