Kevin Bell

Complacency Kills

Being content does not mean being complacent. By nature contentment is a state of happiness while still maintaining proactively in the pursuit of more. There’s a peaceful feeling to being content and happy for your progress as well as for the progress of others.

Being content is a subtle confidence in yourself and genuinely happy for the stage you’re in, while ALSO happy and supportive of the stage that others are in… even if they are further along than you are.

I’m new in Jiu Jitsu. About 9 months in as I write this. Which essentially means that every day I go, I’m literally getting my butt kicked. I’m consciously choosing to participate in an activity where most everyone is better than me. And they let me know that fact consistently. Being content is a state of awareness; with where I am and where I want to be.

And that’s the key word right there; “awareness”. Which is one of the big separators between being content and being complacent.

Complacency is a lack of awareness. It’s a state of uncritical stagnation. Complacency is a lack of motivation and passive acceptance of where you are WITHOUT desire to be any better. Complacency leads to missed opportunities and opens you up to the dangers and risks of feeling “secure or safe”.

In police work we have a saying that “complacency kills”. And in this line of work, it isn’t just a saying, it literally means that if you are too complacent, you could actually be killed. This means if you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, you’re not staying up to date on trainings, you’re not in good shape, you’re rusty with your weapon manipulation, etc. falling short in any of those areas will cost us more than just our pride. We might not get to go home.

It’s easy to confuse the two. They both can appear as satisfaction. But the origin of these two terms couldn’t be any more different. Contentment is an inner peace and happiness. Aware of your abilities now and actively pursuing more. Complacency is choosing mediocrity. Instead of fight or flight, it’s the third option, doing nothing.

Don’t roll over and lose consciousness with your motivation. Stay proactive in your growth. Stay aware of your strengths and attack your weaknesses with gusto. Stay content and satisfied with where you are, but most importantly, stay in the fight.

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