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Fearing Complacency

There's beauty within the fight

By: Eric Murdock + Save to a List

I'm not sure I have ever feared anything as much as I have come to fear complacency. It is a sneaky son of a bitch and you can find yourself succumbing to it's embrace without even realizing it, which is what makes it so damn dangerous.

For years I battled with introspection and fighting to find what I believed was the right direction to walk. Because of this I was in a world of constant change where complacency wasn't ever an option. 

After finally finding the proper path and achieving what I set out to I began to find myself getting comfortable with where I was and what I was doing. I began to grow... content. There are certain instances where this can be a great thing, it can mean exactly what you want it to, but only in very few circumstances does it. 

Becoming content is a late onset sign of complacency. I means that you are no longer being challenged and that you are becoming satisfied with your current level of responsibility and what you have accomplished. As I said this can be a good thing, but unless this state is synonymous with the highest level of which you are capable of achieving, well then that is a very bad thing indeed. 

I found I wasn't being kept up late at night with thoughts and ambitions. In fact for the first time in years I showed no signs of insomnia and I drifted to sleep without a care in the world, and ironically enough that was exactly the rude awakening that I needed. 

I was no longer theorizing concepts of philosophical construction about the world around me, nor was I thinking creatively or acting proactively. I no longer ran down random rabbit holes of intellectual curiosity. My restlessness had subsided. Had I produced a new thought worth its salt within the last few months? I honestly didn't know, and I began to recognize that there were bits and pieces of me that were no longer actively present and it scared the living hell out of me. 

Sure all those elements were there but they were subdued in a foggy distance, not crisp and agile, like muscles that haven't been worked out in far too long. And that's when for the first time in months I began down a path of self examination. I needed to identify what this was. I needed to give this damn thing a name, to quantify it into an identifiable opponent that way I could defeat it.

For nights I was again restless kept up by these thoughts, and damn it did it feel great. 

Finally after indulging in several unnecessary introspective rabbit holes, I found one word that defined exactly what I was up against - COMPLACENCY

Identifying no... diagnosing, was amazing. It was like giving the boogeyman a spotlight to walk around with. Now that I knew exactly what it was it could never sneak up on me again. But as is the nature of the boogeyman it would still try its best to hide under my bed and pull me under every chance it got. 

I particularly like this analogy because as we grow older we begin to learn that the boogeyman is just a figment of our imagination, and thus we shoo it away never to think of again. Well as we grow older we also begin to distance ourselves from our time of intellectual curiosity, of challenging ourselves, and we begin to welcome a different boogie man into our lives embracing it with open arms.

It's very difficult to identify when this happens because when it does you are comfortable and there's no pressing need to realize it. Some even go out of their way not to because then that means that they need to make a change and again challenge themselves, and again make themselves uncomfortable. 

These thoughts are here as a result of me again searching for what's next, and hopefully to influence you to take some time for your own introspection and to make sure you are still challenging yourself and on course for something better. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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