The Cure For Complacency

The Cure For Complacency

The hypnotic lure of complacency can seem irresistible at times.

  • “Just relax.”
  • “Take it easy.”
  • “Everything is pretty good. Don’t work so hard.”

This is fine if these messages are coming from your intuition, your body, or your heart. It’s when you’re subtly allowing yourself to settle for less than your fullest expression that you enter into dangerous territory.

With my personality, it’s easy for me to get lulled by the siren of settling. I can get by with doing “good enough” because my half-efforts are above average.

But I don’t feel good in my heart when I settle for half of my effort, or half of my self expression.

I feel best when I end my days spent — with that kind of tired feeling you get when you’ve left it all on the field. You can’t control the outcome of the game, but you can control how much you give. <– click to share that

Of course, most of us don’t hold back because we’re truly lazy or don’t care. We hold back because of fear of judgment and rejection from others.

We feel that if we really give it our all, maybe it won’t be good enough. So we hedge our bets and only sweat a little, because then we can always protect ourselves by saying that we didn’t really try.

So, the true cure for complacency is…

Not caring.

What I mean is, letting go of the outcome. Showing up and giving bravely, but not being attached to what happens. Just giving all you’ve got and letting the chips fall where they may.

When you place too much emphasis on the destination, you’re not really there enjoying the process anyway.

The result is then two-fold:

  1. You enjoy the ride more because you’re not stressed about the result.
  2. You get to where you want to go faster because you’re putting more energy into the engine.

So, be in this moment. Say yes to yourself and yes to life. Say YES to what your heart wants to give.

Fuck half-giving and false protection that really only sabotages you in the end.

Surrender to the giving. Let go of what may come.

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19 Comments on "The Cure For Complacency"

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Totally agree! Love the line ‘Give all you’ve got and let the chips fall where they may’. Agree with all your reasons why people don’t give all they’ve got but would also add another.
A lot of people live under the false belief that their life just doesn’t matter. They think that the system is SO big and the individual is so irrelevant that there’s nothing they can do to make a difference so they’ll never give the best of themselves. We’ve got to break out of this way of thinking.


I have done it for few weeks about a seminar project that I have got in my head for months. But I just decided that it was time to go from dream to concret project with planning and finance. That not easy but I know that I will finish frustrated if I don’t push until the end. Like for a woman it’s not easy to let go the baby !


Let the result just be part of History!

Do something and not care!

What a great post and topic Jonathan! In my experience this has shown up as procrastination for me. I’d known I was doing it and at times lacked the will power to stop it. I literally had internal arguments where half of me is telling me to get to the grindstone and the other half wants to watch tv, clean, sleep, or any other activity other than what’s most important. In journaling, I remembered how as a kid improvement was all that mattered… And it was a lot easier to improve from the bottom – keep expectations low. And like… Read more »
Nishant Jain

Loved the article. How true it is.


Another reason: ‘I’m not putting myself out for him or her.’ Comes when the reason for giving your all comes from without when it should come from within. Do it for you. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the haters care.

So true, so true. It is easy to say focus on the giving and forget about the outcome. What if you need to pay your rent, etc. with the results of that you gave? I have been trapped in that cycle for along time. I DO see however, that the words in this post are very true, be non attached to the outcome and let yourself be focused on the process. Hopefully, in the process you will be so present and focused on including the details and giving fully that, that in and of itself will bring about the result… Read more »
Virgin Dave

It seems like you’re kind of talking about two different fears blending together: the fear of failure and the fear of judgment. Right?

I definitely suffer from both. Not caring is a good solution but it’s really tough to practice. Something I’ve always focused on is my “reason why”, as I’ve heard it called. If you keep reminding yourself why you’re doing whatever you’re doing, it’s easier to not care about everything else.


Deborah: How do we give all of ourselves to something if we don’t feel connected to the outcome and aren’t invested in the mission? Even if we understand, objectively, the task is necessary? I hate to be a party pooper, but there are a lot of uninspiring, unrewarding, and monotonous things that still need to get done by someone. Sure, a handful of people might be able to make a living doing what they love, but most of us don’t. As long as enough people are willing to project false enthusiasm about, say, garbage collecting or data entry, we aren’t… Read more »

I don’t think there is anything more effective than this strategy. It’s not always easy to let go of outcomes and give it all that you have, but when you do the results (ironically) can be the most miraculous! Thanks for this post…just the reminder I needed today!


This is like another way of saying “Be mindful” and “Stay in the present moment.” If you put all your focus in what you are doing in the present moment, you are setting yourself up to have the best possible outcome. It just takes care of itself. If you keep looking ahead to the outcome and start worrying about it, you’ll start over-thinking it and lose your focus on the present moment and you won’t be giving it your all anymore. And the results will suffer for that.


M. Catlett

There’s depth of wisdom in this, and absolutely happiness in life as a whole has to be approached through detachment of this sort. Enjoyed and shared, thank you.


So hard to overcome fears of rejection, but so true that when I don’t care and finally do what matters are the only days that I don’t have anxiety at night and can fall asleep feeling satisfied at night.

Chris Hilbert

Really great explanation of “just give it a try — you can do it” that I have read!

Thank you!


“Showing up and giving bravely.” This is going to be my new mantra.


solid post. just wanted to drop a word of thanks for the blog.


On point, as always.

Lyrical Treasure

Leave it all on the field. Now that I love. :-)

I happen to be guilty of God, when I have a whole excel sheet of the awesome places I would like to take my work, but somehow I find myself paralysed by what the world will say.

Not caring is the one thing I need to get good at. There have been a few times when I have put it all out there and those are the moments that I have tasted the sweetness of my work.

This is so spot on. :-)


we can be great while still carrying around that ego weakness – it will never completely leave us, but we must just press on anyhow

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