When Stagnation Isn’t Stagnation

We’ve all been there. That time when you’ve reached a certain point, a plateau. A point in life where it feels like you are stagnating. Not going anywhere. That nothing is changing. You and your life are standing still.

But I have bad news for anyone in that position. If you feel you are stagnating. The situation is much worse than that.

Don’t worry too much though the good news is never too far away.

A quick Google search will tell you that to stagnate is to ‘cease developing; become inactive or dull’. The definition in the Cambridge English dictionary is ‘to stay the same or not grow or develop’.

The term can be applied to liquid and air. For water and air the Cambridge dictionary adds that it is when it does ‘not move or flow, often resulting in it becoming dirty’.

So water can stagnate, air can stagnate. Thing is, I don’t think people can.

I think for us the word stagnate is only that, a word in a dictionary. For when a person can be said to be stagnating they are in actual fact degrading. Their quality is being spoiled, even destroyed. Just like that water, they are going off, becoming less. If everything else is still moving around you, and you are at a standstill, then you are getting left behind. If you are ‘inactive or dull’ your world will feel that way also.

I thought I was stagnating once. In my marriage, in my work, in my life, and for many years. I see now I wasn’t. I was degrading. Everything else was still moving around me and whilst I thought I was just at a perpetual standstill. I was actually getting worse, my situation was getting worse. I was getting left behind by those around me.

I didn’t see it then. The ongoing changes were miniscule, almost imperceptible. Through my stagnate eyes nothing was changing. But they were. My ‘wife’ was falling out of love with me. My work was never satisfying and never would be. In life I always felt terribly unhappy, always carrying a sadness, a frustration, even anger. If I was that water? I’d be dirty. My worth had lessened. My quality reduced.

One of the books I’ve been listening to recently talks about the compound effect. (The Compound Effect: Jumpstart your income, your life, your success. By Darren Hardy). It talks about how small actions can be compounded over time and grow into something bigger. I think the reverse is also true. Small inaction over time can be compounded into something much bigger and much worse. You don’t want that. Believe me.

I would argue that stagnation for a person doesn’t exist. Over time you are getting closer to death, your body is wearing down. You are breaking down, being degraded. And that’s only physically. You certainly aren’t standing still no matter how little you are doing.

If I have learned one thing from the past 20 years it is that inaction, a lack of movement or growth, doesn’t just stop you from going anywhere. It actually takes you backwards, downwards, into an abyss of your own making.

I did say at the start there was good news. Actually its great news. All of this can be prevented. It’s possible to stop yourself from ever being in this position. And if you are? It is equally possible to get yourself out of it.

It’s quite simple really. All it takes is movement, growth, forward momentum. It’s as simple as continuing to find yourself new challenges, giving yourself goals (If you have none already). You want to know the best way forward? Look towards your fears. Finding and facing them will certainly help you develop, keep you moving onwards, keep you growing. And those fears? You might just learn they were all in your mind anyway.

It all comes down to a simple choice. Do you want to stagnate and degrade? Or do you want to grow? Do you want life? Or do you want death?

It might not be an easy life. But that death? It will be a long, drawn-out affair, filled with negativity and heartache. I know which one I choose. What about you?


35 thoughts on “When Stagnation Isn’t Stagnation

    1. Totally agree with you. I also think when you discover the power within yourself your world becomes a much bigger and happier place.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is very much appreciated.
      Hope you have a great weekend.

  1. Very inspiring Chris! I say we die the day we stop moving forward and it’s our choice to stagnate and degrade or to grow and live! No matter how small the steps are just keep moving forward because you never know where this will lead you!
    Thank you for this valuable share πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you very much Huguette. I am glad you found it inspiring and valuable πŸ™‚
      Living and growing certainly go hand in hand. As long as we keep moving.
      For me personally the difference between this year and last is quite astounding. And all thanks to seeking out growth.
      You’re probably sleeping and won’t see this till morning so Sabah el Kheir πŸŒ„

      1. Sabah el kheir Chris 😊hope you’re enjoying St.Patrick day
        My pleasure always reading your thoughts and I’m sure it’s coming from your own experience and hope the upcoming years will always be better
        Happy Sunday 😊

