Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

As I thought about my “one word” theme for this new year, this quote got me thinking in a different direction: “A funny thing happens when you raise the bar. People find a way to get over it, once they realize it's expected. Human beings can do amazing things - if they're asked to,” from John Powers, American playwright best know for his work Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? I labeled this year, “BIGGER” as a reminder to me that one of the ways I can raise the bar is to expand the horizons in which I live, work and play.

Let me explain. As a professional coach, I talk with people every day about their goals, strategy, decisions and core values. If I listen with curiosity and hold them accountable to improving their outcomes, that’s excellent. But it doesn’t necessarily exceed expectations or approach the “zone of genius” they may really be capable of stepping into.

Bigger in this case, means holding others as bigger than they may be holding themselves. Bigger means holding myself as more capable, more whole, more creative and resourceful than present means or circumstances may suggest. While this may invoke criticism of being a dreamer or over-positive, I’m recognizing that it’s just what’s needed to guide great leaders have a high-impact, sustainable legacy.

When I’m doing something excellent, I am typically living with purpose, exercising my skills and talents and I’m generally happy. When I’m in my "zone of genius," a step beyond excellence, I add to that happiness a radiating force for good that naturally lifts me and others around me up to exceed what’s possible.

This year, I’ll remind my self with my one word, “BIGGER” that I’m either going out the door with a bigger heart, broader sense of wholeness and deeper compassion for myself and others or I’m going back home to reflect on where I sell myself short and where my inner stories are getting in the way. I’m eager to find out just what happens with this intention!

What’s your one word for the year?