— Gary Ryan Blair
What’s the upside of lowering the bar?
I’m talking about lowering standards…lowering expectations…lowering anything for that matter.
Zip. Zero. Nada. Oogatz.
Everywhere you look these days, the entire world seems to be playing its own unique variations of the Limbo Dance…HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
The performance, quality, political, educational, entertainment, banking, and leadership bar is continuously being lowered and the race to the bottom is most definitely accelerating.
Racing to the Bottom is a socioeconomic phenomenon which occurs when ANY party knowingly lowers standards, tolerates lack of professionalism, cuts corners, lies, cheats and steals, engages in deception, and makes ever increasing concessions and compromises.
“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.” — Muhammad Ali
It’s about time somebody said it…and I’m happy to get up on the soap box and start crowing.
The only real and lasting solution to conforming to this dirty, behavioral ring around the collar is to live deliberately and choose to…RAISE THE BAR, ELEVATE OUR GAME and RACE TO THE TOP.
If you have not figured it out already…I’m a big believer that old school is good school, and that you get out of life exactly what you are willing to tolerate.
To tolerate means to allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that you do not necessarily like or agree with…without interference.
In other words…
WHAT YOU PUT WITH, YOU END UP WITH
Now, you can strongly disagree with the points that I’m about to share, but I assure you… resistance will prove futile.
The truth is…we live in a culture of abuse, and too many of us are unwilling to accept that reality, and even more are unwilling to raise their standards, to do anything about it, and to put an end to it.
We abuse ourselves, we abuse each other, we abuse time, we abuse our talents, we abuse high standards, we abuse language, we abuse laws, we abuse the truth, and we far too often abuse common sense.
Allow me to explain…
If you tolerate mediocrity, then you’ve surrendered any hope of excellence.
If you tolerate excuses, then you’ve allowed behavioral rot to infiltrate your mind and environment.
If you tolerate missed deadlines, then you’ll always under-perform and never live up to your potential.
If you tolerate procrastination, you will find it becoming a self-defeating habit which weakens you psychologically.
It you tolerate low quality, there’s no reason for anyone to want to do business with you.
If you tolerate bullying, then you have given the bully the green light to continue.
If you tolerate tardiness, you allow a lazy, disrespectful precedent to be set that is detrimental to your reputation.
If you tolerate apathy, you will have an absence of energy, passion and enthusiasm.
If you tolerate physical or verbal abuse, then you will suffer at the hands of it.
If you tolerate lies, eventually you won’t even recognize or expect the truth.
If you tolerate degrading language, you’ve endorsed its use and you’ll come to expect vulgar words in your presence.
If you tolerate laziness, you will suffer the consequences and work your tail off just to make ends meet.
If you tolerate people interfering in your marriage, you will start to resent friends and family.
If you tolerate your privacy being violated, you will begin to lose other freedoms as well.
If you tolerate any or all of these things…you’re not only a fool, you’re part of the problem and deserve the negative consequences of your decisions.
Until and unless you raise the bar and make changes in what you are willing to tolerate…
HERE’S HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO ROLL
You will live a compromised life.
You will have cheated yourself.
You will look back on your life with regret and disappointment.
Your life will serve as a warning as you’ll be viewed as a sad example of what could have been.
You will have wasted the one and ONLY life you have been given.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Before we focus on the solution, let’s have a look at two very important rules of behavior that are always in play.
The first is…behavior that gets REWARDED gets repeated, and that is why you want to set high standards and expectations, establish and enforce strict boundaries, determine what is acceptable and what is not…and then go out of your way to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the virtues you want demonstrated by others.
Unfortunately this is the road less traveled by.
The second rule we must be mindful of is…behavior that gets TOLERATED gets repeated as well, and that is why we must confront abuse, reprimand intolerable behavior, enforce discipline…and take greater control of our lives…or the consequences are real and virtually guaranteed.
So what’s the solution, how do we stop the abuse, how do we empower strength and not tolerate weakness, how do we ensure that we live a life of excellence and make the most of this one life we’ve been given?
The answer is as simple as it is profound…
YOU must raise your standards, elevate your expectations and step up your overall game by making everything you think, say and do count.
Any time you sincerely want to make a positive change in your life, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.
You must first expect and demand more from yourself, and only then can you expect and demand more from those around you.
That means having zero tolerance for mediocrity, procrastination, negativity, lack of professionalism, or any form of internal or external abusive behavior that robs you of self-esteem, self-confident, or increased performance.
You either get the importance of this message or you do not.
I’ll close with an important call to action…send a memo to yourself that you won’t tolerate low standards or any form of internal or external abuse.
Seriously consider confronting and reprimanding anyone who violates those new higher, nobler standards. Especially the person in the mirror.
And if by chance you think that’s too harsh…here’s my promise to you…you’ll continue to get what you tolerate.
Consider this fair warning — what you put up with…you end up with.
That’s why I’m calling you out…right here, right now.
Be the one who raises the bar, be the one who plays a superior game, be the one who’s setting the right example…and be the one who’s racing to the top.
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