All of us have seen what happens to particular celebrities and athletes who reach a certain level of success or performance and then just stop. They sit back on the laurels they have accumulated, and survey their world. They also are those used-to-be stars about whom people say, “I wonder what ever happened to . . . ?” Well, what usually happened was that they became complacent, and then they stopped working, stopped stretching, and stopped growing.
Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan once claimed, “He who’s not busy being born is busy dying.” Now, it is true that we need to take time to rest – to lie back, contemplate, reflect, sometimes even to heal. But if your intention is to be truly alive, you use that time to gather your energies for new growth, new movement, and new accomplishments.
Someone once asked Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, for the one piece of advice that would guarantee a successful life. Kroc said, “When you’re green, you grow. When you ripen, you rot.” He was talking about an attitude, not an age.
It seems that the old saying, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” continues to be true. The question becomes, how much moss build-up are we willing to accept? This question isn’t just for individuals, but for families, teams and organizations…even nations. The pandemic has caused a lot of things to stop, or at least stall – definitely a case for moss build-up. What are we going to do to shake it off, and continue on the path forward?
You see, it comes down to a choice. Every experience can be an opportunity for new growth, or it can be an excuse for decay. It is up to each of us to decide. Success can be a springboard to greater things, or it can be a resting-place. And if it is a resting-place, chances are we will not keep that level of success for long.