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Who were you before the bar was raised?

In my mentorship program, we teach young boys how to elevate. We give them a goal, a vision and something to aspire to. We help them redirection their lives based on who they are and who they want to become. 

From a young age, I've always been the type to get riled up when I was challenged. The more people dared me to do something or bet against me, the more determined I became. The more obstacles that were placed in my way, the more propelled I was to move in the direction of the thing they said I couldn’t do. Now, in adulthood, I've realized that this means elevating to a higher level.

Elevating means moving upward. You know exactly where you need to go. You know your destination. 

But sometimes we fail to set the bar high.

It isn't because it's unachievable. It's because we're afraid we might not reach it. It's because we don't think about how high we can actually go. We fear we're setting an unrealistic standard for ourselves and those around us. But what we're really saying is that we don't think we're worthy or capable of moving onward and upward. We're communicating our lack of belief in ourselves and others.

Think about the message you send when you force someone to elevate. You’re saying to them that you believe in them. You’re saying to them that they’re able to achieve greatness. You’re saying to them that they can do this.

Most of the time when you set the bar high enough, you will come up just a little bit short. But if you set the bar at a height that can be achieved over and over again, then you're telling yourself that you aren’t worth being challenged.

So what do you do?

Well, what other choice is there but to become better?

At Ahead of the Game we set that bar high. We tell young people that though they may not have achieved a major feat this time, they must keep going.

I will never lower the bar because I believe in the greatness that’s inside them. Instead, I raise it even higher when I see someone coming close to reaching it.  I know that if they put their head down, work hard, have faith and believe, that they can achieve it step by step. 

I set the bar high for my friends and family members. Sometimes, they get agitated. After all, it's never easy when you’re consistently being challenged. But any person who's willing to grow will know that that challenge is what keeps you coming back. There’s something in that challenge that you love that keeps you hungry for more. And with that, you're sending a message.

You're better than this.

You're better than your current circumstances, skill level, promotional exam result or the numbers on a scale. 

And when you recognize this, everything changes.

You start to expect more from yourself and others. You realize you deserve more, too. You know the true value of your worth.

So every time you set the bar – whether it’s for yourself or for others – think about what message you’re sending. That message may determine whether you will rise up high or stay on the same plane of mediocrity.

You have influence. You have power. You are an inspiration everywhere that you go. Raising the bar is your decision. Will you use it?

- JH

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