Complacency

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee

Fear is an excellent motivator. Our natural response to fear or discomfort is to run the other way. We seek comforting things. Nostalgia. Hot comfort food. Smells. Familiar places. Routines. A consistent routine is a godsend to hectic times. But comfort isn’t always our friend.

Comfort is often the gateway emotion to complacency.

Complacency is a short path to ruin. The world never stops moving, but you do.

Essentially, complacency is feeling naively satisfied with your life and with yourself, despite all the red flags and warning fires dancing in your periphery. Funny enough, I believe complacency can come from both success and failure.

Success Complacency comes from achieving a goal and-or reaching the top of a mountain and telling yourself that you’ve “made it”. You reach the top (or at least what you think is the top) and you stop. You root.

You build a successful business but stop innovating. You make a hit song and you fold in the towel. You find the love of your dreams, get married, and stop trying.

We retire from creating. We stop improving. We coast. We smug (to use that word incorrectly as a verb). And while we’re goofing off— our skills and ideas rusting away—everyone around us is still in the game—improving, achieving and, more importantly, trying.

And suddenly we find ourselves at the bottom. The mountain moved beneath us while we were sleeping.

Failure Complacency is the opposite of Success Complacency. Not only have you not succeeded, you’re perpetually dissatisfied with how things are. You’ve tried, usually, you’ve tried extremely hard, but nothing has worked out.

Failure complacency is accepting a mediocre life or giving up after failing and resigning yourself to being a miserable sad sack. You fall into patterns of comfort and safety—or at least the little “comfort” and “safety” you have. For example, you hate your job but don’t do anything about it. It sucks, but the pay is decent, so why quit? Or you attach yourself to a certain lifestyle and despite hating yourself, you don’t want to give it up.

Psychologists might have better names for success and failure complacency. (These are just ideas I’ve observed in my own life and through the lives of others.) I want to do more research on this idea.

I do know that both success and failure complacency are difficult to overcome in their own ways. I would guess that the majority of us deal more with failure complacency than success complacency, but I could be biased.

The only way forward is to seek change and momentum.

We must challenge ourselves and learn to become comfortable with discomfort. Not for discomfort’s sake, but so that we are always moving. Even when we are resting and doing nothing, our minds and bodies are in continuous flow. Clouds dance. Nature bends to the wind. The world beneath our feet is rotating and walking through space. Life is motion.

Seeking challenge is our way forward.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1016

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Life on the edge: Are you uncomfortable enough?

Brilliance is born outside your comfort zone.

Doing the same things* you’ve been doing has gotten you where you are, but to take steps towards brilliance you must step further and further into your fear and the unknown.

*you know, those same old things

Life on the edge is where creativity and magic happens.
 

However, it’s the furthest away from being comfortable you can get.

Comfortable is staying at your job even though you hate it.

Comfortable is a nice warm bed that’s hard to get out of.

Comfortable is opting out of networking events because you don’t feel like it, or don’t like them.

Comfortable is not asking, not writing your book, not starting your business, not failing, not traveling, not asking that person out on a date, not leaving your house, not joining that race, and not doing X because of fear of Y.

If we’re not careful, comfortable is where we go to die.

We must learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable if we ever want to make true impact and stride.

Learn to be comfortable in what makes you uncomfortable +

Uncomfortable, as in anything you know that’s probably good for you, but you find terrifying to do.

We all have similar, yet unique things that we find uncomfortable. What’s uncomfortable for me, might be easy for you, and vice versa. But the most universally uncomfortable things is anything to do with us standing out.

Isn’t it ironic that we want to stand out, but fear standing out.

 

Your task is to find what makes you uncomfortable and linger on them. Inhabit them. Learn to be comfortably* uncomfortable.

*to make up a word

What’s uncomfortable to us doesn’t usually go away, but it does lose it’s effect on us when we learn to sit with it. For example, you may always be scared of public speaking, but if you do it anyway, you’ll have control over your fear, vs it having control over you.

Being Comfortably Uncomfortable is about being in control of your fear instead it being in control of you.

Ask Yourself:

Q: What makes me uncomfortable?

Q: What am I not doing simple because I am sacred to do it and scared to stand out?

 

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner | Renaissance Man | Updated: Jan 21st, 2017

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

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related wisdom 

The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.

— Brian Tracy