I recently returned from a speaking event at Merrill Lynch's conference in Orlando, Florida. Three hundred top Merrill advisors were present. One of the topics I discussed was how to avoid complacency. It can be something many people struggle with. For instance, after you've had a great day of production at work or perhaps a great week, month, quarter, or even a year, sometimes the habit is to back off or get complacent. This happens even with professional athletes. When there's a big lead in a game, there is a tendency to back off a bit and maybe not play at the same intensity as they did at the beginning of the game.
In some of my keynotes, when this subject matter is necessary, I share the Michael Jordan concept of the score is always zero to zero. Whenever Jordan was asked what the score was in a game, he would respond, "it's zero to zero." He knew the score, but he made a conscious effort always to treat the game like it was zero to zero. He wanted to play that possession like he was trapped in the moment. A unique perspective, but it was one of the ways he avoided complacency and was able to keep the pressure on his opponents. Might explain why many say he's the greatest basketball player ever to live.
The next time you are crushing it at work and everything is going well. Then you suddenly feel the urge to go on cruise control. Remember to ask yourself the question, "what's the score!"
Stay positive and keep seizing your opportunities!
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