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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dealing with Complacency

We have seen people in our life, or celebrities or athletes, who reach a level of success and then stop. They start to get comfortable, and they lose what got them there in the first place. Comfort can be one of the most disastrous emotions a body could have. What happens when a person gets too comfortables? He stops growing, stops working, stops creating added value. You dont want to get too comfortable. If you feel really comfortable, chances are you have stopped growing. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, was once asked if he were to give one piece of advice to someone to guarantee a long life of success, what would it be? He said to simply remember this:

When you are green you grow; when you ripen, you rot.

You can take any experience and make it an opportunity for growth, or you can take it and make it an invitation to decay. You can see retirement as the beginning of a richer life, or you can see it as the end of your working life. You can see success as a springboard to greater things, or you can see it as a resting place. And if its a resting place, chances are you wont keep it for long.

One kind of complacency comes from comparison. I used to think I was doing well because I was doing well compared with people I knew. Thats a big mistake. Maybe it just means your friends arent doing very well. We need to learn to judge ourselves by our goals instead of by what our peers seem to be doing. Didnt you do that as a kid? Didnt you say, "Johnny did this, why cant I?" You mother probably said, "Well, I dont care what Johnny does," and she was right. Thus, care about what you are capable of. Care about what you create and what you want to do. Work from a set of dynamic, evolving, enabling goals that will help you do what you want, not what someone else has done. There will always be someone who has more than you or has less. None of that matters. We need to judge ourselves by our goals and nothing else.



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