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Avoiding Ruts

Clint Maun, CSP

Have you ever reached a place in your life where you felt that you were entitled to take it easy from that instant on?

It's nice to imagine a magical point in time where you can take it easy for the remainder of your life. But let's face it, that moment in time is pure fantasy. Even the people wealthy enough to "kick it" and kick back don't buy into the illusion of a nirvana retirement where they do nothing the remainder of their lives. These people, like most of us, are always looking for the next activity or challenge.

Do you have people at your workplace or maybe even someone in your own home that has decided to "retire?" From the outside it looks like their new purpose in life is to just "hang around for the ride" and let everyone be their servant.

These people aren't looking for new challenges. They are not interested in improving things. They don't think about their competition. The have no concern for their co-workers. These folks appear to have checked out from everything and everyone, including their family, co-workers, customers, employees, and friends.

This is "coasting" behavior. The minute you begin "coasting", you begin to lose your value. Anyone who starts "coasting" has to be going downhill. It is impossible to coast uphill.

Let's face it - what we accomplished yesterday is "water under the bridge, water over the dam, old news." We cannot coast on yesterday's successes!

It's what you are doing today and planning to do tomorrow that has importance. No success is final - no success lasts forever. Look at Michael Jackson, when he decided to give recording a rest, he completely lost touch with what was happening in the music world and what his fans were interested in hearing. His recent comeback attempt never came close to the success he once enjoyed. If you are enjoying success you have to keep planning new ways to keep succeeding.

As each goal is accomplished, look for a new one and keep going. When you feel that you've got it made, watch out! It's the first step into a rut. Each next step gets easier and easier. When you're dead, (we think but aren't certain) you can afford to stop peddling. The reality is that when that day comes, you don't care if you're going uphill or down.

Remember, "A rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out!"

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