Set the Bar High. No, HIGHER! Wait, Now It’s Too High…


The proverbial bar of life.  The imaginary measuring stick which indicates one’s level of ambition.  Set the bar too low and you’ll be deemed a complacent loser, willing to accept mediocrity.  An average settler willing to take whatever life just happens to bring you.  On the other hand, set the bar too high and you’ll be labeled a dreamer.  An unrealistic fantasist with impractical goals, dreams, ambitions which almost certainly will not be realized.

Setting the bar too low is almost always sad on some level.  We all know someone whom we feel is immensely talented, smart, good looking.  The complete package types who have set the bar so low we can’t help but shake our heads and think, she is wasting her potentialShe (or he) should be doing something great.  Something inspiring.  Something that would make her rich or at the very least the envy of all who cross her path.  Instead she settles.  For one reason or another she forsakes her talents and becomes an office drone.  Her intellect is wasted pushing paper for a living.  She works fifty plus hours a week for a paycheck that barely covers her rent.  Her ambition starts and ends at the idea of applying for a promotion that would pay her pennies more than she’s currently making.  Pennies more in pay for ten more hours of work a week.  Maybe she won’t apply for that promotion after all.  Too much work, she thinks to herself.  She’s content pushing the amount of papers she’s currently pushing.  Her slowly fading beauty is wasted on a less-than attractive man that doesn’t seem to recognize her greatness.  Her friends wonder why she’s with him.  She’s just happy he’s there.  Her complacency makes us wonder- Why?  Why doesn’t she realize how fantastic she is?  Why isn’t she pursuing that business idea she had?  Why isn’t she doing more?  So talented, so smart, so beautiful.  All wasted pushing paper in some office.  All wasted on, him.  Her potential is being wasted.  Not lost but fading.  She makes us feel sorry for her.  She could be so much more.  We want her to raise her bar, so we are happy.

Than there are those who set the bar too high.  The idiots.  All’s well and good and fantastic if he (or she) is able to get over the bar.   However, until he’s over the bar (which will probably never happen) you can’t help but think, he’s a loserHe needs to face reality and stop dreaming he’s more than he is.  He’s Regular.  Nothing special.  You can’t help thinking, Who the hell does he think he is trying to be a writerNo one wants to or will read whatever he wrote.  Him!? An actor?  With a face like, his?  Oh great.  Now he’s an entrepreneur?  What great business ideas does a mere commoner like him have?  Please.  He needs to come back to earth and stop dreaming.  He needs to face the facts and realize that he’s never going to get over the bar.  He set it too damn high.  What he really needs is an office job, working fifty plus hours a week pushing paper.  Sure, he’ll barely make rent working those fifty hours a week but, in time, and with any luck, perhaps a promotion will avail itself.  A promotion that pays pennies more than his current wages.  Of course he’ll have to work ten more hours per week but at least he’s got a good job.  Okay, perhaps it’s not a good job, but it is a job all the same.  At least he’s not living in a fantasy land of unrealistic dreams and ambitions.   You want him to lower his bar, so you are happy.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo


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