Complacency - Too Comfortable For Our Own Good

I thought of switching my job as I hated many things about it.
That was five years back. Today that same old job is just my reality.
How do we go from hating something, being depressed in an environment and then later turning it in to our own cozy comfort zone?

We become complacent. We adjust our mind to the current settings and learn to live with it day by day. And before you know, the complacency has set in and to leave or make an effort to improve anything becomes almost painful.

It's not just about the bad things that have clutched you strong, many mediocre things do the same. We are used to them.

And it's not just about career, you can probably see it in one or the other aspect in your life - relationship, health, hobbies etc.

The more complacent you become, the more we seem to be drifting away from the world and reality.

Sometimes we even go backward by stagnating ourselves in pathetic conditions. Nothing makes us realize what we have become than meeting the people you knew from your past. They know the past-you and the current-you.

Complacent Life
Complacent Life

We will fear and resist any predominant change, but we often fail to notice the tiny changes that are happening in our day to day lives. One day we wake up and just wonder how we've got there. We fail to sense that the world is busy in moving on and away from us. We fail to sense the change.

If you have read "Who moved my cheese?", you will recognize that Hem is a complacent character - someone who is too comfortable that he resists change even in dark times. The other characters Sniff can smell the change ahead, Scurry can jump into action right away in the direction of change and Haw can adapt to change sooner or later.

Sometimes I feel that if I fall into a coma for a month, no one would realize it. No one would miss anything - me or my work.

Actually, complacency is quite like coma or zombie mode - treading through lives in a haze. Our brain just gets to the auto-pilot mode and goes on with life just as it goes on with dreams - with no control. The slightest new thing seems scary to this brain as it demands routing away from the default network which it has developed over years. It becomes disinterested in everything slowly.

It's a silent killer. You won't fear the needle as much as a knife. But enough needle pricks will just bleed you same as a knife stab.

It's the anti-evolution. Nothing ever grows out of it.

It's the apathy state.

It's being numb to everything.

Remember Rang De Basanti where the gang kills a corrupt politician? Amir Khan talks about creating "dhamaka" to make an impact on the system's apathy. Because a dramatic event/change is noticeable and gets attention.

How many movies have been made on a protagonist who suffers from a terminal illness? You will see them wasting their life away or complaining about their bad lives. Then they are told about their limited time in the world - which shakes them off from their complacency and slumber. The time constraint makes them want to live  every moment and fulfill their bucket list.

Waiting for Rang De Basanti kind of "Dhamaka" or a terminal illness to teach us the value of the life is suicidal.

For some people, complacency has been their way of life since childhood. If they can speak like Bane, they would say something like - "But you merely adopted the complacency; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn't take an action until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but PAIN!"

There's a theory that one of the contributing reasons for Neanderthals(extinct Homo species) extinction may be their own laziness - lack of planning and designing innovative stone tools like us(Homo Sapiens).

Isn't Stockholm syndrome a result of complacency?
All those fallen giants - Nokia, Yahoo, Toys R Us, Polaroid and many more failed to adapt.
The ever running giants like Apple and Samsung struggle to have an edge over each other even when they are looking out for changes in the market and technology. It's not just about catching up with trends, it's about doing something beyond it.

"We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost" - Nokia CEO when Nokia was acquired by Microsoft

Sometimes the complacency becomes too much that it makes us act like victims. We blame the world for our problems instead of realizing that it's us who failed to adapt. And as long as we can be in victim-hood and self-pity, we will never take any step to do anything about it.

Even from religion perspective, Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins and Karma Yoga encourages action over leading an ascetic life.

When was the last time you did something new? Or just something you love?
When was the last time you made any effort in your relationship without just sliding it by?
When did you last meet your best friend?
When did you do something for your health?

Taking action always may seem like a big ordeal initially, but as we become less complacent and more conscious and active about everything, our brains soon pick up the signals and switch their default circuits to ones that get comfortable on being uncomfortable. There's no easy way to come out of it other than realizing the true impact of it on our lives and adapting as soon as possible.

Let complacency just be a short break than an eternal comfort zone.

"We must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that."



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