Over the years there have been many words that have really got me worked up upon hearing them. Words like entitlement, complacency and arrogance. These particular words really get the hair on my bald head standing up!
Upon reflection and analysis, it soon became apparent that all of them had one key ingredient – a single consonant that we, as humans are all guilty of using nonchalantly and repeatedly on a daily basis. This ingredient, this poisoned letter…this alienating, yet essential inclusion in our language is the word : ‘I‘
Let’s take the time to unpack one of the above three words in particular.
Depending on where you get your description from, (in this case, Google,) the word is roughly described as:
‘The feeling of smug or an uncritical satisfaction with oneself or ones achievements.’
So let’s start here. Complacency is quite honestly something that is both a word that provides comfort while secretly hiding its potential to destroy. This is because it hides one fact of life – inevitable change. The word ‘COMPLACENCY’ reminds me of a landmine. One cannot see the landmine as you go about your daily business but when you walk over one, it has the potential to literally end your life.
Now, while complacency does not physically explode in our faces, it very definitely can destroy (or at the very least, alter) one’s own life as well as, and possibly more devastatingly, the lives of those around them. The year 2020 has identified and highlighted how destructive complacency can be. While there is nothing wrong with believing in yourself, your skills and your value in whatever company you’re employed in, complacency relies on the impression that one’s present situation will never get worse.
WOW! March 2020 is when all of us where caught COMPLETELY unaware of our own vulnerability. During these 8 months post the international lockdown, many books have been read and re-read as they almost fell off our bookshelves begging to be properly understood. The one that really stood out and is the inspiration to the topic of this blog, was a book that has nothing to do with a pandemic or the destruction that this and others in the past have caused. But, the book, ‘WHO MOVED MY CHEESE’ – by Dr Spencer Johnson, sums up life in general, very succinctly. The book shares a simple story about four mice and how they wake up every day and go about their lives in differing ways. Rather than spoil the story, let’s just say that the actual point of the story becomes abundantly clear towards the end.
The late US president, Benjamin Franklin, famously quoted the following on the 13th of November 1789: “…in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” What a classic quote! However, upon reading ‘WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?’, you will (hopefully) come to the same conclusion as so many others have . And that is, that there is a THIRD certainty in life: CHANGE. The sooner we realize that our environment is constantly changing, the sooner we will be able to adapt, evolve and THRIVE. The more we ignore the inevitability of change, the more complacent we become and this is dangerous as it will lead to destruction. It is not a case of IF but more a case of WHEN.
In many ways, we have all been able to reset our lives and get used to the NEW NORMAL, but let me point out the obvious…IT WILL CHANGE, AGAIN
COMPLACENCY is a metaphoric virus – don’t let it infect you.
Let’s take a moment to quickly go back to the image of complacency as an undetected landmine. Should
one go back, after a life changing event that was unexpected, it is certain that there will probably be a lot
of warning signs to be found. The most likely: ‘DANGER : DO NOT ENTER’ signs that were in plain sight
BUT COMPLACENCY BLINDED YOU!
Supposedly hindsight is truly…(OH NO, HERE IT COMES)…2020. But truthfully, all is not lost. In closing, the word ‘I’ has only been used twice (IN RED BOLD) in this blog in order to emphasize the fact that, while it is always difficult to avoid focusing on your own personal problems or how you’ve had it bad, PLEASE REMEMBER that there are MILLIONS out there who have had it much worse. Remember also that change is inevitable so, EXPECT the change and focus on becoming your very own WORLD CHANGER.