A complainer is someone well equipped with reasons to justify his inaction to an unsatisfactory situation.

Often, you’ll hear a complainer say: “If only I had X, I’d achieve Y!”

Complainers are unwilling to work on a problem until the stars are aligned and a red carpet is rolled out for them. Until then, they are happy to be expressing their annoyance and blaming others for their troubles.

Achievers, on the other hand, do more than they talk. They spare no time mulling over something they have no control over. And if it’s something they do have control over, they prefer to act quickly rather than wait around.

Complainer: Life dealt me a bad hand. It’s not fair.
Achiever: Life dealt me a bad hand. How can I use my limited resources to make the best of it?

Complainer: I hate this situation. X is so bad. Y is so bad. Z is so bad. I want to quit.
Achiever: I hate this situation. What can I start doing to improve it?

Complainer: If only I had X, I’d achieve Y.
Achiever: I don’t have X, but I have A, B, C. What can I do with A, B, C to get myself closer to achieving Y?

Complainer: There’s so much misery. Life sucks.
Achiever: How do I turn this bad situation around so that I come out it stronger than before?

Complainers want things fast, easy and dropped onto their laps. They believe they should only start working towards their goals if everything is “fair”. Their top tools are playing the victim card and giving all sorts of reasons why they shouldn’t be doing the work. Complainers love excuses more than they love results.

Achievers realize that life is inherently unfair, and keep working towards their goals anyway. They believe no one is coming to save them, and they have a low tolerance for unsatisfactory situations. Achievers prioritize taking action because they love results more than they love reasons and excuses.

Now here’s the thing: Being an Achiever is not necessarily better than being a Complainer. There are pros and cons to each.

Ultimately, the mindset you adopt depends on whether you value short term benefits or long term benefits.

Complaining is short term safe, long term risky.

Taking action is short term risky, long term safe.