“The greatest enemy of tomorrow’s success is yesterday’s success.” – Rick Warren
Have you ever thought you knew something, only to find out what you thought you knew was wrong? Arrival Syndrome is when you think you know everything and have no room left to learn or grow. This phenomenon can limit achievement and be a huge stumbling block to personal development and future success. Is Arrival Syndrome something you experienced before and could it be sabotaging your success?
Take the story of Ed Deming. Ed Deming was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant. Educated initially as an electrical engineer and later specializing in mathematical physics, he helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He taught the Japanese the idea of quality.
Shortly after World War II, Ed tried to teach some of his ideas to businesses in America but with a lot of push back. Many businesses owners told him they were already practicing what he was preaching and felt they understood the ramifications of his concepts and teachings, but they didn’t.
With his ideas not being received in the US, Ed shifted his focus to Japan. Even though the Japanese economy was struggling greatly after World War II, the Japanese were disciplined and willing to listen and practice Deming’s ideas. Deming’s ideas helped turn a non-existent Japanese economy around and increase the global demand for Japanese goods. To this day, the Japanese are reputed for their superior quality of services and products.
It was years later before American manufacturers would embrace the ideas of Deming and regard him as a business genius. Because of Arrival Syndrome, they paid the price by missing out on the opportunity to improve and grow their operations.
Arrival Syndrome is equivalent to a fixed mindset; you know everything, so what is the point in learning something new? It can be a common mindset trap you fall into when you hit a big goal or achieve success in some way, shape or form, especially if you invested a lot of time and effort.
For example, you might think years of getting an academic education and landing your first job; you might develop a sense of Arrival Syndrome. The reality is, the first job you land is just the start of your career. And when you get married, buy your first home, and have children, you might think the same way after reaching such monumental life milestones.
When you feel you have arrived at your destination, life comes to a standstill. You slip into the comfort zone and will block yourself from learning, growing and possibly achieving new levels of success you didn’t know were possible. Real growth starts out of the comfort zone.
Life is not a destination but a continuum, a journey. Being successful and having a growth mindset can only transpire if you stay open to the assumption of never arriving in the first place.
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