Complacency: Definition, Meaning, & Quotes

complacency, definition, meaning, quotes, how to overcome complacency in workplace
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Trust me at one point or the other in your life, you have felt being over confident in yourself, or feel careless concerning things happening around you or even arrogant to some situations that calls for urgent attention. Here is a must read article on what complacency is all about, from its definition and meaning to some quotes related to it by some of our leader’s and hero’s both in the past and present also how to overcome it in your workplace.

first, let us understand what this term means. Just relax and continue reading.


This term is a self-evident expression that has been in use over the years. This talks about resting on one’s success, to be content with one’s present or past honors, accomplishments, or prestige. Another meaning can be of over resting indicating self-satisfaction and relaxation with the implication that no further efforts will be expended to acquire additional figurative success. It is interesting to note that ancient philosophers and poets sometimes kept success leaves under their pillows for inspiration, a concept almost totally opposite to the phrase’s contemporary meaning.

Definition Of Complacency 

The definition of complacency therefore means a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, often combined with a lack of awareness of pending trouble or controversy.

Also in the definition of complacency, it a feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble. Or can simply put it to be a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.

Complacency Meaning

There are several sentences that express the meaning of complacency to its simplest understanding. Here are some meaning of complacency put together.

  • A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
  • An instance of contented self-satisfaction.
  • Quiet satisfaction; contentment; often, self-satisfaction, or smugness.
  • calm contentment; satisfaction; gratification
    the cause of pleasure or joy. 
  • The manifestation of contentment or satisfaction; good nature; kindness; civility; affability.
  • A feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble.
  • the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself.
  • Also the meaning of complacency can be a feeling of being satisfied thus, with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better: a complacent feeling or condition.

Examples Of Complacency In A Sentence

  1. James Harvey Robinson:
    American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native goodwill, thoughtlessness, and optimism.
  2. Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.:
    To take the measure of oneself by reference to one’s colleagues leads to envy or complacency rather than constructive self-examination.
  3. Charles Koch:
    That’s one of my big principles. Success is one of the worst enemies of success, because success tends to breed complacency and lack of humility.
  4. Charles Lamb:
    Nothing to me is more distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction which beam in the countenances of a newly married couple.
  5. Hugh Cumberland:
    This image of the SWIFT network and the surrounding ecosystem being secure and impenetrable has however, encouraged complacency.

Complacency Quotes

Complacency as a strong word has many quotes, thus which are talking of how dangerous complacency can be to human lifes. However, these quotes are stated by some of the heros who had already seen and experiece what complacency can do in a man’s life. Here are some but not all of the complacency quotes listed down.

  • “The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life’s greatest tragedy.” ~ Benjamin E. Mays
  • “Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.” ~ Aesop
  • “What I fear is complacency. When things always become better, people tend to want more for less work.” ~ Lee Kuan Yew
  • “Don’t let your success of today lay you into complacency for tomorrow. For that is the worst form of failure.” ~ Og Mandino
  • “Sometimes success needs interruption to regain focus and shake off complacency.” ~ Lennox Lewis
  • “Familiarity breeds complacency.” ~ Rick Warren
  • “Change before you have to.” ~ Jack Welch
  • “The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.” ~ Alexander Fraser Tytler
  • “The downfall of every civilization comes, not from the moral corruption of the common man, but rather from the moral complacency of common men in high places.” ~ E. Digby Baltzell
  • “Complacency is a continuous struggle that we all have to fight.” ~ Jack Nicklaus
  • “Of all the things a leader should fear, complacency heads the list.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  • “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
  • “Why am I compelled to write? Because the writing saves me from this complacency I fear. Because I have no choice.” Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  • “A Christian’s delight, assurance, and fullness are the finest arguments. Christianity dies a thousand deaths when its adherents become glum and arrogant in their complacent devotion, restricted and repressive.” Sheldon  Vanauken

How To Overcome Complacency In Workplace

There are ways to overcome complacency in your workplace and they includes:

#1. Identify and Replace Bad Habits

Habits are difficult to spot even for the employees who form them. Supervisors and coworkers should observe and mentor other employees in order to detect and address workplace behaviors that are counterproductive.

#2.Perform a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

A JHA is a useful approach to overcome complacency in your workplace. The analysis begins with the individual executing the task, who then evaluates the hazards associated with performing the task. Being in a rush and skipping steps in the process puts you in jeopardy. Also, it requires you to concentrate on the job at hand before starting.

#3.Talk About Change

When someone is content, they are unable to identify or remember significant changes in their environment. It is essential to keep talking about change in order to intrigue the brain. Our organization has a safety meeting every week in which we go through near misses and the root. The reason, as well as the improvements that are occurring so that everyone understands and takes notice.

#4. Modify The Daily or Weekly Routine

Rotate job duties to prevent employees from executing the same task routine daily. This will keep the person engaged and assist them to avoid falling into a routine.

#5. Make an Effort to Inspire Employees to Create Value

In order for employees to develop their abilities and contribute more to the organization, identify methods they may add value. This helps the person remain engaged and looking for ways to improve. Additionally, they might engage coworkers and inspire people to use their abilities. To increase job security, encourage your staff to mentor and coach others, thus enhancing production, quality, and safety.

What Does It Mean to Become Complacent?

To be complacent means to be happy or have an arrogant delight with a present circumstance, condition, etc.

What Is an Example of Complacency?

Complacent means content with oneself and uncaring. For example, a person working in an office and is not concerned of the things happening around is a complacent person. Being Satisfied

What Is Complacent Behavior?

Complacent behaviour entails being cfortable with one’s own merits, advantages, status, etc. without awareness of any potential risk or defect; self-satisfied,” says Dictionary definition of complacency. It is an interior sensation.

How Do You Treat Complacency?

Methods to Fight Complacency

  • Remove any barriers. It  is the easiest way to become complacent? …
  • Create  meaning. Combat complacency, stimulate investment, and make work more meaningful by demonstrating to all employees how they fit into the bigger vision.
  • Teach and challenge.
  • Show them the way.
  • Celebrate.

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