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The Arrival Syndrome Thumbnail

The Arrival Syndrome


“This phenomenon probably limited the achievements of mankind more than anything else. When this thing infects us, we stop growing, stop learning. We ROT! We turn off or tune out the ability to receive inspiration-because we already know all there is to know!” This is a quote from R. Nelson Nash.

The arrival syndrome is the fourth of the five human problems Nelson discusses in his book. Nelson says that of the five human problems discussed in his book, this is the most devastating.

The Arrival Syndrome in the business world.

As an example, Nelson talks about the business consultant Ed Deming. After WWII, Mr. Deming tried going around to different American businesses to teach them his ideas. The American companies told Ed that they were already practicing what he was preaching and that they did not need him or his ideas (even though they weren’t).

Ed then shifted his focus to the Japanese. Even though their economy was almost nothing after WWII, the people there were disciplined. They put in to practice what Ed was teaching and experienced unheard-of levels of productivity and quality of services and products. This greatly turned the Japanese economy around and increased the global demands for Japanese goods. After seeing this, the Americans were finally ready to listen to what Deming had to say, and he was regarded as a business genius.  

Nelson also includes a quote from the historian Daniel Boorstin that said, “The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance, but It was the illusion of knowledge.”

Sometimes when we achieve great success or a goal, we get the feeling that we have arrived at our destination and now we know everything that we need to know. If we stay in this mindset it is impossible to grow.

How do you beat the Arrival Syndrome.

Everything in our world is constantly changing, and now that we are in the information age with technology that change happens even faster today. We need to keep our minds open and be curious to what others are doing to achieve success. The most successful entrepreneurs today credit their success to always being a student. They are constantly reading, watching videos, attending seminars, and building teams.

We must strive to do each and every one of those things every day to beat the arrival syndrome. 

A prayer which sums up the Arrival Syndrome.

Nelson shared Sir Francis Drake’s prayer before he went on his journey to be the first man to circumnavigate the world. I have included it below because it aligns perfectly with striving to overcome the arrival syndrome.

Disturb us O Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. 

Disturb us O Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity. And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

 We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push us in the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.