Overcome Complacency

Go beyond Good - Conquer Internal Barriers (4)

Good is the enemy of great - Jim Collins

Many years ago, a friend came to visit us in September and he brought us many live crabs he just caught from sea. I got excited to cook the crabs for our dinner. I added crabs into a pot with boiling water but the crabs immediately jumped out and I even got my fingers burned by the hot water.


My friend laughed and said, “I can tell you do not know how to boil crabs. You should put them in the pot with cold water then gradually heat the water so they will not aware then they die and become your dinner on the table.” He explained further, “The crabs in the pot will do nothing at the beginning. In fact they may enjoy the warm environment. When the temperature gradually increases, they become groggier and groggier until they are unable to climb out of the pot. They do not realize the slow gradual changes in the environment eventually will kill them.”

You are on the journey to grow to your fullest, Step 2, conquering oneself series 4. In the last two blogs, we discussed how to die to our ego and the secret weapon to driver away fears. Today let’s discuss overcoming complacency so we will not die like the crabs in a pot without realizing dangers in a comfortable environment.

Self content or complacency is one of barriers most people face to grow to their fullest. When people feel satisfied with life, they lose the passion to chase something better.


Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. —Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don’t


We do not live a great life because we live a good life; we choose not to grow and become our fullest selves because we have a pretty good life. The road to our best is often the road less traveled and the fact that good is the enemy of great is our main problem. The state of being good makes us feel comfortable and settle for less than we deserve. To be our best, we have to be aware of our “good” states, break out of them, and move on to something that is better for us. Otherwise, we may die in our complacency just like crabs die in a pot with water is gradually heated up.


Adversaries in life are usually blessings in disguise. When problems come into our lives, they unleash the creativity in us; when we are pushed by our sense of urgency, we try to free ourselves from the problems by searching for solutions. We desire to explore our betterment by transcending the current situation.


Tulips usually bloom better in spring after a colder and worse winter than a mild winter. Just like tulips, we must endure cold winters in order to have a full blossom too. When life is warm and ideal, it paralyzes the inner energy needed to break through the shells of the seeds. It causes us to lose the passion to bloom, we are thus not able to unleash our splendid inner glory; instead our very potential dies in coziness and snugness.


If you do not suffer for a moment, you will suffer for a lifetime. Proverb 1:32 also says, the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.


To overcome complacency, you have to be aware of your current state, constantly set up challenging goals. It’s good to take a break after accomplishing a goal but remember do not let the break last forever.


In the next post, I will discuss the last internal obstacles, procrastination and excuses, on your journey of growing to your fullest!


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May you grow to your fullest!


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