Complacency and Conformity are Demon’s that Destroy Creativity , Success and can put a roadblock in recovery.
Complacency always creeps into my life and then I get comfortable and wonder what happened to the last year…
It is now year of the Johnny 3.0 and while I was reading my journal entries for 2016 I noticed a constant. It was scary. The constant was there wasn’t much excitement in my writing. A lot was accomplished. Change occurred but the childlike intensity of how I viewed my life and experienced was lost in my writing. I was no longer experiencing my days with great joy and excitement. This made me look at my life in a new. Everything is great. Eddie and I are happy. We are not arguing. I had past my CASAC test, so in a few months I will be a CASAC and a senior counselor at PAC. My book Homeless Alone Hungry Cold: Street Junky is about have done with the final edit. My startup is past idea stage and modules are being written and rewritten. BUT something is just not felt in my words?
It didn’t long to figure it out. I hear about it once a week during one of my runs when I hear Earl Nightingale’s the Strangest Secret in the world, Very early in the recording Nightingale quotes Rollo May and says, “the opposite of courage today is not cowardice… it is conformity.” He explains how he believes that 95 men out of 100 will conform to the status quo in society and blindly fail themselves because they will not work any harder to be better than the herd.
Did I conform? I proudly looked at myself for most of my life as a non-conformist and this was a bunch of BS. I have always conformed. I have always been part of a herd. When I was strung out and on the street I wasn’t living by society’s standards but I upheld a code of ethics to the street. The code which is the same code is an unwritten law in all circles of men and women. The code is that once a person is stripped of every material possession our only true essence we can give to one another is our word and this is how a person is judged within the unspoken rules of the street. Still there are codes and rules and principles to conform, too.
Now that I no longer conform to the roles of gutter punks, or strung out ranks of homeless crusty punks, or bragging in a club of narcissistic tattoo and body modification artists, or whatever other career path I followed, I find myself sober, working a full-time job and losing the motivation and desire to soar higher. Why? Is it conformity? Laziness? Old-age? Exhaustion? No I don’t think it is any of the above. I think it is really the safety of complacency. It is happening the same way my sobriety went before. Detox. Clean-up. Experience life without dope. Start getting excited about not using. Learn Loads of fun inner work. Find work make loads of money work on my outer self. Start a punk band tour extensively and get bored…Then start feeding the boredom with gambling, alcohol, marijuana, sex, methadone, and finally the inevitable dope.
There is a difference in the system this time. The difference is that I am more mindful of my sobriety and definitely have not accomplished what I set out to do with the life that the universe saved. I have not helped enough people overcome the fears in this world that make them chose addictions or self-destruction instead of love.
My personal inventory has allowed me to uncover that I am truly a conformist, whom is becoming complacent and destroy both of these dangerous C’s because they are a cancer that will eat up my recovery from the inside quickly and quietly. I don’t have time to start over again. The time is now. It is the year of the Johnny!
How to not let complacency and conformity become the downfall to success:
- Never put off what you can do today for tomorrow! This is exactly what I did for most of 2016. I started off real hot on three different ideas and let them all become little sparks of interest in my life instead of the huge bonfires they should be by now. I understand that it is hard getting up and going to work and taking care of your family, but if you want to succeed and beat complacency you need to take decisive action each day.
- Get a little bit better each day. I finished Reinvent Yourself, by James Altucher a few weeks and his idea of being 1% better than yourself each day was brilliant. The concept must do with introducing new habits into your life by becoming a little bit better each day. Each night I now journal about what I personally made better about my person that day and during my morning run now I think of a way I can strive to make myself a little bit better the next day. It makes so much sense to me because I hear in the groups I facilitate all the time when patients who are working a serious program one day a time. After six months of out-patient treatment they realize the changes achieved are huge successes, but they were so gradual that it is hard for them to recall just how it happened. The smile upon their faces is worth every day of those 180 days.
- Wake up and exercise. I cannot think of a better way to start the day. I have been getting a workout in at least five times a week at 6:00 AM for over a year now and it feels great. When I don’t workout I feel like I cheated myself or I feel just a little bit off. Does anyone else feel like this when they don’t or miss their morning routine? You don’t have to get a membership to the gym or spend ridiculous amounts of money to get your body to move for 30-45 minutes each morning. You can do High intensity interval training in your living room, go for a brisk walk or run with your significant other or pet or self. This could be a great time to get both your morning meditation/prayer and exercise in and now you’re saving time and treating your body like it’s a temple for the gods.
- Start writing down and tracking goals. This is something I let slip early on in 2016 because I let myself get confused with a goal list and a to-do list. The do-do list started to get too big, never actually completed a third of it so the inevitable occurred which was a feeling of being overwhelmed. There are ways to not let this happen. Make sure your goals are SMART-Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely! An app I suggest you to try to help with goal setting is Goals On Track.
- I should have listed journaling first because this is where I found out I was drifting into a ritual of complacency. I can think of no better way to see and note your progress of the days, weeks and months other than journaling religiously. Well then of course you must read it or go back and listen to it if you recorded your journal into your phone.
These are just a few suggestions for you to try out and keep your life and goals on track. If you are in recovery I feel it is important to not let your daily life stagnate or become bland. Keep gratitude and happiness at the top of your lists of things-to-do. Smile and stay focused on becoming better each day. It is your life so believe, decide and act to achieve success.
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