"Complacency is the last hurdle standing between any team and its potential greatness."
Irrespective of the sport in question, the shrewd opinion of Pat Riley, multiple NBA-winning coach and President of Miami Heat, is on point. There has to be a restlessness, a desire, to keep moving. The message applies acutely to both Rangers and Celtic.
In a new decade, the previous 10 years of dominance of Scottish football by Celtic is officially ebbing away, with Rangers yesterday grasping, however inelegantly, the imperative. The Ibrox side have much to prove, mainly to themselves. Still unbeaten in 22 Premiership games this season, their statistics are eye-popping - but greatness can only emerge over time.
For much of the clash at Ibrox, Rangers - seeking their first League title since 2011 - were anything but. Steven Gerrard's men, soaked in the kind of misplaced contentment which has afflicted Celtic for chunks of this fascinating, surprisingly erratic campaign, eventually found fortune.
The leaden responsibilities of playing for either Old Firm club can affect any experienced operator. Hapless Nir Bitton, the makeshift Celtic defender red-carded around the hour mark, discovered this to his cost. An act of folly which undermined Neil Lennon's well-organised, dominant team. And at what price, ultimately for those crumbling 10-in-a-row Parkhead ambitions?
Nevertheless, as unlikely as it appeared for the opening half, resourceful Rangers engineered the minerals required, which is set to hoist them as Scotland's pre-eminent force again. The slivers of difference in vital moments when these two collide fell in the Light Blues' favour.
Celtic's attitude was bold and impressive, only to find Gers' keeper Allan McGregor, at almost 39 years of age, denying them in much the same way as Andy Goram used to frustrate dominant Tommy Burns teams in the 1990s.
Rangers have only lost one League goal at Ibrox all season. However, they were reticent yesterday for long spells. Celtic were vibrant for so long, only to find that an inability to translate that into goals has practically ended those title dreams. Lennon is entitled to feel disappointed, although his excessive post-match moaning about referee Bobby Madden for the Bitton red card, compared to Gerrard's measured assessment and compliments on Celtic's performance, didn't go unnoticed.
Lennon deserves credit for implementing an aggressive approach amid what will now be an inevitable pile-on. A diamond midfield with David Turnbull taking the lead role from benched Scott Brown shows the Hoops boss wasn't afraid of making a big decision and then, oddly, the wrong one when Turnbull was substituted. Still, only micro moments from the respective McGregors and a late weariness prevented Celts from taking at least a point.
Gerrard must figure out how he can get certain key Rangers players, like Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent, to rise again as this derby almost bypassed the pair.
Celtic now jet off, inexplicably, for a week to Dubai for winter training. The vapour trails, though, are of Rangers' unassailable 19-point lead. Where do you even start with the narrow self-entitlement and logic of this jaunt? Ten months into a pandemic, never underestimate the capacity of a football club, or the stupidity of individual players, to breach all sense of morality.
Despite the drama and the narrowest of margins, courtesy of luckless Callum McGregor's 70th-minute own goal, the most poignant of notes, and indeed perspective, was never going to be a feature of events on the field.
January 2 will forever be etched in the fabric of Rangers, and Glasgow, with yesterday the 50th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster when 66 supporters went to the Old Firm derby and lost their lives. Ibrox Stadium itself is a lasting monument to those poor souls and, for all the understandable elation from the hosts at the final whistle, real poignancy was never far away.
With the end justifying the means, Rangers are riding waves of euphoria, as they answered, albeit awkwardly, questions asked. Celtic, meanwhile, cannot shift the maddening weight of peppered disappointments. The League, as with the League Cup and Europe, now gone, the focus is on Lennon.
There are, for all that, simply far more important things in the game of life.