Becoming successful is easy. Many become so.STAYING successful is what’s not easy. Most don’t.
To stay successful, you have to stay hungry.
Those, in fact, were the final words of Steve Jobs (in 2005 Stanford commencement speech, and in general): “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.”
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The Key to Maintaining Success
Why is staying hungry so important?
Because the enemy of success, the death of your spirit and capabilities is: complacency.
Complacency is subtle and moves in slowly like a fog bank until it blankets and suppresses our potential without our even realizing it.
We start out excited about life. We have grand visions and big goals. We make heroic proclamations about what we will do and who we will become.
Fired up about the future and intoxicating passion surging through our veins, we tackle the unknown with unbridled courage and determination.
What Kills Success?
Then as we stub our toes a few times we start to heed the warnings of others. Those “who know better” and learn to play it safe. Our zealous enthusiasm is bridled a bit and we meld into doing things according to “best practices” and “proven to work.”
Finally, with some level of success obtained, enough social admiration and a feeling of certainty and self-esteem obtained, we become content. Our ego is satisfied, society has accepted us and we’re “off the hook.”
This is when grim reaper of complacency starts moving in.
It’s human nature. Our brains instinctively conserve energy by relying on things staying the same as a way to survive. Being complacent is easy. Changing something because it’s the right thing to do is hard.
Complacency spearheads our resistance to change. Fear of the unknown confines us to the comfort zone of complacency, particularly when we can convince ourselves that our current experience is good enough. So we stay with jobs, relationships, lifestyles, identities way beyond the vital learning curve.
We settle in …forever enslaved to a self-contentment that caps our willingness to move into the fertile realm of insecurity where our greater potential resides and our grand adventure awaits.
How many times a day do we react to growth opportunities with: “Yeah, but” or “Why bother?” Complacency entraps us in a dependency on situations that have long outlived their purpose, justifying all the “good” reasons why we should just stay where we are and not rock the boat.
Even if we can muster up enough creative energy to envision new potentials, we put them off, as complacency convinces us that we have all the time in the world to get to these fresh endeavors. Why take the risk, stretch out and apply discipline today when there’s always tomorrow?
The Cost of Complacency
But here’s the real risk: you risk LIFE.
It is not contentment that makes us happy. It’s actually, quite the opposite. It is the moments when we are striving, driving and reaching for something that we feel most spirited and alive.
Life isn’t worth living unless you feel it.
When we run from hard work and negative emotions, we are running from the very thing that we need to make us stronger. Too many times, people get into a routine in their lives. They get up and have the same breakfast. They do the same work, the same way day after day. They come home and do the same evening routine, possibly drinking too much or watching lots of TV.
And then they say they are content with their lives. They say that they like what they are doing and how they are living their lives. Are they really content or have they gotten complacent?
Complacency fosters depression because it counters our natural instinct for evolutionary adventure. The attachment to the status quo exacts a price. Our spirit is mutated when we imprison it in contentment. Our imagination atrophies, our bodies become stiff as it starts to shut down and die of predictability.
Don’t let the grim reaper of complacency take your life away.
How to Crush Complacency
Find a bigger “why.”
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And remember the secret that all ultra-successful people share. The highest of achievers get a little better every day.
Take the mindset: If you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind.
Here’s How You Can Get Better Every Day:
Here’s the easy part.