Comfort and Complacency: Our Horrible Enemies

Let’s Kick Those Negative Jerks to The Curb

Deante L. Young
5 min readDec 30, 2020


Photo by Coen Staal on Unsplash

I read The Winner Within: A Life Plan For Team Players recently, which is a very compelling book by legendary coach Pat Riley. The book is as old as the hills, but it’s packed with tons of incredible insights.

One thing in particular stood out to me that I could easily relate to. It’s something that I’ve battled for a long time:


In The Book,

Riley wrote about the 1985–86 Los Angeles Lakers, a team which he coached and boasted a prime level Earvin Magic Johnson, a young star in James Worthy and an aging but still effective Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

That particular season was a challenging one for the Lakers, largely because they were the defending NBA champions, yet played large parts of the season as though they were automatically guaranteed to repeat as champions. Riley called it “complacency” and explained that it happens all the time.

Complacency sets in whenever a team or person achieves something, especially something significant and then rests on their laurels as though the accomplishment was the end of the journey.

Riley saw many signs of that attitude taking over the team and it was practically impossible to stop them from spiraling into failure. The way I took it, whenever we begin patting ourselves on the back, any chance of success going forward is highly unlikely.

As it were, the defending champion Lakers lost before even reaching the NBA finals in 1986, snapping a streak of four consecutive seasons making the championship series.

In My Own Life,

I have noticed that comfort and complacency has repeatedly set me back in major ways.

You can likely relate as well.

As I think back on those setbacks, I now realize that I always treated my minor accomplishments like the end all be all, when in reality I never should have. A major example of that is one from a few years ago.

In early 2017, I put myself on a healthy eating regimen in hopes of finally getting rid of the millions of excess pounds that I’ve been carrying…



Deante L. Young

Personal Development Writer | Deante Unlimited podcast, Host | Deante: Under Construction web series, Star | Deante Young Enterprises, Chief Creative Architect