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

Complacency – a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.

More than failure, people should fear complacency. We tend to become complacent as things become familiar around us. We crave comfort and less work. For our failures following complacency, we tend to look for excuses rather than identifying that the problem was a lack of desire in the first place.

IMG_20171230_204150_065I’d like to provide a few examples. In the English Premier League, After the “Fairytale” victory season of Leicester City, the manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked in the following season because of the abysmal performance of the team. Jose Mourinho faced a similar fate after Chelsea’s league-winning season. Surely they were not at 100% fault as probably the players were complacent as champions, but we have to agree that they did fail at their job to motivate players for continuing top performances.

IMG_20180411_001710_547Another example that comes to my mind -Final of US open Azarenka serving for the championship in 2012 against Serena Williams 5-3 up in the final set and giving little fist bumps to family and friends in the box. From that point, everything went downhill and she went on to lose the match. Of course, we can credit Serena for brilliant play but I’m sure a degree of complacency had set in Azarenka- it is just human nature. It just shows you should never touch a cup until you have won it.

Now the question arises, the ones who do perform well consistently, how do they manage to keep that hunger alive within them.

“It turns out that the two most powerful words in the English language are Well done


The trick is to celebrate the success without for a moment losing the edge and depth of the desire that took us there. We have to immediately start thinking about the ways in which we can improve.

Asking yourself a question after every triumph –‘How do I top this?’

“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted” 
― George Keller

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17 thoughts on “Complacency

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