The term ‘Rest on your laurels’ can be traced back to ancient Roman history where victorious generals were adorned with crowns made of laurel wreaths as a sign of success and victory. These Roman generals would then go on to spend majority of their lives basking in the euphoria of their past glories and successes.

A ‘laureate’ still remains a prestigious title today as recipients of the coveted Nobel Prize are referred to as Nobel Laureates.

Past successes and accolades are indeed worth celebrating, however, they can impede progress. Resting on laurels has become the biggest mistake individuals and businesses have made in the modern era.

Let’s take a look at the sad tale of the once popular smartphone brand known as Blackberry

As at 2010, Blackberry accounted for nearly a fifth of the world’s smartphone market. Blackberry kept savouring their successes in the smartphone business as they failed to recognize/accept the threat posed by the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.

The market was gradually moving from physical keyboards on smartphones to touchscreens. The growth of IOS and Android is a testimony to this. However, Blackberry stubbornly stuck with the physical keyboards which sped up their downfall. They simply rested on their laurels.

However, in a world that is ever competitive and constantly craving for something new and creative, relying on your past success is a big risk that no one can afford to make. Success is a never ending journey; it’s not a destination.

Ability to build on past successes on a constant basis is what preserves and upholds the relevance of any individual/organization. In as much as celebrating achievements or milestones isn’t necessarily a wrong thing to do, it is important not to dwell so much on them.

Move on to the next one. 

Now, over to you

What lessons can you derive from the Blackberry tale and how can you apply them personally?

Kindly share with us using the comments section below

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