      2. Good morning Huguette πŸ™‚
        Ah yes, there will be many good years to come especially if this year is anything to go by.
        Wishing the same for your beautiful self!
        Happy Sunday also 😊

      3. Ah now Huguette. I take an implication from that that it has not been the best so far. If that is the case I am sorry to hear that.
        I really hope you get what your heart desires. Much love and good wishes my friend πŸ™‚

      4. Same wishes go to you! I mean it can always gets better especially for you, there’s always better
        For me, well I’m grateful for what I have, but what my heart desires is on hold I guess so I thank you for the heartwarming smile wishes 😊 probably St.Patrick will use some magic wand, let’s hope haha hope I won’t become all green (unless Hulk I don’t mind πŸ˜†)

      5. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        Am all good when it comes to personal development. Matters of the heart however…they’re a minefield. β€πŸ’£
        St Patrick using a magic wand πŸ˜‚ That’ll explain how he got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Unless there was none here in the first place πŸ€”
        I do believe there is a she-hulk. Have you just revealed your true identity 😁
        Oh I’ve just had one of your moments where I pointed out a flaw in someone’s post and argument it was based on, and only received a like on my comment! Guess some people only what to hear from people that confirm their bias πŸ™‚

      6. I hope he didn’t turn the snakes into people 😳 that will be awful πŸ˜‚
        Guess we will banned from Catholic Church for good 😁
        Well why not a she-hulk or just hulk I don’t mind and no offense taken you’re always free to think the way it suits you πŸ™‚no I’ll always reply and say what I want to say 😌
        I believe when person development is achieved, the heart will be wiser to choose
        Best of luck 😊

      7. Well now that you’ve said that I think you may be onto something. Some people are snakes πŸ˜‚
        Oh no, not banned from that lovely organisation with all its ‘friendly’ priests. How will I live?! It’s not like there are other religions out there πŸ€ͺ
        Only said she hulk because you are female. Thought it was more suitable. No other reason. Glad you’re not offended πŸ™‚
        As regards to the heart being wiser to choose. I have my doubts. Especially given some choices in the past πŸ˜‚ It seems to have a mind of its own sometimes no matter what our head is telling us!
        Best of luck to yourself also πŸ™‚

      8. I’m sure many are 😌 they are everywhere actually!
        Hahhaah friendly priests! Oh yeah
        I believe we don’t need any religion to have a good relationship with God and to be good
        Don’t worry at all πŸ™‚
        Well you never know what life can bring as I said before , life can always surprise you πŸ™‚

      9. I actually don’t have any relationship with God. It’s difficult to even contemplate that when a lot of the world’s problems stem from believers of one type of another. The Northern Irish Catholic/Protestant divide for example.
        Being good is something I don’t have a problem with…mostly 😜
        Oh and I’m all for the surprises of life. Especially the good ones! πŸ™‚

      10. It’s something personal and each person is totally free as long as you don’t do harm, at least this is how I see it
        I see many people claiming they are so religious and stuff and they are hypocrites and they are perfect at judging and hating
        I watch people behavior I don’t care about their words and claiming
        Well yes you stay tuned because you never know πŸ™‚

      11. I am all for people finding what works for them. Whatever keeps us striving to be better is only a good thing.
        I agree about the hypocrites also. And yes, behaviour speaks volumes.
        You’re right there Huguette. You just never know πŸ™‚

      12. Good morning Chris, hope you’re having a good start of the week
        Yes indeed as you mentioned, and best of luck in everything πŸ™‚

      13. Sabah el Kheir Huguette.
        It’s a slow start today. Still sore from my self defence class that was on Saturday! πŸ˜₯πŸ˜‚
        Hope things have got off to a better start for your good self πŸ™‚

      14. Sabah el nour 😊
        Oh I’m sorry to hear that but I believe it’s worth it πŸ™‚ no pain no gain (you’re lucky I’m not your coach πŸ˜‚)
        I’m having a regular Monday start, usually after the weekend you make some effort but all this good πŸ™‚

