Don't criticize, condemn, complain

On a recent speaking trip to the Washington, D.C., area, I stopped by Ford's Theatre.

That is where, on the night of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln. The theatre is located about six blocks from The White House.

After the shooting they took Lincoln across the street to a cheap boardinghouse. As he lay dying in a second floor bedroom, Secretary of War Stanton said: "Here lies the most perfect ruler of men that the world has ever known."

Was Lincoln's life always that way? Not necessarily.

When he was growing up in Indiana, and then in Illinois, he criticized people. He criticized them to such an extent that, one day, he left a note on a countryside road criticizing a city official.

That official got so angry that he challenged Lincoln to a duel. And, if it wasn't for their seconds stopping them in the last moment, one of our greatest presidents could have died in a duel because of criticism.

So, my question to you and me is: What is criticism doing to our lives? Are we criticizing, condemning and complaining? Maybe that's one reason why we're not as far as we want to be or not as happy as we want to be.

May I suggest to you, for one week, do not criticize, condemn or complain. Let me repeat: Do not criticize, condemn or complain. Do so for one week and just look for the good.

The 3 C's -- don't criticize, condemn or complain -- are found in Chapter 1 of Dale Carnegie's book: "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Lincoln learned the important lesson of not criticizing early on in his life and he turned out to be an amazing leader. Perhaps you and I should pay closer attention to that presidential proclamation and see what it could do to improve our lives.

You are special. You are unique. You are destined for greatness. I see it in you. You are a Champion. Have a powerful day.

The 3 C's Affirmation

I do not criticize, condemn or complain. I look for the good.

Rauchwerger is a speaker, trainer, author and high-performance coach to CEOs. If you have a question or want to supercharge your company, contact him at 619-723-3007 or e-mail

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