Disease of Complacency

A disease is spreading in our country, leaving in its wake death. It’s the disease of complacency. It caused the death of spirituality by causing people to accept eroding standards, to allow charitable giving to take a back seat to the American dream, and to believe a spiritual life isn’t as important as the 80-hour work week. It caused the death of marriages as people become complacent in their relationships, assuming erroneously that the hardest part was the wedding. This disease can be blamed for the continuous deterioration of our country by causing people to forget liberties need to be fought for every day. While many want to blame the Democrats or Republicans, the real cause is complacency, which results in the lack of involvement of the American people. This disease causes the death of companies by making leaders think they have reached the top and that it’s okay to enjoy the success. Complacency kills when people believe they no longer have to work to maintain what they have.

If an athlete becomes complacent and fails to push themselves in their sport, they will start becoming slower to react, will gain weight, and will decline in their performance. The same is true when we become complacent. People confuse complacency with contentment. Contentment is being satisfied with what you have; complacency makes it so you don’t want to fight to keep what you have.

Pit Bull

Even when a person doesn’t want to be complacent, it is very hard in our society to remain high performers, especially in more than one area of our lives. It’s extremely difficult to stay on top of the changing world and the torrent of information we receive. To be able to digest and assess that information requires time, and it seems by the time we digest it, there is new information to be processed.

Now, I by no means have the answer, but I can tell you what I’m going to do. Step One was to create goals in the areas where I don’t want to be complacent. Step Two is breaking down those goals into manageable steps. Step Three is being accountable in working my plan. I challenge you to look at your life and see what you have taken for granted. Are you a knowledgeable voter? Are you current on the technologies that impact your business? Are you active in your spiritual journey? Remember, all that is important to you can be gone in an instant, and the cause may just be complacency on your part.

Jana Axline is president and leadership coach at Axline Solutions and author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Axline Solutions.

3 thoughts on “Disease of Complacency

  1. Great points. I believe it is in large part due to our country’s successes of the past few decades. Ironically it is in times of struggles and challenges that most of us are usually at our best, as the cliche’ says ‘pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones’ (or maybe more accurately, off the great comfy couches). For a few generations now Americans have “suffered” from significant perceived external threats and challenges to our comfort. We achieved greater successes, decadent lifestyles, and promises of further opportunities for ourselves and even more for our children. From the 1940’s until very recently we were the #1 nation in the world in most measurable terms. It may be a norm of human nature that success always breeds complacency. Many of us strived for comfort and monetary rewards, and then achieved it… but at what cost?

    Another contributing factor is our lack of discipline. Freedom allows for this possibility. Unless we are willing to surrender our freedoms to the whims of others (whom history will tell you will always abuse their power), we need to encourage more self-discipline in our citizens and a sense of moral “rightness”, which is slowly dissolving away. If we set our sights on more noble purposes, our lives will have had meaning and we will continue to grow and improve. Ultimately we will be happier and live better lives. Without this grounding, there is no discipline, and without discipline, complacency rules.

  2. Jana,I just saw a lady who climbed Everest and one of her quotes ties well to this. “Fear won’t kill you…Complacency will.” Alison LevineKeep up the good work

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