Thursday, April 15, 2010

Raise the Bar of Your Expectation

Raise the Bar of Your Expectation!

The thought of everyone being exceptional is a nice thought, isn't it? It's a pleasant thought for all parents to believe that their children are exceptional and it's also a pleasant thought to all adults to think that they, themselves, are exceptional.

The only problem with this is the fact that it is simply not true. Sorry to burst your bubble!

One of the definitions for exceptional given by dictionary.com is as follows: "unusually excellent; superior".

Now, when I read this definition it tells me that if exceptional means unusually excellent then I need to check out the definition for that word as well. Here it is: "possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good."

Now friend, as bad as we may wish that this were true of everyone the plain truth is that it IS NOT! The truth is that, lowering the bar does NOT make everyone exceptional. We can applaud that approach and say that it breeds confidence and excellence and whatever else you want to say but the simple truth is that it breeds MEDIOCRITY! (Go back and listen to one of the earlier podcasts this week to hear my full rant on that).

You already know this, but I'm here to encourage you to do the opposite. Instead of lowering the bar of expectation and settling for less, why not RAISE THE BAR OF YOUR EXPECTATION and stretch and grow along the way?

Can you imagine watching a basketball game without any goals? What would be the point of the competition - to see who could dribble the best? When you think of the activities during the NBA's "All-Star Weekend" they are all focused on either the physical goal (3 point contest, dunk contest, All-Star game, Rookie game) OR achievement goals (the skills challenge).

What about football? What if the goal lines and the goal post were removed from the competition? What about hockey? Soccer?

What if there were no home runs in baseball and no one kept score in ANY of these events? Oh, I know some of you might say, "What would be so bad about that?"

Well, again, go back to one of my previous podcasts/blogs for the week and answer the question if YOU want to ride on an airplane or get behind the wheel of an automobile that was constructed (if that would even be possible) by a group of people that never had grades or goals to measure their abilities. Go ahead, you can take my seat ANYTIME!

You see, this is one reason why we must WAKE UP and FIGHT to remove this "disease" of mediocrity from our own lives! It IS a killer of hope and a killer of dreams. And, it is also a killer of life.

"A killer of life? How so?"

Here's how: When you allow mediocrity (settling for less) to take root in your life you have ceased to LIVE. You have begun to "exist".

One sure way to rid your life of mediocrity is to RAISE THE BAR OF YOUR EXPECTATION for yourself!

Yes, this will take PLANNING , this will take FOCUS, this will take DEDICATION and this will take ACTION - but what noble effort doesn't require these things of those that pursue?

"Oh, but if I raise my expectations too high I might fail!"

Here's a secret for you... you WILL fail in your efforts! ("Wait a minute, I thought you were here to ENCOURAGE me, Mike!?")

How do I know that and why would I say that? Here we go - pay close attention!

If you set goals and you reach them easily then you need to raise the bar of your expectations AGAIN! Easy success is not really success, is it? If you don't have to change anything in order to reach that goal, what has been accomplished?

Imagine someone saying this, "Today I'm going to set a goal of doing everything like I always do!"

What would you say about that?

This is why I say RAISE the bar of your expectation... if you're already "clearing the bar" without any effort you're not really accomplishing much.

Oh, I understand that a great athlete may be able to jump over the bar higher than anyone else and be considered the best! However, if it has become easy for him and he never tries to "raise the bar" to see if he might be able to do even better, his accomplishment has ceased! And, sooner or later, someone will surpass him while he sits by admiring his past accomplishment.

I could go on and on with this but, the bottom line is this: IT IS UP TO YOU to raise the bar of your expectations!

When - no if - you fall short, get up, learn the lesson that needs to be learned before you make your next attempt and then go at it again! DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS!

The idea of EVERYONE being exceptional as a way to boost confidence is a lie. The "confidence" is not confidence at all - it is a false feeling that will catch up sooner or later and lead to dissatisfaction, disappointment, disillusion and, eventually, disgust!

Why not raise the bar, rid your life of mediocrity and settling for less and PUSH yourself FORWARD to greater things in your life?

You DO have that ability and you CAN accomplish more IF you dedicate yourself to the process.

And, as you do so...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Mike


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