      15. Hahaha I believe you would get on well with my coach. He’s borderline sadistic! He has become a good friend and takes so much pleasure in my pain!
        Ah good, glad to hear it. My boy and I had a late night so we’re both a bit tired this morning. Another cup of tea and I’ll be raring to go πŸ™‚πŸ€Έβ€β™‚οΈ
        Hope you had a great weekend and have a great week ahead πŸ™‚

      16. Oh no, not this extinct at all πŸ™‚ Not even close to sadism, I don’t enjoy people pain at all but I believe sometimes you must be a bit rough and strong so you can improve!
        Great then, hope the tea will help to regain your energy πŸ™‚ Thank you, have a great week as well πŸ™‚

      17. Oh I get it. It has to be challenging or it’s a waste of time. Just don’t tell him I said that πŸ˜‚
        My tea drinking is an affliction passed down from my mother. Another big Irish thing. Just glad it’s not alcohol or I would be really suffering today πŸ™‚
        Take care

      18. Ok I won’t he doesn’t need to be anymore sadistic πŸ˜‚
        Well tea drinking is not considered an affliction I guess unless it’s harming your health, here we drink a lot of coffee and also tea, but coffee more, I believe moderation is the key no matter what is the beverage, and perfect timing of course πŸ™‚
        Take care too

      19. Great. Thanks lol πŸ™‚
        For my mum tea is the answer to everything. Worried about something? Have a cup of tea. Life getting tough? Have a cup of tea. Happy about something? Have a cup of tea. It’s quite funny actually 😁 For her tea is the answer to everything.
        Yeah, coffee seems to be the most common. Coffee shops everywhere it seems. I wish I liked it. Ah well C’est la vie.

      20. You’re mum is peaceful and calm I take it which is very good and quiet funny πŸ™‚ Hope tea was really the answer, we would have planted it in the backyard haha
        Well my mother was the reason for me to like the coffee and drink it, the Lebanese coffee. Yes most people can’t start the day without the morning coffee…

      21. We playing chess again πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        Gees if my mum could have grown it?! I dread to think πŸ˜‚
        At least our mothers didn’t pass on anything too bad πŸ™‚

      22. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ yes I thought you’re away and will not reply now so not intended
        Hahaha you would have been probably a tea merchant or soπŸ˜†
        Yes of course, tea and coffee are both blessings when you think about other stuff haha

      23. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I was having a little tea break after doing my chores. 3rd up today πŸ™‚
        Indeed they are. And this is coming from someone who used to use the other stuff πŸ˜’ More than happy with just the tea now πŸ™‚

      24. your mother must be so proud πŸ˜€ hahaa
        Yes I recall some of your posts where you mentioned the other stuff, I believe it’s a courage both to mention it and to overcome it…I can’t relate but I can see other’s experiences and tell how hard is to have such life and addictions…so WTG πŸ™‚

      25. Oh am sure she is πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        It’s nothing to be proud of. All self-inflicted after all. Shows a real weakness in character.
        Which is exactly why you have never had such problems I imagine πŸ™‚
        Had a bit of inspiration and some free time so I’m just sitting down to write. Talk soon no doubtπŸ™‚ Hope you’re day is going well πŸ™‚

      26. Well people are different and they react differently to their problems and life, but being in such deep shit and removing yourself successfully is certainly not a weakness, at least this is how I see it from my perspective
        Well, let’s say I was gifted by a very strong character, I mostly learn from other mistakes and of course from my own but for an example the drugs is one of the things I would never consider even though I had a very tough life, not even smoking…I rather face and fight…
        Enjoy your writing time, I’m at work, multitasking πŸ™‚ Have a good day and we’ll catch up

      27. Oh I can see from our talks you would rather face and fight. I would feel sorry for the other person in that situation πŸ™‚ You’re a force to be reckoned with Huguette!
        Multitasking?! You make it sound so easy 😁
        Yes, catch you later πŸ™‚

      28. Thank you for the nice words and impression you had πŸ™‚ well to be fair I never start a fight!
        Yes I work better under pressure and with multitasking, I focus more actually
        Have a good evening

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