Resting on Our Laurels

A certain warrior received a medal for each battle he won.

His friends admired his courage and the women adored his charisma.

After some years the medals were so numerous that they covered his whole uniform.

One afternoon, in the middle of a difficult combat, the warrior was almost hit by his enemy’s sword.

“I have always been the best, and today I nearly lost,” thought the warrior.

But immediately he realized what the problem was: the weight of the medals prevented him from fighting with agility.

He tossed the tunic of his uniform to the ground, returned to the battle field, and defeated his enemies.

“Victory can give me confidence, but it must not become a weight to be carried.”

Story from Paulo Coelho’s blog.


I find this short story a fitting metaphor for us people who are satisfied with our achievements, and do not make further action to move on to something new to improve ourselves. Sometimes we tend to be overwhelmed with what we have at present, our laurels so to speak.  I, for one have gone through such experience with myself and have seen people close to me being swallowed with the pride of having so much to boast of in their life and career. Resting on these temporary glory narrows the mind thereby preventing it from  absorbing new knowledge.

We might not realize the impact of that complacency but it will then slowly drag us down, too late to realize that we have been basking on the glory that has-been. Waking up one day and seeing that the times have changed, with us being left behind.


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