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Motivation: The Cure for Complacency


Q. I've always tried to work hard enough to provide for my family and be content. The problem is, when I'm content, I get complacent, and everything starts to fall apart. How do I keep going and avoid getting complacent?

A. There's nothing wrong with feeling content. It's something that we all strive for in life.

The problem comes, as you have so well stated, when we drift from contentment into complacency. Let me give you an example of the results of complacency, and then how to overcome it.

I recently heard Clay Shiver, former FSU All-American center and former center for the NFL Dallas Cowboys, speak about complacency.

When he got to the NFL, Shiver, who played center, was the only starter on the offense who wasn't an All-Pro player. The team also had won three out of the last four Super Bowls.

The year he started, the Cowboys posted a record of 6 wins and 10 losses. Shiver said he thought the reason for such a bad season was that the team had gotten complacent, had lost its hunger. He remembered being in the huddle where two All-Pro Super Bowl champions talked about how they couldn't wait until the season was over so they could go on a fancy trip. They lost the next five games.

That's the best example of complacency I think I could offer you.

I can sum up the cure in just one word. Ready?

Ants.

That's right, a-n-t-s, ants. One of the benefits of having kids is you get to watch their favorite videos hundreds of times. In the movie "Bug's Life" the ants teach us at least five strategies for dealing with complacency.

1. Ants never, ever give up

Put something in front of them, and they will get around it, over it, under it or through it. If one way doesn't work, they will try another. If that way does not work, they will try still another way. And so on until they find a way around the obstacle.

There's nothing wrong with feeling content. It's something that we all strive for in life.

2. Ants are always getting ready for what's next

They don't ever rest on their laurels. In the summer, they are thinking about the winter and getting ready for it.

3. Ants are creatively industrious and resourceful

Ants don't complain about not having the right tools to do what needs to be done. They take what is available right in front of them and find a way to make it work.

4. Ants are always hopeful

In the winter, when they are holed up in their little ant mound, they are using what they stored up all summer and know that as cold as it is, summer is coming, and they are getting ready for it.

5. Ants don't seem to believe in the concept of enough

They store up all that they can for the winter. You have seen the acronym on restaurant signs AYCE. I used to think that must be some kind of special brand of food. It took me forever to figure out that it stands for All You Can Eat.

Instead of focusing on All You Can Eat, I think we would do better to focus on what the ants do, AYCD, which stands for All You Can Do.

If you constantly follow these five tips, you will consistently beat complacency. Think of it as being content and always hungry to make things better.

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MORE RESOURCES:

Stanford Report

Stanford research shows that working together boosts motivation
Stanford Report
Stanford research shows that working together boosts motivation. Stanford faculty member Gregory Walton found that when people are treated by others as partners working together on a task, their motivation increases – even if they worked on their own.



Phys.Org

Feeling Like a Part of the Team Can Fuel Your Work Motivation
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The way you're treated at your job can affect your drive. A recent study shows that motivation increases when people are treated as partners while working together with others, even if they're physically apart. The study, from Stanford University ...
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Morgan State football using snub in MEAC preseason poll as motivation
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“It's just motivation. At the end of the day, I've never seen a preseason ranking dictate what a team does during the season. It's all just speculation. All we have to do is come out and prove those guys wrong. At the end of the day, they don't know ...

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The Ranger

Chairs worried about losing student motivation to graduate
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President Robert Vela addresses a College Council member Sept. 9 in Room 120 of visual arts center as Dr. Kristine Clark, interim vice president of student affairs, listens. Photo by Ian Coleman ...



Chron.com (blog)

Some Rockets have extra motivation in summer workouts
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Though the Toyota Center practice could have been filled with the usual mix of prospects and veterans of recent summer leagues, this off-season those players have been motivated by the knowledge that some will still be playing when the off-season moves ...

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Forbes

Detroit's LevelEleven Revs Sales Motivation
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What do you do as a manager when the conventional means of motivating your sales team—competitions, prizes, inspirational speeches—fall flat? How can you leverage technology to help rally and focus your team around company initiatives, product ...



UFC

Yoshihiro Akiyama: Winning is the Only Motivation
UFC
Yoshihiro Akiyama: Winning is the Only Motivation. By Thomas Gerbasi September 16, 2014. Article. Comments ( ). "To win the fight. That's the only motivation." - Yoshihiro Akiyama. The typical question after a fighter experiences a long layoff is “what ...

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4 Science-Backed Ways To Motivate Yourself To Work Out
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Are you looking to make your occasional strength class or Sunday spin session a regular ritual? Many casual exercisers want to sweat more often, but they struggle with finding the workout motivation to make fitness a part of their daily routine ...

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Motivation for your morning workout routines
Today.com
Get set the night before. Eliminate decision-making by setting out your workout clothes the night before so you're not searching for a pair of socks in the morning. Fill your water bottle and keep it in the fridge. The most motivating tip: Set your ...



Late fumble served as motivation for Morgan State's Herb Walker Jr.
Baltimore Sun
By the middle of the fourth quarter of Morgan State's 28-3 win over Bowie State at Hughes Stadium on Saturday, running back Herb Walker Jr. had gained 118 yards, marking the third straight game in which the team had a 100-yard rusher. But with 3:27 ...

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