"Raising The Bar" is not meant to be easy.
Holding yourself to a higher standard requires serious dedication and self-discipline. It's going to be a BIG challenge.
Why would anyone choose to do this? To improve overall Quality of Life - to achieve everything you want out of your life.
"The standard of living is closely related to quality of life." -source
The fact that you're reading this right now shows that you are one of those people. Someone that holds yourself to a higher standard, wants more out of life and expects more of yourself, in your mind if not also in your actions...
What's Wrong With The Norm?
There is nothing at all wrong with "the norm" or with the standard of living as defined by society. In fact, many people are quite happy to achieve a certain level of comfort - and stay there. But there are others who feel driven, who want more, and who crave the challenge of living up to their fullest potential...
Raising The Bar: Holding Yourself To A Higher Standard
Achieving any real change in your life requires consistent action toward a very specific goal. First, you have to know what your standard looks like. You need a clear vision of where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, who you want to become - and most importantly: WHY.
It will be a challenge. It will not be easy. You have to really push yourself, even when you don't "feel" like it. Even when you are experiencing self-doubt, discouragement or disappointment. Even when you're not 100% sure of the outcome.
Fighting through your own personal battles is hard enough, but you'll have outside resistance to deal with as well. People will try to bring you down - to their level, or to their standard. What makes this even harder is that it's usually the people you are closest to in your life: your closest friends, your family, etc.
"Raising The Bar" will mean learning new things, figuring out what doesn't work, accepting failures as part of the process. It's going to require getting uncomfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, and embracing the challenge of REAL change. It will show you what you're made of. It will expose your strengths and your weaknesses - sometimes in a way that feels quite raw...
Why in the world would you challenge yourself to the limits? Why would you impose such self-pressure, and get "uncomfortable" on purpose?
Because you can. Because you can't not do it. Because you are driven from the inside out, and standing still while your life passes by - and your true potential is sitting idle - drives you absolutely mad. Because you'll never be truly happy with "the norm."
Still, even those who are driven struggle with direction. We struggle with the internal and external negatives. We struggle with pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
And sometimes we give in to those struggles. Why? Because it's easier. But "easy" is never going to get you where you want to be.
Long Term Goals, Short Term Rewards
It may feel like your current dreams or goals are so far out of reach that you'll never actually get there. And they may very well BE far off. I knew back in my late 20's that it was going to take me a decade to achieve the major lifestyle change that I really wanted - to be "where I wanted to be in life." And while it did seem near impossible at the time, I did it anyway. In hindsight, do you think I have any regrets?
The answer is NO!
As a driven person, you have two options: be uncomfortable doing nothing at all, or be uncomfortable pushing yourself forward. Period.
If you're going to be uncomfortable, you might as well be moving forward!
The great thing is... there are rewards in the challenge itself, long before you reach your end goal. It's not ALL about the results.
It's very much about the experience, the satisfaction of knowing you're moving in the right direction, the sense of accomplishment at every little milestone, the excitement of moving closer and closer to your goals. The personal growth and positive change that happens along the way...
If you've been stalled, or sitting idle instead of consistently working toward your ideal life, today is the day to break out of it. You're not happy sitting still. You're not happy unless you're actively involved in making it happen.
Whatever "it" is to you personally.
Today is the day to dig in your heels, and move out of your comfort zone - which was never a comfortable place for you anyway.
p.s. Yesterday I ran across a book titled Constructive Living by David K. Reynolds. I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my iPad and am already almost halfway through it.
It's an incredibly practical book that will help you break out of the things that keep holding you back in life. It will show you exactly why you find it so hard to achieve your goals, and what to do about it. So far I am LOVING it!
Books can be a great source for motivation and inspiration, particularly when you're feeling stalled. What are your favorite titles, or favorite sources for a pick-me-up? Share below!