Soul Stealers – Part II: Complacency

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The thief of inspiration, satisfied with life the way it is, failing to lead change and arrogantly accepting that you have arrived, that there is no need for any more effort…….

The world is changing at a rapid pace and certainty is a thing of the past. With hurried lives, we seek to master the curveballs thrown at us and pay attention to the hundreds of competing priorities. Many of us need structure or at least some routine to get through the rat race, whilst others do not have the luxury of carefully planned days and are often tossed into turmoil. Success requires resilience, the desire to consistently push barriers, to raise limits, to challenge yourself, to live with braveness, to aspire for greatness, not only for self gain but for the ability to share with the less fortunate. We cannot grow into abundance by forsaking others in need.

Change can either be our best friend or our worst enemy. The world is in the process of great dispruption, nothing is the same as it was and nothing will be the same going forward. Disruption seeks to change our world, turn it inside out and upside down, completely eradicating what was, to introduce what is. It seeks to destroy the past but create the future all at the same time. This disruption brings chaos and complacency has no place in choas.

The gravity of change requires an attitude of readiness, of enthusiasm no matter what comes your way, a willingness to go beyond structure, beyond routine, beyond certainty. To understand our innermost thoughts, our shortcomings and our value requires that we are in touch with ourselves, that we know what sells us and what sets us back. The extent of your readiness to meet change head on, determines the extent of your success. How ready are you to grab the opportunities that come your way?, How proactive are you to live forward by being fully present?

We only have to look around us to see the magnitude of change unfolding in front of our eyes. Mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, retrenchments, technology invasions, and so the list goes on. None of our jobs are guaranteed and no employer owes you a future. Our future is created by our own attitudes and our desire to be counted, to be real and to be valued.

 

What is complacency?

Complacency is the feeling of comfort associated with the success and knowledge that you have arrived and there is no need to do anything more with your life or, being comfortable with what you have and oblivious to the risks that you could face in the future.

Success takes great courage and great determination. It is derived through a consistent will to seize every day and make full use of it. It does not play victim to circumstance, it finds an opportunity in every circumstance. It does not wait for someone to hand you greatness on a silver platter, it creates its own platform informed by a vision that is focused and goals that are audacious and loud, that scares you, that grows you. It does not limit your thinking to your age, or your ability to your education. It constantly seeks to explore new boundaries and in doing so, leaves you richer in every way.

Successful people don’t remain successful doing nothing. They are constantly investing in new ideas, new solutions and new innovations. They realize that in order to remain successful, they must be top of their game. It doesn’t help to be great sometimes; you need to strive for greatness at all times. Stop using your busy schedule as an excuse not to gym, or your conflict with people at work as an excuse for stagnation, or your age as an excuse for not studying. Wealth can only be multiplied by consistent effort, time can only be multiplied by present appreciation, health can only be appreciated by constant self-renewal.

No matter how successful you are, risk is imminent, whether it is in the form of illness, death or job loss. When either of these comes your way, are you ready to deal with it emotionally, financially and physically? Don’t be smug about your success or arrogant about your achievements, they don’t substitute your humanity. Be clear on your vision, be passionate about your journey and be cognizant of the risk that you face as an individual. When there is a deep sense of comfort and no motivation, or will to strive for better, you risk everything you have.

Some signs of complacency?

  • You have no goals.
  • You are not receptive to change and resent the notion of anything new.
  • You are constantly complaining and bickering about your job and the people you work with.
  • You are waiting for the wave of motivation.
  • You are not challenged in any way and there is limited intellectual growth.
  • You are disengaged; your job had become just a job!
  • You are not inspired to contribute anything more than what is required of you.

How does this soul stealer rob us of our peace of mind?

We only have one lifetime. None of us know when the dark hour will come upon us and we will take our last breath. Should we be living in the hope that someone out there will rescue us from our misery and save us from damnation? Should we assume that at 65, when our job no longer requires us and we have not made appropriate provision for our old age that our children will fit the bill? Is it up to someone else to create opportunities, stretch us, challenge us, take care of us and reward us, or can we take an active and deliberate part in our own lives, focused on what lies ahead but appreciating the beauty of being mindfully present.

Complacency is a thief of your soul;

  • It reduces your brainpower.
  • It stifles your growth.
  • It steals your passion for living.
  • It takes away your power to inspire, to teach, to make a difference.
  • It leaves you behind when the world has moved.
  • It reduces your wealth.
  • It subjects you to personal risk.
  • It makes you resentful over time.
  • It compromises your brand.

How do you destroy this soul stealer?

  • Own your life, your career, your future – take charge. Don’t blame anyone for where you are, only you can steer the course of your life.
  • Set goals – focus on what you want to achieve and focus on taking steps to achieve them. Every time you achieve your goal, set another one that is harder and more difficult to attain, keep stretching and pushing yourself. Motivation is an internal catalyst, it is borne from your desire to be extraordinary.
  • Establish and maintain professional networks – make a point of focusing on growing your network. Through these interactions, you grow as a person and as an individual. It also creates a platform for dialogue and it keeps your vision and your goals sharp and relevant. A good network of people gives you access to opportunities. It’s up to you to take them.
  • Read 1 new book every month, that’s 12 in a year – Keep your intellect strong and learn everything you can about your career, your job and your passion.
  • Talk to people, get their views, and share ideas -the more people challenge you, the more you know you need to learn. Don’t be too proud to learn from anyone. You may be an expert in your field but there are things about this world you cannot even begin to fathom. Be open to learning new things, they stretch your imagination and prepare you for flight whether that learning comes from a 5 year old or an 85 year old, it has value, you just need to be receptive to the lesson. We limit our growth because we measure ourselves against others. Don’t see other people as your competition, It’s not them you need to master, it’s yourself!
  • Review and update your CV – every time you acquire new knowledge or learn a new skill, update it. It’s a running biography of your professional life, don’t undermine it and don’t dilute your importance by downplaying your achievements. If you don’t market yourself, no one knows what you are capable of.
  • Guard against disengagment – being withdrawn from your work does more damage to you than it does to the organization. If you are not happy, do something about it, instead of complaining every chance you get. People don’t respect constant complainers, they respect people who recognize their situation and do something constructive to help themselves.
  • Give back – spend time with those that are less fortunate, it keeps you humble and appreciative of what you have and it drives you to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Don’t underestimate the power of someone’s gratitude when you address his or her need for survival.
  • Renew your thinking – constructively challenge the way things are done so that you remain future focused looking for ways to improve. Everything in life comes with a choice, you have a choice to be a victim or a victor, to break or shape, to disrupt or conform, to stay or leave, to rise-up or quit. Successful people take the high road, as difficult and daunting as it may be, they know they are bound to find help along the way. The low road is easy but lonely and there are fewer travelers.

Its time to claim back your “self-power” by defeating the villain of complacency.

Until next time, keep on learning!

Thank you for sharing.

 

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