The Non-Linearity of Progress

in GEMS6 months ago

Complacency is a natural habit we fall into when life becomes comfortable. This is especially true when we’re satisfied with our achievements or the status quo.

During these moments, we stop challenging ourselves through seeking new experiences that help us learn new things.

Interestingly, this can seem like a comfortable way to live, until we realize that it is also a limiting one. In a sense that, it keep us from growing upwards towards the path of individual evolution.

Based on experience, one of the reasons why we grow complacent is that we lack a clear vision of what we want to achieve in life. So this often leads us to settle for what we have, without putting much consideration into what we could have.

I used to have this impression that the more losing streaks we have in the game of life, the more complacent we become. But this is neccesarily not the case, because I've come to notice that a constant winning streak can be a faster way to become complacent.

Success can indeed seem like an enemy, much like how failure can seem like a friend. And we prefer befriending the enemy more than the friend.

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When Progress Isn’t Linear

One of the common misconceptions we have about progress is that it is always linear, meaning that it follows a straight and predictable path from point A to point B.

However, this is rarely the case in reality. Generally, I view progress as non-linear, which means that it can take unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes, it may speed up or slow down, or even reverse direction at times.

This is one of the reasons that makes it challenging to measure and evaluate our progress, as well as to maintain our motivation and enthusiasm when an unexpected change happens.

There are many factors that can contribute to the non-linearity of progress, such as a change in external circumstances or psychological states.

For example, we may face obstacles or opportunities that change our course of action. And this could influence our decision to pursue a different goal or strategy that alters our destination.

In that case, progress may not be measured by the same criteria or standards as before, but rather by how well we adapt to the new situation and learn from the experience.

Psychological states fluctuate like the weather, which can also be akin to being in a rollercoaster. Mental and emotional states are always changing from one moment to another and this also has a way of influencing how well we progress or why we progress.

Suppose a writer who works on a novel for several months, then suddenly faces writer’s block and loses inspiration. This in a way, is a change of psychological state. And the writer could decide to abandon the project and start a new one, or take a break and return to it with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

Choosing the former doesn't seem bad at all, because starting something new is a great way to simulate the mind. But the latter is a better choice, as it allows the writer to go deeper on the novel and unlock greater levels of meaning.

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In a tangible sense, the writer isn't progressing while he/she is taking a break. But we have to recognize that progress isn't always visible or tangible, it can also be internal and intangible.

This can be seen as a lesson to not be discouraged or frustrated by the days when we seem to be making no progress at all or experiencing the non-linearity of progress, but rather embrace it as an opportunity for growth and discovery.

I think we should not always judge our progress by a single outcome or a fixed standard, but more so by a broader and more flexible perspective that takes into account the whole journey and the learning process.

Thanks for reading!! Share your thoughts below on the comments.


I agree wholly that a continuous streak of growth can make one complacent.
That is why this adage ‘failure is not the opposite of success but it is part of success’ is one I take very seriously, as it keeps you grounded to try some other way or buckle up.

Right, we tend to lift our feet off the ground when we're 'drunk' with success. Failure is a great way to keep our feet on the ground while moving forward. Arguably, we also learn more from failure than success.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Complacency is a killer of dreams and destiny

Yes it is, especially the former. Dreams need extended action to materialize and complacency is usually against that.

Thanks for stopping by :)

You're welcome

This is a good take on progress, man. I’ve never thought of it like this before, but yeah I suppose sometimes even without realizing, we’re progressing without even knowing it.

I especially agree with that part where you talked about winning streaks makes us complacent. We tend to get comfortable when we feel like we’re doing well. And in most cases, this is how you fall off.

Yes, I think realizing that progress isn't always visible or straightforward can be a game changer, in that it gives us new ways to gauge how we're moving forward.

Right, too much winning always gets over our head and we sometimes become dillusional lol. That's a great way to fall off, learn the lessons and get back up again.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Post manually reviewed. 😊

Thank you :)

Yay! 🤗
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