We rarely get credit for not messing up a good thing. A number of years ago, a politician put it this way, “The most thankless decision I make is the one that prevents something bad from happening, because I can never prove that I prevented something even worse!”
Because there’s no big show of change, there’s no shiny, new object when you make the decision to preserve something, most people rarely ask themselves “What in my life is worth keeping?”
When it comes to behavioral change, successful people, by definition, are doing a lot of things correctly, so they have a lot to preserve. Yet, they also have a baseline urge that equates steady advancement with constant improvement. They’re geared to fight the status quo, not maintain it. When they face the choice of being good or getting even better, they instinctively opt for the latter—and risk losing some desirable qualities.
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