Dirty Dozen #3 – Complacency

by Rajesh Setty on October 13, 2009

dirty-dozen-complacencyThis is part 3 of the “Dirty Dozen” series. In Part 2, we covered the word Status Quo. Today, we will look at the word “Complacency.”

Dictionary definition:
The feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction of oneself or one’s achievements.

Complacency in simple terms is  “resting on your laurels.“

Everyone knows that “past history is not an indicator of future success” but most people want to behave as if that’s not true.

Typically complacency steps in after a reasonably significant accomplishment. It is a way of telling to yourself that you now know “how it works” and you can “make it happen.” It might also indicate a sign of overconfidence

As they say, you are only as good as your last achievement, be it a deal (if you are a salesperson,) a company (if you are an entrepreneur) and a book (if you are an author.) As long as you are living, there is no finality in anything you do. It is the journey that counts.

Unfortunately, complacency takes the journey for granted. Complacency makes you think that since something has worked for you in the past, the same thing will work for you in the future. Complacency makes you think that the world owes success to you for your past efforts. Complacency makes you think you might have made it already and there is nothing more to learn. The extreme outcome of Complacency is Arrogance and that will finally make you fall.

OK, if complacency is something you should eliminate, what should you replace it with?

My answer: Hunger.

“Hunger” is important to make progress. Hunger is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Complacency is almost the opposite of hunger. If “hunger” is on one end of the spectrum, complacency is on the other end of the spectrum.

Go ahead and replace complacency with hunger and watch miracles happen.

You can also listen to the audio here:


Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

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