Complacency is contagious and should be avoided like the plague! (or more recently, Ebola)
A complacent mindset is one of the biggest threats to your success in life that you will ever encounter.
Complacency is the big brother of mediocrity. The average person is complacent.
Complacency is your warm cozy bed when your alarm goes off and you told yourself you’d wake up earlier to go to the gym.
Complacency is driving all the way to the gym and going through the motions, instead of pushing yourself to be better than you were before.
Complacency is NOT jumping at the golden opportunity because you’re afraid you might make a mistake or fail.
Complacency is seductive – it’s comfortable, familiar and safe.
Don’t be fooled. Complacency is your worst enemy.
Avoid Complacent People
The easiest way to prevent yourself from becoming complacent is to cut complacent people out of your life.
Negative people and complacent people are the 2 most toxic types of people, in my opinion.
Both will selfishly bring you down.
You know the saying – “you are the company you keep”.
I denied that for years. As I’ve grown, though, I have found that to inevitably be true. There are some exceptions of course, but as you age those exceptions become more and more rare.
Which is why I think it’s best to just cut the ties with people who don’t bring any value into your life, or even worse, bring you down. And yes that goes for friends and family.
That doesn’t mean you make a big dramatic thing out of it. Just slowly phase them out if you want.
But he’s my best friend, I can’t do that. I’m loyal…
You’re loyal, that’s good. You’re a good friend. Your next best friend will appreciate that quality.
You don’t have to completely cut them out of your life. But you should consider limiting the availability for them to have an influence on you.
But she’s my mom, I can’t just avoid my mom…
You can do anything you want to do.
I’m not saying you exile yourself from the family. I’m saying, if your mom is holding you back or bringing you down – avoid her. It’s not any more selfish of you to do that then it is of her to bring you down.
I get that this sounds a little harsh. Well, that’s because it is. Not being able to make the tough decisions is part of being complacent, right? Well the first step to ridding yourself of complacency is to actively avoid the people who encourage it.
It’s tough – I’ve been there and I feel for you. But let me tell you, this is one area of life where the grass REALLY is greener on the other side. To live a challenging and fulfilling life, there is no room for dead weight dragging you down. A great life is yours for the taking, no one is going to hand it to you.
Avoid Complacent Atmospheres
Complacency in the workplace is career suicide.
I’m a big advocate of entrepreneurship, but I don’t expect everyone to go that route. I’ve had many traditional jobs and enjoyed most of them.
If you’re going the employment route, you want to keep a sharp eye for companies that allow or encourage complacency. (Hint: nearly all of them do) These are the ones you want to avoid.
There are some legitimately good companies to work for. You want to look for companies that promote employees from within and encourage you to keep moving up. You’ll know right away, because these companies will bring it up in the interview.
The companies that will pay your way through grad school, that provide optional training programs to help you improve at work, that offer good incentives and bonuses – these are the companies that want to see you grow.
You want to work somewhere that people are constantly trying to move to the next level. You want to work somewhere that your boss isn’t scared of losing his job to you, because he’s got his eye on his boss’s job.
The same goes for other areas of life. If you want to get in good shape, don’t workout at Planet Fitness. What kind of results are you going to get at a gym that kicks people out who are in great shape because they intimidate others? That doesn’t mean you have to workout at a hardcore gym to get results. But when a “gym” doesn’t want to see its members succeed, that is a breeding ground for complacency. (And a huge monthly revenue stream from memberships that never get used)
One last place I want to talk about, is in front of your TV. Now I’m not some anti-TV hippie. I have a few shows I watch. (Game of Thrones anyone?) I catch a few NFL games – I have a fantasy football championship (3x in a row!) to defend after all.
That being said, television in general is designed to do 3 things:
- Sell you shit
- Manipulate your feels (emotions)
- Keep you complacent
Why does the media want to keep you complacent? Well, if you were out doing something with your life they wouldn’t be able to do numbers 1 and 2. Your complacency is valuable to them.
There’s no greater waste of time than sitting down and channel surfing. You will lose hours of your life that you can never get back.
Avoid Complacent Thoughts
This one is tough, because our mindset is a habit and habits are hard to break. They can be broken though and replaced with good ones.
Complacent thoughts are things we tell ourselves that prevent us from taking action. They are weak sauce. Complacent thoughts need to be eliminated and avoided at all costs.
It’ll work itself out…
This phrase is such a pet-peeve of mine – I hate when people say that. To me that sounds like: “I am too lazy to solve this problem now so I accept whatever mediocre result transpires.”
Things don’t work themselves out damnit! A problem either gets solved or it doesn’t. Saying it’ll work itself out is just hoping that someone/something else solves the problem for you.
Tomorrow I’m going to start…
No you won’t. Start now. Ok, to be fair, some things have to wait for the next day. But if you can start today, do it. Deciding to do something gives us quick satisfaction, but we are delaying the hard part – you know, actually doing that thing. So prove it to yourself and start now. Then finish tomorrow, instead of starting.
I don’t know how to…
If you have access to the internet, there is absolutely no excuse for not doing something because you don’t know how to. Between Google and YouTube, you can learn everything about everything. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing how to do something, but there is something very wrong with wanting to know how to do something and not actually teaching yourself.
Well at least I’m not as *insert bad quality* as so-and-so…
Congratulations! You’re better than the worst case scenario, you must be so proud of yourself.
Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea. Especially comparing yourself to someone who is “worse” than you at something. There’s no better way to get a false sense of accomplishment.
Compare yourself to your past self and that’s it. If you aren’t improving, you are complacent. It doesn’t matter who else you think you are better than. The only person you should feel good about being better than is your previous self.
Complacency is a trap. It will take years of your life away from you if you let it.
What I’ve found to work best for me is to cut out complacent people from my life, avoid complacent atmospheres and reject complacent thoughts.
I don’t know you and your situation, but I hope you found some areas where you can take action and end the reign of complacency in your own life.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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