The Most Valuable Life Lesson I’m Taking From 2017

“I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy.” — Trent Reznor

2017 started out like any other year for me. I had goals and ambitions. Ideas and plans. Things I wanted to see come to fruition in 2017. 

Probably one of the biggest and most life altering decisions I made in 2017 was to quit my job after 12 years and in the process, I learned that complacency is my enemy. Complacency subdued my creativity. Complacency diminished my sense of self worth. Complacency crushed my confidence. 

Embracing the unknown made me feel alive again!

It all sounds rather melodramatic doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. It’s my truth. 

I’d been in the same job for 12 years. For many of those years I had thrived. I had been excited and I had been challenged. Motivated and inspired. Until one day I just wasn’t. I’d become complacent.

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”– Andy Grove

For the last few years, I’d been …. complacent in my position of employment. I wasn’t stimulated. I wasn’t challenged. I wasn’t motivated by it. I was complacent in it. Comfortable. Neither happy nor unhappy. It was enjoyable but not necessarily fulfilling. I could do the job, pretty much with my eyes closed, with no heart or passion, no excitement and with some measure of success. I knew in my heart it was time to leave. I’d known it for a long time. But I was complacent. And I was fearful of the unknown. I was afraid of putting myself in an uncomfortable position and so I stayed, probably for far longer than I should have. And it was detrimental to me. To my confidence, my self belief, my self worth and my creativity.

Then I Got A Lucky Break.

If you believe in luck? In truth I’d gone looking for it. I just knew it was time and when the time is right, the right opportunities seem to come. And instead of being afraid and held back by my complacency, this time I just took a deep breath and went for it!

The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life’s greatest tragedy. –
Benjamin E. Mays

And that’s where everything started to change for me. I started to rediscover my self worth. I was excited and motivated. I had ideas, thoughts and opinions which I felt encouraged to share, ideas, thoughts and opinions which were listened to and implemented. Which yielded results, which in turn made me feel both empowered and proud. I got recognized for what I was bringing to the proverbial table and valued and rewarded for my thoughts, ideas and opinions. And it was liberating. 

This year has taught me that complacency can suck the life right out of your soul. Don’t let fear be your guide. Don’t let comfort be your shroud. Be brave and step out of your comfort zone. The rewards are yours for the taking when you recognize your value and step out of complacency.

What has been your biggest life lesson in 2017? 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms. – Colin Powell

Photo by Tim Scharner on Unsplash 

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