Complacency

By: Sue Dyson

If we do not change our direction, we will end up where we are headed. - Chinese proverb

The self-development market is inundated with tips, techniques and treasures on visualizing your success. Leaders in this field encourage us to picture a successful outcome to a performance, sales presentation , or difficult situation. They encourage us to feel the success, see it clearly in our minds, over and over and over. This creates a comfort zone, a known reference point. When the actual situation arises, one effortlessly steps into the comfort zone, and voila! you are prepared to carry out your mission.

There is a time and purpose for this technique. It's also important to not rely on it entirely. Consider for a moment, the benefits of stepping away from this comfort zone. What?! Isn't comfort the whole point? Well, yes and no. Comfort with a situation allows you to execute a task with relative ease, with little thinking of the situation on your part. You've made the task into an automatic response to a situation. There is a risk involved, however, in that automation and it's called complacency.

Complacency is defined as "A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy." - The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

We become complacent when we are overly comfortable with a process, situation or even lifestyle. You may believe the whole the point of life is to seek comfort. It's not. It's to grow. You know, life? To live? Comfort is a settling in.

To continue in growth is to inject a little dis-comfort into one's life. Move out of your comfort zone. Sound scary? All the more reason to do it.

We can become complacent in many areas of our lives. Relationships, work, health and well being, for example. In a marriage or significant union, it's well known that complacency makes for a stagnant relationship. In work, it makes for a dead end job or business which leads to discontent. With our health, physical problems can sneak up on us and hit us in the back of the head. Complacency in any one of these areas can lead to problems in others. We're in a big web of interconnectedness.

It may seem like a juggling act to keep fresh and avoid complacency in everything we do. In fact, it is an act. It's a skill you can learn. Like the juggler, we do our best to keep all the balls in the air. If you look closely, though, you'll notice not all the balls are in the air at the same time. There is always at least one ball in hand. Sometimes the balls get dropped. We pick them up and start again.

Keep things fresh in your life, moving, changing, growing and 'up in the air' two out of three times and you'll be fine. When you drop a 'ball', by experiencing a mistake or shortcoming, work it out, forgive yourself and everyone involved, and get the ball back up there in the cycle. We don't focus on that one dropped ball for too long, or they all come tumbling down. Things are going well with work and your relationship, but your health is in poor condition right now? Simply do what you have to do. It gets challenging when a number of new balls are thrown in there for you, but we adapt. We learn. We adjust our attitude.

The underlying requirement of averting complacency in our life is that of attitude. Our attitude is our foundation for everything else in life. When we avert complacency in our thinking, our foundation is strengthened which supports all our efforts. How do we do this? Observe your life. It is a learned skill to stay sharp, to be observant of your actions and reactions. Observe your habits - these are the automatic responses. Learn to make more conscious decisions and you become less automatic.

Automatic has its appropriate place. It keeps us focused on a particular area, creating blinders to prevent our distraction from the task at hand. This has to be balanced with being open to other possibilities when the time is right. We cannot be forward-thinking and complacent at the same time. What is so bad about complacency anyways? We get bored with life. We forget what a gift it truly is. We stop being the creative beings we were born to be. Being creative brings passion into your life. Once you've got that, the possibilities are endless. NowArticle Search, are you ready to play?

Motivation
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