I’m the type of person that hates to rest on her laurels. Before I achieve one goal, I’m typically thinking about the next one. In fact, one of my biggest fears is the idea of becoming complacent because I’m too busy basking in the memory of my former glory.
Take my running pursuits for instance. I’ve run three 100 mile races, a couple of triathlons, and several ‘shorter’ distance races. But to me, it’s like I’ve never raced at all. In my mind there’s no finish line. There’s no such thing as retirement or discontinuing what you love to do. Don’t get me wrong–wheres we might need to slow down a bit due to life’s demands, I’ve never believed in being overly satisfied with one type of achievement.
In order to overcome the inertia caused by complacency we need to actively and consistently seek out challenges. It’s what makes us human. And in my experience, the people that are the most dissatisfied with their lives or with themselves, are the ones that live in perpetually states of past achievements.
Good is the enemy of great…
When you’re lamenting over how good you used to be at swimming, running, working out or how you used to look at a smaller size, somewhere out there your competitor has a fire in their belly and is not content with simply being good. They want to be great or excellent, because they understand that there’s no finish line.
When you rest on your laurels it means that you are in a state of plateau and let’s face it, if you do the same shit time and time again you’ll end up with the same results. When we make the conscious decision to create new challenges for ourselves, suddenly, new opportunities for growth are presented. One of my greatest mentors, Oprah, is a prime example of this. Take for instance her television network, OWN. In 2011 the network launched with big promise but unfortunately did not live up to the hype created by various media. Rather than throw in the towel, Oprah decided to dig her heels in and move forward with her vision. The lesson? Today’s success does not guarantee tomorrow’s results. If Oprah can’t snap her fingers and create success, there’s no way any of us mere mortals can either. But we can certainly continue to try.
It’s a fact of nature that once we stop growing, we die. So instead of using your past accomplishments to fall back on, start working on new ones.