The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities. - Benjamin E. Mays
This morning I was listening to NPR when a report came on the air about the hurricanes that hit the United States this year. 2014 was a surprisingly calm year as there was only one that hit the U.S. (in North Carolina) and it was considered very mild. Scientists speculated we would be hit with as many as 13 hurricanes but fortunately we were only struck with one minor one. This is great news but the report said scientists were still worried. As it turns out- this could make next year more dangerous because now residents will have become more complacent and there is a higher risk that they will not heed warnings in the upcoming seasons. Complacency could be their downfall just as much as the hurricane.
Complacency can also be the sobriety killer. Often times when segwaying through milestones of sobriety people start to become complacent. The memories of their troubled past begin to fade into the romanticism of enjoying a cocktail. The pain and trouble that once kept them sober has since gone and as such has become only a faded memory of why they quit.Complacency is the true ‘C’ word of sobriety.
So how do we refrain from becoming complacent?
This is something I work on constantly. Complacency can sneak up on you in a minute.
Some helpful strategies I have used are:
- Keeping a sobriety journal- a journal to jot down your thoughts on what has been a struggle, what has been successful and what has been life-changing.
- Assisting people who have less sober time than you or desire to become sober- being around people who are struggling where you once struggled is always a great reminder of where you could be now. Assisting others make you wiser. Plus, it always does your soul some good to help others as you were once helped yourself.
- Writing down what taking a drink may cost you- such as respect of your peers, loved ones, your job, your parole status, etc.
- Always set your next goal upon reaching your last.
The last point reminds me of a quote by William Pollard:
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
So what ways do you keep from becoming complacent? Post below in the comments!