Over the course of my career I have frequently battled an inexhaustible adversary who has stalked me mercilessly and taunted me at every available opportunity.
My antagonist has been merciless in all attempts to seize control of my life, and each time I have convinced myself that I have finally defeated this demon, it reappears rested, refreshed and even more determined.
The name of this enemy is complacency and it has promoted more misery and exasperation than almost any other known cause.
We first met back when I was a teenager vying for a place on the local soccer team. I was competing for a position on the team against a rival 12-year-old and I was working hard to secure my appointment.
I never missed a practice. I pushed myself harder than anyone else and spent every available waking moment honing my skills.
And it paid off.
When the names of the team members were announced, mine was prominent on the list and his was absent.
I was thrilled. I had won. Victory was mine.
And then I met complacency for the first time.
And I started skipping practices.
And when I did attend, I applied minimum effort after all, I was already on the team, wasn’t I?
I no longer had to impress the coaches.
I took things easy. Enjoyed every moment of smugness and contentment.
And then one day the coach told me that I was off the team because my rival had never stopped working out and practising and his commitment remained unwavering while mine appeared fleeting.
You would think I’d learned my lesson and that I would separate myself from complacency and file for divorce.
And ever since that time all those many years ago, complacency has followed me around like an unpleasant neighbour who just won’t move to another area, patiently watching and waiting for an opportunity to ply its trade.
And foolishly. I have consistently and regularly provided that unity.
On more occasions than I can remember I have busied myself with my career and built a string of highly successful results only to, at some point, begin to feel that quiet pleasure of comfort and security and sat back, rested on my laurels and in so doing provided complacency with a platform to do its job.
At some point, I would realize, with a sense of panic, that desperation was causing me to go back and work extra hard and I vowed each time to never again allow my new momentum to slide.
And each time I experienced a certain level of success, that sense of self-satisfaction and smugness with my situation would provide the opening for complacency to return and for me to enjoy my success, without putting any further effort into it, until theday that desperation returned and back to work I went.
For the last few years I have successfully managed to apply The Habit of Non-Complacency thereby successfully avoiding the consequences that complacency always brings into our lives.
The trap of complacency is an easy one to fall into; it is only through fierce commitment to The Habit of Non-Complacency that I’ve been able to avoid falling victim.
Complacency is a dirty enemy as it plays only by its own rules and I urge you to be vigilant in all areas of your life’s lest complacency find a way in, and undo in a short time what may have been created over a long time.
The Habit of Non-Complacency is our first line of defence; we must protect it at all costs and honour it at all times.
Not doing so will never bring about a happy ending.
And we don’t need any more of those, do we?
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
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