If you’re not going upward, the only direction you can go is down. To stagnate is to surrender; to do nothing for yourself; to give up on a better day completely. If we sit around feeling good enough in all aspects of life, or just too lazy to fix them, well, as Albert Einstein put it, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Olympic athletes are some of our culture’s most respected people. They swim, jump, run and throw with amazing skill and efficiency, nearly perfect as some may say. They sit at the tip-top of the world and still aren’t satisfied. The sky is the limit to them in a world where the atmosphere rises daily, yet we look at them as “perfect people.”
Imagine if these “perfect” people had set a previous benchmark of performance as “good enough,” and were satisfied with their performance enough to simply stay at that level. They would never be quite as good as they are today. They may take home a bronze instead of a gold, or may have never made it to the Olympics at all. To see those people never use that potential would be a shame, and maybe many of us are cheating ourselves for not trying as hard as we can to be the best we can.
Even little things can keep us going. Learning to do yo-yo tricks, or learning to play an instrument, can be just as good as becoming a great athlete if you can learn to appreciate the incremental gains made while improving. Half of the fun of self-improvement is the pride gained while doing it from breaking what were previously boundaries and limits.
I don’t get the point of sitting around anyway. Being a lazy person myself, I can appreciate a good period of doing nothing, but a life of sameness seems extremely boring. When people say “Same stuff, different day,” I’m not always sure if I can feel sorry for them. Especially if the person never takes a good look at his life and ask himself if there’s anything that could be better. Even if the things aren’t there to make it happen, getting those things could be worked toward. I would still imagine it’s better than doing the same thing day in and day out, which turns you robotic after a while.