Complacency has impacted all once great nations: The Greeks, the Egyptians, the Romans, and the Spanish.
These once dominant empires have all failed.
Why? Because nothing fails like success.
Experiencing anything for extended periods of time, such as prosperity, health, or wealth, typically leads to a lethargic mentality, which brings about a sedentary life.
People get to a certain level of success and they get too comfortable. They stop doing what it is that got them to where they are.
It’s like Will Durant, the Pulitzer prize winning author and historian, once said,
“A nation is born stoic and dies epicurean.”
Stoics are people who are willing to put off present pleasure for long term gain. They’re investors.
While epicureans are people who are all about present pleasure. They live for the now and say things like, “You only live once.” Epicureans are consumers.
Epicureans are generally happy, but living like an epicurean comes at a cost. It comes at the cost of killing your hopes, your dreams, and ambitions.
In the book “Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” Howard Schultz, who is the chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks, talks about one of the reasons why he became a success.
“I was willing to trade short-term pain for long-term gain.”
Howard Schultz was a stoic.
The qualities that it takes to reach and maintain long lasting success like grit, hard work, and fortitude, aren’t alluring to most people. As a result, these qualities end up getting forgotten. But all successful people know the importance of having a strong work ethic, which is why they don’t spend their evenings glued to the T.V.
Instead, they work hard because they know the secret to success is hard work, discipline, and good habits.
They’re stoics, not epicureans.