Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Set Schedule. Resident tech guru.
There’s a saying that if you don’t move forward you’re going backwards but the way I see it it’s not just driving backwards it literally chooses to move backwards by not taking every opportunity you have to move forward . An early 1900s actor Will Rogers is often said to have said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
I am convinced that this idea is not just a catchy saying, but a fundamental truth that applies to all areas of life. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a student or just someone who wants to improve your life, the key to success lies in constantly moving forward and taking every opportunity to grow and learn.
The fatal mistake of standing still
The concept of standing still seems innocent enough. After all, if things are going well, why change? However, I believe standing still is actually a recipe for disaster. Why? Because if you don’t move forward, you create bad habits.
Let’s say you’re a salesperson who consistently hits your quota. When you get complacent and stop pushing yourself to exceed your goals, hitting quotas becomes the new “normal.” You are no longer moving forward, which means you are actually moving backwards.
When we feel comfortable with where we are, we tend to stop pushing ourselves to get better. And when we stop pushing ourselves, we start slipping. This is true in all areas of life, be it in our personal relationships or in our professional careers.
One of the most famous examples is Nokia. Once the king of the mobile phone market, Nokia was unable to adapt to the changing smartphone landscape and by 2013 its market share had shrunk to about 3%. Nokia’s failure to innovate and adapt to changing trends led to its demise and so was the company eventually sold to Microsoft.
Likewise, Blockbuster was a major player in the VHS rental market in the 1990s and early 2000s. The company, however could not have anticipated the rise of digital streaming and subscription-based services like Netflix, eventually filing for bankruptcy in 2010. Blockbuster’s unwillingness to adapt to changing consumer habits led to its demise.
Ultimately, standing still can lead to sudden death. If we don’t move forward, we won’t keep up with the competition. And if we don’t keep up with the competition, we fall behind. This can happen gradually, as in the case of Nokia, or suddenly, as in the case of Blockbuster.
The benefits of moving forward
Constantly moving forward allows you to stay ahead, adapt to changing circumstances and seize new opportunities. In other words, you develop a growth mindset.
Mindset is important. In fact, it is the most important thing next to your skills. Because if you constantly put pressure on yourself to learn and grow, you are more likely to develop a growth mindset that can serve you well in all areas of life. The benefits of a growth mindset include being more resilient, flexible, and better able to overcome challenges.
You will also likely achieve more. If you always strive to get better, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. When you master the art of thinking small, you can set higher goals, take on bigger challenges, and ultimately achieve greater success.
Finally, the old adage “if you don’t move forward, you move backwards” is not just a catchy phrase, but a fundamental truth that applies to all areas of life. Standing still can lead to bad habits, complacency and ultimately failure. The key is to keep moving forward, even when things are going well. This means constantly pushing ourselves to get better, do more, and achieve more. It means embracing change and being open to new ideas. It means taking risks and trying new things.
On the other hand, constantly pushing ourselves to learn, grow and embrace change can lead to a growth mindset, greater achievements and success we never thought possible. So let’s keep moving forward even when things are going well and take every opportunity to improve and thrive.