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Why You Must Stay Persistent and Overcome Complacency

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Leon C. Megginson

Complacency is a disease. If left unchecked it will destroy all the hard work and progress you’ve made in your life. In July I wrote about the ways to overcome complacency. I realized that I didn’t touch on why you need to overcome complacency. I never shared why I thought being complacent is the root of all evil, and I think this is key to overcome complacency.

Because lets be real here. Some of us are probably happy being complacent. We ‘re probably okay with the substandard at times. Being complacent for us might not be that big a deal, a simple vice that doesn’t cause much hard. This is the wrong mindset to have. Complacency will destroy you faster than a meth addiction(not actually true).

Why do I hate complacency?

  • Complacency destroys progress. It is one of the only things you can do that cannot be justified into achieving your goal of any kind. Even people who are overworked, and burn’t out can get complacent with working a lot and dealing with burn out as opposed to achieving their goal of being lazy. Which seems ass backwards but it’s true. Complacency is the ultimate destroyer of progress and moving your life forward.
  • Complacency is a great way to not achieve your dreams. When you have complacent in your life, you’re never pushing for bigger and better things. You’re not trying to harder. Instead you are letting your life pass you by and accepting mediocrity.
  • Complacency halts change. As a biologist, I know change is the only thing constant in this world. I also know that species that do not adapt to their changing environment will quickly find themselves extinct. From personal experience, I know that complacency stops change. If we let complacency take over our life, then we are quickly going to find ourselves obsolete and find ourselves overtaken by people who are not complacent.

How does complacency affect your life?

When you’re complacent with your life, you have no motivation to set goals or push for something better. All your growth and all your progress has stopped. You are no longer developing yourself and that is the quickest way to become obsolete. When you become complacent, you are effectively obsolete. Someone else is going to-do your job better than you. Someone else is going to rise above. Don’t be complacent.

How does complacency look in your personal life? You achieving the things that make you happy. Rather than setting life style goals that could make you happier and healthy, you begin to settle for the status quo and go for things that take the least amount of effort. You potentially start laying around the house more, stop reading as many books, and eat crummier food that tastes good but has no nutritional value. You essentially let laziness overtake your life.

Here’s the kicker. We all know that being lazy won’t make us happy. We know that if we exercised, read more, and ultimately did the things that brought us joy that we would have a higher life satisfaction. These things just take effort because they’re acts of change. Complacency will stop change. Complacency will prevent you from doing the things that make you happy.

How does complacency look in your professional life? You get set on a path to getting fired and not getting considered for the promotion. If you’re not developing more skills in the work place, taking on newer and harder projects, building new connections or otherwise trying new things; someone else will. And guess what. That someone is quickly going to out work you, out skill you and make sure they get what they want. And you’re going to find yourself out a job. You’re going to find yourself on the short end of the stick. Complacency will wreck your professional dreams and prevent you from starting the side project you always wanted.

How does complacency affect your interpersonal relationships? If you become complacent in your interpersonal relations, you are not making effort to build new connections or keep the ones you have in tact. This is the equivalent of starting a garden but either refusing planting seeds or never watering your plants. Effectively you’re going to be left with a pile of dirt and a bunch of dead plants.

This is what will happen to your interpersonal relationships if you are complacent. Why? Because people like it when you show effort and are extremely busy. Not putting effort into your relationships will inspire other people to-do the same and ultimately get bored with their interaction with you. When people get bored they find new people to hangout with; no-one likes hanging out with boring people. If you’re in a relationship, then your partner is going to move on. The sparks will stop, the connection will fade, the effort will stop. They will find someone who will not be complacent and put in the effort. Complacency is a great way to lose friends and push people away.


I hate complacency with a passion. The more complacent you become, the more you are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot let complacency pervade your life and ruin your dreams. You have to be persistent and actively push to achieve your goals. You have to rise above the resistance and push to make yourself better. It is the only way to develop a life that has true satisfaction.

Why You Must Stay Persistent and Overcome Complacency Summary:

  • Complacency is a disease. If you don’t actively remove it from your life, it has the potential to halt all the progress you are making towards your goals.
  • Complacency has a negative affect all aspects of your life. Your personal, professional, and interpersonal (also spiritual)
  • Complacency is the quickest way to stop changing and becoming obsolete. The more complacent you become, the quicker you will find yourself expendable. In the professional world this means losing your edge and getting replaced. In your personal life, it means losing friends and your the strong connections you built through the years.

Today’s Challenge:

Identify an area of your life that you are complacent in (or are otherwise unsatisfied with). It can be small or big; professional or personal. Make a conscious decision to overcome complacency and create a small act of change.

For instance, let’s say you don’t exercise as much as you like. Today, when you get home from work, go for a walk around the block. Make small progress and congratulate yourself for not being complacent.

Example 2: If you want to read more but never seem to have the time. Grab a book that you’ve been meaning to read and read 1 page. More then likely you will read more then that 1 page, but at the very least you read 1 more page then the day before.

Good luck and let me know how this goes in the comments below. Also check out if you’re serious about overcoming complacency: 5 Ways to Overcome Complacency and Achieve Your Goals