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Complacency: a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better: a complacent feeling or condition

“Complacency kills”; has anyone ever heard this before? I bet a majority of you have, and there is much merit to these two words. Everyone at some point in their life will reach complacency, and although it is not recommended, it is unavoidable. However, to reside for a long duration in a complacent state in your life is not okay. If you maintain a complacent status, then this means you are not learning or improving yourself.

I am a firm believer that one should learn something new every day.  A day without acquiring a new piece of knowledge truly is a day wasted.  Our days on this planet are finite, whether you want to believe it or not.  And it is what you do with this time that makes your life worth living. What steps have you taken today to elevate yourself one step higher from where you are right now?  Are you truly happy with the status quo of your life, or would you prefer to see yourself advancing?  Note that we refer to growth and advancements in the gross meaning of the word.  It doesn’t have to be as a fighter, an athlete, or a business, but also in your relationships with others, at a hobby you may have, community member, etc.  Do not let Complacency chain you to your current state. One day you will be slugged by life and realize there is no more time to advance, yet there is still so much you could have learned and done! If you want to reach the end of the road with more experiences than regrets (note all experiences are good in a way, as we should be learning from everything we do), then complacency must be a state of mind that happens infrequently. Set goals and work toward them to accomplish what it is you desire!

Too often, we struggle with this concept; too often, we revert to remaining comfortable with how things are instead of pursuing what we want. We create excuses that transcend into us justifying why we don’t or can’t do something we want to do. We do this until we finally believe that there is no way to do what we want to do because we have told ourselves again and again until we actually believed it. This is the way complacency kills…if allowed, it will sabotage our drive, motivation, and initiative to go outside our comfort zone and grab something we want by grounding us to believing we are satisfied with what we have. I am not saying your satisfaction is bad…but at some point, if you have no wish for making things better, improving yourself, or the world around you, Then what is the point of being if you are only here to exist instead of life?

Complacency has other ways of putting you in danger aside from killing drive and growth. When teaching self-defense, they often warn students about “living in a bubble” when out and about. This is true not only in self-defense but in everyday life.  For example: take driving. “Living in a bubble”, or complacency, is the monster that distracts us from being proactive versus reactive when dealing with potential hazards as they pop up on the road. Most automobile accidents occur 25 miles within range of your own home; according to esurance.com, “the relaxation we feel caused by the repetition of driving through our neighborhood likely plays a role.”  This is complacency!  you are comfortable and have reached satisfaction with how things are. Unknowingly putting yourself at risk because you fail to realize that today may be different from yesterday. It is the  attitude of “nothing has happened yet; therefore, nothing will happen now.” 

This same attitude occurs when one walks to their car after a long day at work. You have walked the same halls of your job, taken the same routes from your office to the car, and have never had anything happen this far, every day for the majority of the year. Nothing has happened yet, so why would anything happen now? Would you be prepared if something did happen? Let’s not only take complacency into account but then add distractions. Staring down at your cell phone while walking to the car instead of keeping your head up and waiting to use the phone later when inside the car and locked. Looking down for your keys and fiddle with them instead of grabbing your keys before you head to your vehicle. Talking on the phone instead of waiting to call that person later once you are in a safe area. These are routine things people do that can be observed on a daily basis, all of which increase their chance of becoming a victim, increase their chance of failing to defend themselves, and decrease their chance of surviving an encounter. Criminals prey on those who are unaware and distracted, it makes for an easier target, and an easier target means a higher chance of success.

If we practiced more vigilance and sought to diverge ourselves from a complacent pattern, we would all become harder targets. Keeping your head up and on a swivel, staying aware of your surroundings, grabbing your keys before ever leaving the building, and keeping your cell phone in a pocket or purse and not touching it until we arrived home. 

It is the little changes we make in our lives that can make a world of difference and even prevent us from falling into harm’s way.

Complacency is an enemy, not only to your mind but also to your safety. Remember that there is truth to the words “Complacency kills.” Do not let it kill you.

References

“Where Car Accidents Happen Most.” (n.d.) Esuarance – Where Car Accidents Happen Most. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from http://www.esurance.com/claims-info/accident-info/  where-accidents-happen-most   –

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