We have spent the past two weeks discussing The Habit of Non-Complacency and I have received numerous calls and emails from people sharing with me their experiences of how complacency has led to damaged relationships, accidents, serious injury, job loss, financial ruin and, according to one caller, a preventable highway death.
There is little doubt that complacency has entered all of our lives at some point and perhaps it is a worthwhile exercise for all of us to take a stroll down memory lane, review and revisit some of our past experiences and notice that only sheer luck has prevented our complacency from causing damaging or even disastrous results.
The Habit of Non-Complacency is our insurance policy against taking things for granted, assuming that because things have worked in our favour before they will always work in our favour in the future and the potentially disastrous thinking that permits us to do things we know we shouldn’t be doing based simply on the fact that we have done these very things many times in the past with no deleterious result.
Who among us can truly say they have never taken their eyes off the road while driving, not bothered putting on our seatbelts because we are only driving a few blocks or engaged in some form of distraction while operating a vehicle.
Complacency easily creeps into our relationships causing us to forget the contribution that “please” and “thank you” make towards ensuring quality rapport with others and, even worse, can easily lead us to taking for granted those very people who mean the most to us.
As I listened to the stories of those who contacted me the one word that kept repeating itself inside my head was the word “preventable.”
Every story shared with me was a story where this word could have been used to explain why the events described need not have happened.
In each case the actions of one or more people choosing to do what they knew they shouldn’t be doing or not doing what they knew they should be doing because of an overconfidence that they would “get away with it” or a false sense of certainty that nothing would go wrong created a consequence of pain and despair not only for themselves but also for others.
The Habit of Non-Complacency is one that needs to be firmly entrenched in our very being so that it can serve as a reminder that the past does not equal the future which means that just because something bad has not happened before does not mean that it cannot happen now.
The Habit of Non-Complacency teaches us to be vigilant each and every time, to never let down our guard, to not to take anyone or anything for granted and to never assume we can get away with shortcuts.
It also does one more thing. By following The Habit of Non-Complacency we can be assured that the energy saved by taking a shortcut here, cutting a corner there or taking an unwarranted risk will never be spent fuelling a lifetime of regret.
Which makes The Habit of Non-Complacency worthwhile indeed.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
Finally, after months in the works, my company’s new website is up. Please take a moment and visit www.strategicpathways.net . Browse through this site and then click on the “Contact Us” tab or firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think.
Your opinion truly means a lot to me.