Bill Lewis expresses how to set, and then raise, the bar on yourself. Bill has lived these principles for the last 15 years working with Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady in LIFE Leadership. Are you raising the bar on yourself?
I wasn’t sure what to title this article, but “Setting the Bar” seemed the simplest. I also thought “Set a Bar” and then I started thinking, “For Goodness Sake Please Set Any Bar!” would be good. In other words, as I was thinking about the title, my blood pressure started to rise because it seems that the “new thing to do” is to set no bar at all. Say this next statement in your best Billy Madison voice. That way everyone will be happy. That is stupidity on steroids! I know what you’re thinking. Tell us how you really feel. Let’s me try to explain what I mean.
Some of the new age thought process is, let’s not keep score because we want everybody to feel like a winner. That’s genius…..not! There was a movie that starred Bill Crystal in which he played a grandfather. One day he goes to his grandsons baseball game. The grandson was pitching and proceeded to throw three strikes but the kid in the batters box stayed where he was standing. He stayed standing there because in these baseball games you get to swing until you get a hit. I sure am glad real life is like that. You’re single, asking a girl out on a date and you just stand there and keep asking because she has to say yes. Every sales call you go on, you don’t have to worry because you know they eventually will have to tell you yes. In the NBA you get to keep shooting free throws until you make both of them ( Shaq would have loved that). In school you get to keep taking the test until you get an A. The bar isn’t set to make people feel bad; it is set to let you know how you are doing! If you don’t have a real standard to compare yourself to, then everyone gets worse because everyone is faked out into thinking that they are doing okay.
Some people say that people who set the bar are doing it wrong or not making it fair. Even if that is the case, then the issue is the people who are setting the bar, not the bar itself. This is the problem with today’s society. We try to fix things by the easiest way possible. We don’t try to fix the real issue. We just want the quickest, simplest way of fixing it, even if we are attacking the wrong thing. If my children try something and are horrible at it they can either decide to work hard, study, and practice to get better or they can decide that it’s just not for them. We have fallen into the trap that everything is supposed to feel good. If you feel good about everything then you won’t get better at anything. Some sort of pain is always required to get better. Without that emotion there is no drive to push yourself. ”Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Most of my success comes from the fact that I always felt inadequate and felt like people were better than me. When I finally decided that it was time to do something, I used that pain to drive me to get better at my craft. We must have bars to jump over or we will all lose in the end. That is what I love about Life Leadership. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what color your skin is, how tall, how big, or who your daddy was. The bar is the same for everyone and everyone can develop themselves to jump over the bar.