Don’t take anything for granted!

Hi there, beautiful people!

Today I’d like to talk to you about complacency. About a human trait that leads some to take for granted what they have and rather than working to build on that, rest on their laurels.

What I mean by that is the tendency a lot of us have to slow down our efforts once we have reached what we think is our goal. We start to lose appreciation for what, at one point, was the be all and end all of our dreams. We start taking things for granted, as if they will always be there. But life doesn’t operate that way, the universe responds to work, to movement. As in nature, if you are not growing something, it is slowly dieing.

This manifests in a number of ways and given that I’ve done this more times than I care to admit, I’d like to share 3 examples from my own life and some ways you can tackle your own complacency before it causes you to lose the things you hold most dear.

1. Business

A few years ago, I was working as a personal fitness trainer. I had worked my arse off to get qualified, got myself a position at a “Big Box Gym”, gone through endless hours of calls, free training sessions and rejection to build up my client base and was doing quite well for myself. So much so that i decided to leave the gym to start my own workout space, away from the politics and sales of corperate gyms. I had 80% of my client base come with me and life seemed good. I chose my own operating hours, i was my own boss, everything was coming up Milhouse.

That’s where things started to go wrong. I was so impressed with myself, too busy pretending to be a big shot, that I started to take for granted that my business and clients would always be there. As a result, I stopped working so hard on bringing in new clients, looking for leads or devoping new programs for my existing clients. I wasn’t just not working as hard on my business, I wasn’t even working hard in my business.

Now you can guess where this is going, can’t you? I had clients fall away, as is the nature of the industry, and because of my complacency, i did not have new clients or income streams to cover the finacial losses. As a result, I lost everything. My house, my gym, some close friends and ended up having to move back in with my mother a month before my 30th birthday. All because I stopped pushing.

Had i been actually working on business, not just playing at it, I would have been prepared for the ups and downs of small business ownership. I would have had new clients starting to balance out the ones leaving, and my client retention would have improved as well. But i took it for granted and payed the price.

2. Health

Taking care of our bodies is often something people take for granted. So long as our bodies don’t do anything unexpected or untoward, we tend to just assume we’ll be fine. That is until we try on those suit pants that have always fitted us and now won’t button up. Or we go to run for the bus and realise by the time we get to the bus stop that we are far less fit than we once were.

In my life it was as simple as a few missed gym sessions became a few missed weeks became a few missed months and suddenly for the first time in my life I was over 90kg (had sat around 75kg since I was 17 years old) and none of my clothes were fitting right. My big “bum around the house” clothes weren’t so oversized anymore and the skinny but relatively defined physique I had prided myself on, was hidden by an ever expanding “dad bod”.

It was simply a matter of me not remaining aware that I needed to stay consistent in my eating and training and not take for granted that I’d always remain the slim man I had always been, it was going to take work.

Can you see a pattern developing yet?

3 Relationships

This is the one that most people fall onto the trap of and unfortunately , unlike business and health, this will be affecting not just yourself, but at least one other person as well. It’s taken me far to long to get this and while I, like everyone, am a work on progress, I’m determined this time the lesson is going to stick.

When we start off in a romantic relationship, we pull out all the stops, don’t we? We pay attention to the object of our affection, spoil them, listen to them, support them and basically do anything and everyrhing we can to have them become a long term part of our lives.

But as time goes on, we start getting lazy. Date nights go from weekly or fortnightly to once every couple of months, if ever. Quiet intimate time, cuddling and talking about hopes and dreams for the future gives way to sitting silently, staring at phones and occasionally showing each other memes. Sex becomes rare and when it does happen, it’s often perfunctory and lacking the passion and openness it once did.

We like to tell ourselves we’re “too tired”, “too busy”, “life just gets un the way”, or a thousand other reasons why our efforts wane. The truth of the matter is this though, you weren’t too busy, you just stopped making your relationship a priority. You put sleep, Facebook, fantasy football or drinks with your friends ahead of making sure your other half felt loved, supported and valued. You took her/him for granted, foolishly believing that you would always have them there when you needed them.

Sorry to burst your bubble, that’s not how it works. When people don’t feel valued, they will give you some time to right yourself, then if nothing changes, they will start to distance themselves from you. Once it gets to that stage, it’s likely already too late to come back.

So in essence, life is so short, so fragile and fleeting, if you want something in your life, don’t just work your backside off to get it, work your backside off to keep it. If you don’t you will lose it and you will regret it.

As always my friends

Get Up, Get Out There, and Get Awesome,

And stop taking the good things for granted.

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