Setting the Bar

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 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.

Bill Lewis

27 thoughts on “Setting the Bar”

  1. Life is about doing, striving, getting better. Without resistance to push against, how do you know you are successful?

    A rich man told me, “Mike, what you get from any project is equal to what you put into it, multiplied by the resistance”. The more resistance, the more I get in the end! Yea!

    We have heard,” Lord don’t make it easier, make me stronger and better”.

    Thank you for the reminder Bill. Better to be reminded than taught, someone said.

  2. Thanks for the reminder to set the bar and use it to see how we are doing. I heard a religious leader speak about the same thing 10 years ago. He asked us to set a bar of high expectations for ourselves and live that way. It has made all the difference in my life. Thanks again.

  3. Bill, great perspective! Personally I have learned a lot from your success journey of holding the bar high on yourself. In fact, I say to myself your famous phrase, “stay tough,” when I want to lower the bar. Keep leading from the front my friend. God speed on your journey.

  4. Wow!! Thank you Bill, this has to be the best blog you have ever done!! Thanks to You and Jackie, Chris and Carol Miller and the whole Life Leadership company for raising the bar on me as a husband and father, and for showing me the ropes on how to jump over it, forever grateful, going for the next bar.

  5. Wow, Bill! What a fantastic post and oh so true! Our “something for nothing” society needs to read this! Thank you for your insights and for not being afraid to speak truth!

  6. Please do not ever ever lower the bar, not on me or the team! I want to EARN everything I get! Don’t care what we gotta do. Thanks for leading the way and showing any things possible.

  7. Thanks Bill! It is true that the bar is set very low for most people in many things including their life. As you pointed out, bars are there for a reason

  8. Great post, Bill! Especially the part “The bar isn’t set to make people feel bad; it is set to let you know how you are doing!” The scoreboard might be brutal, but, hey, that’s reality!!

  9. Thanks Bill for the reminder. It’s so easy to lower the bar without even realizing that you’re lowing it. Sometimes I lower the bar on the people that I lead because I want to help them win so bad and I don’t realize that I’m actually hurting them in the process. But I also realize if I hold the bar high on myself others will follow. And that my friend I have learned from you thanks a lot.

  10. Thanks Bill, I couldn’t have read this at a better time. We have set the bar high for the next couple months and I have came to realize that this means a lot of pain. I also understand that if we had set it to low or had no bar at all we would have little or no growth. Leaning how to over come pain in my eyes is what true success is. Thank you for sharing your knowledge once again. Kurt

  11. This is a very inspiring blog. I know that I needed to hear this as I have become so discouraged in Life business all because I have not set the bar high

  12. Excellent reminder Bill. Can you imgaine the current high jump world record holder, Javier Sotomayor, asking them to take the bar down before his 8′ jump? Just watch a video of him and his reaction after he cleared the bar and anyone can see the difference the bar can make.

  13. I love how you talked about how we don’t st bars for our self. It is so true. I am 14 and feel that is high school we never set bars for our selves, but the teachers have to push us.

  14. Great blog Bill. Looking forward to working with you and learning how to set a bar, especially as a team. Thanks for all you guys do at PC!

  15. That is a great article. Thank you Bill Lewis for making great information available for others to read/listen to and apply.

  16. Great Post Bill, I got a great nugget to help me move forward. I am looking forward to Mentoring with you.

  17. This is my go to PEP TALK. Whenever I am feeling fear and insecure in my abilities, I come back to this blog to get me to accept the fear/pain and move forward.
    What a great lesson to remember, let pain move you forward….not backward !!!
    Sheri Huie

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