“Everything you do in life is a decision but an overarching principle is that it is a decision whether you are going to do something or not…”
What is Complacency?
To really understand anti-complacency lets first define complacency
Complacency is the general state of not trying to actively change the way your circumstances are for the better. It usually means that you are just satisfied with what you have or are willing to adjust what you do to meet the needs of the system.
This is where the real damage of complacency comes because it systematically training yourself to be okay with what you have got and not try to improve your circumstance. This stops your ability to grow and therefore, how much you can impact the world
Complacency is easy which is why it is the natural default that many of us go back on. As long as the situation isn’t horrible its usually easier, simpler or less thought-intensive to procrastinate (a form of complacency) or just simply do nothing and adjust.
Anti-complacency just like the name suggests is actively training yourself to not just accept the circumstances for what they are. It’s a good mindset to kickstart how you think. The importance of anti-complacency is that it also helps find flaws or inefficiencies in the status quo which can help you innovate.
BlackBerry a Lesson in Complacency
If any of you remember the good ‘ole days before the iPhone (I sure don’t), then you’d remember BlackBerry the market giant. It designed cutting edge phones for multiple years with that iconic keyboard. It was aimed at business professionals and the general consumer a like, but their complacency was their downfall.
In this case, BlackBerry was complacent in the innovation space, resisting to change and undermining huge competitors like Apple. In the years following Apple’s first iPhone BlackBerry’s technology stayed constant, lacking innovation and cashing in on loyalty. Tl:dr they were complacent pushing the system, making poorly supported devices and underestimating the competition.
Some would call it arrogance while others would call it sheer stupidity but the fact is their willingness to stay stagnant and ignore change cause their ultimate demise.
Oof that was a billion-dollar mistake…
Ultimately complacency is a behaviour and more so, a group of behaviours coming together and creating a vicious cycle of inaction. It becomes most harmful when the effects on set slowly and the best solution is training yourself to actively avoid staying complacent. Obviously you should do this with balance (pick what’s actually meaningful) and carefully consider the impacts of your actions.
Here are three ways I stay anti-complacent
- Question the purpose of directions > You get directions from people for a reason, but what is it
- Keep checking arrogance > constantly remind yourself not to be arrogant and if you are, know it and accept it
- Think through easy stuff > if its easy why is it easy, what does it mean when you’re doing something with ease?
Ultimately, complacency is a decision, a decision not to change? Yes. But a decision nonetheless.