Lower the bar without lowering the bar.

We often read about or hear about how “the bar has been lowered” and “expectations are less” in regards to merit, to achievement and other things. We make jokes about how easy it is to “hurtle the lowered bar” to accomplish goals and receive accolades.

While often times this does in fact mean we get less – just look at the American political landscape – this can be advantageous to our everyday lives. We can lower the bar of our expectations without lessening the quality of those expectations.


What does that mean, I should expect less? No, what it means is that you should be more mindful of what you expect from yourself, and where you set the bar for the truly important things in your life. These are the grand, overarching desires and needs we have in order to feel accomplished in our lives. You have to ask yourself – what is the line where you will be happy, be successful, be loved and loving?

For many, those bars are set so impossibly high that they will never be achieved. More realistically, you have to cross bridges rather than attempt to find means for grandiose leaps across chasms.

Take success for example. What does it take for you to consider yourself to be successful? Is it a simple thing like getting to work on time and doing 100% on the job every day so that you will get noticed and advance? Or is it you need to be made a managing partner of the company you work for and earn six figures and drive a BMW? If the former, this means you will attain success with relative ease, whereas with the latter you might be constantly reaching and as such feeling unsuccessful. The former can take you down the path to the latter with daily successes, and this is what I mean by lowering the bar without lowering the bar.

Don’t expect less of yourself, don’t demand less of yourself, that’s not what I mean by this idea. But praise yourself and congratulate yourself for the steps along the way, rather than waiting out a celebration when you reach the more grand and glorious achievement. Don’t make the end-all-be-all the leap across the chasm, make it the steps along the way.


We deserve to be happy, to be joyful, to be successful. We also want these things instantaneously, and that is where we set the bar too high. If we still have that high bar, but we take our happiness joy and success at lower increments along the way to that bar, we can all find more Positivity in our lives. We don’t need to dumb the world down, we just need to enjoy the journey and not just anticipation of the goal at its end.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action. Knowing that we can take pleasure in the journey and not just the goal at its end, we can lower the bars for things like success and happiness to better empower ourselves. When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings. We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings. When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for. Gratitude leads to happiness. Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude. Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.


This is the fifty-seventh entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.