Resting on your Laurels

It’s been a bit of a challenging week.  I’ve had to deal with some challenging people this week.  At times it seems like a never-ending struggle.  However it did get me to think about what made dealing with these people so difficult and what I could do to avoid ever being like them myself.  It got me pondering the danger of complacency.

In either your professional or personal life, resting on your laurels is a dangerous spot to fall.  For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it refers to being completely satisfied with what you’ve done yet making no effort to continue improving in any way.  It’s about setting the goal to climb the mountain.  You struggle and pull every inch of the way to get there.  Through sweat and toil, you get to the very top and you’ve reached the summit.  You stop and turn around to look all around you at the majesty of the mountain top.  And then, you sit down and decide you’re never getting up again.

A lot of people get into this rut.  It’s a very silent danger.  You say “I’ve completed my mission and reached my goal.”  You’ve done what set out to accomplish.  But what does this lead to?  What do you do with that accomplishment?

Life is not about goals, but rather a series of goals, with each one building on another.  We take the knowledge and experience of the first goal and apply it to the next.  Think on this example.  We spend our years in high school studying, taking tests, and learning lessons.  Then one day we reach our goal.  We walk across the stage and get our diploma – we’ve graduated.  But what happens then?  Well, we all set a new goal based on the last.  We might decide to go to college.  From there, we set to goal to further our education and work towards to new goal of a second graduation.  After that, we look toward the next goal of a good job that we’re now trained to perform.  And the cycle goes on in on.  This same pattern can be applied to every aspect of our lives.

Here’s the challenge:  if things aren’t moving forward, they’re moving backward.  Some of you might challenge this, but allow me to explain.  For ourselves personally, we might get to a point where we just want a break.  Perfectly normal way of thinking and actually wise to do from time to time.  But then that pattern of improvement becomes a full fledged stall.  To us, we aren’t going anywhere.  But when we start thinking about the collective, or those that are impacted by the things that we do, those people can become negatively affected by our lack of improvement.

I hear a lot of people every day talk about how “so and so” is always trying to show them up or playing the game of one-upsmanship.  The truth is if we don’t take the reigns and decide to push ourselves forward, others will always end up leap frogging us.  Others who have set their goals will not always wait for us to get moving, but instead will take the opportunity to push themselves beyond.  This is how motivation and determination flourish.  Resting on your laurels will lead to being left behind and when surrounded by more ambitious people will expose us as complacent.  Push yourself to be better, stronger, faster.  You might just be impressed with what you can accomplish.

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~ by bfmooz on July 17, 2011.

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