When you go to work, do you expect to be on time or do expect to be late? When you attend meetings, do you expect to have an opportunity to share your thoughts or do you expect to listen to someone else? If you are work in a competitive environment, do you expect to be recognized for your contribution or do you expect to clap for others as they receive their award? If your expectations are to settle for a life that is less than you are capable of, then you need to raise your standards and rise to the challenge.
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What are you getting out of life?
Your expectations for your life have been created over time and are based on what society has taught you through past experiences. This is not inherently a bad thing, but if your goal is to change your life, you have to change your expectations of your interactions with the world. By raising your standards, you are changing the way you interact with the world.
What are your expectations in your interactions at work, with your kids, your friends and your family? You will find that people will treat you how you allow them to treat you. If you expect someone to cheat on you and you have shown that as your acceptable standard, then don’t be surprised people are going to cheat on you. If you have shown you are okay being overlooked for promotions or a raise, then that is the result you can expect.
When you are chasing happiness, there is something inside of you that is letting you know that something is not right in your life. Each of wants to be accepted for who we are, but we are too uncomfortable to share our true self. Instead, we end up living a life that we believe others will find acceptable.
Improve your standard, improve your life
Bill Powell was an American man who served his country in the Second World War. When the war ended in 1946, he returned to American and wanted to golf. Powell was a caddy at the young age of 9 and truly loved the game of golf. The problem Bill faced at the time was he was not allowed to golf on any golf courses. You see, 1946 was a year before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and the United States of America was still segregated. As a black man, Bill was not allowed to golf on any available golf course.
Bill had standards that were much higher than the standards that were presented to him. As a result, Powell decided he was not going to allow anyone to feel the pain and embarrassment he felt, so he set off to build his own golf course. Bill received funding from two physicians and his brother. With the money he was able to purchase 78 acres of land and him and his wife, Marcella turned that into a 9-hole golf course. While they had the money to purchase the land, they did not have the money to transform that land into a golf course. As a result, Bill and Marcella transformed their land into a golf course with their own hands, one acre at a time.
Don’t wait to raise your standards
As their course grew in success, they were able to purchase additional land and turn their golf course into a full 18-holes.
Bill is a perfect example of someone rising to the challenge and succeeding. It was not easy, but it was possible and that was all Bill needed. When you raise your standards above the people around you, you discover that people will treat you the way you expect to be treated. While it did not happen immediately, Powell ended up being acknowledged by President Bush, President Obama and the PGA. He received some of the highest awards and recognition a citizen can achieve.
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Leave a legacy
Even though it took more than 50 years to happen, it just shows that Bill’s standard became the standard others adopted for him. If Bill did not raise his standard above societies, he would have never opened his own golf course and he would not be recognized as the trailblazer he is today.
Bill most likely faced a lot of criticism as he was chasing happiness. There were probably people of all races who told him blacks are not allowed to golf. Blacks told him he should be happy to have made it back safely and he should just be happy to hit some balls in some open fields. Whites told him golf was too complex and they were doing him a favor by not allowing him to golf. To the average person, golfing is not worth enduring that kind of suffering. However, Bill was not your average person. His inner drum beat of happiness pushed him to create his own golf course that would allow blacks to golf freely. Bill was motivated by his desire to ensure no one else had to endure the humiliation he had to endure that day he was discriminated against.
The people in your life matter
Bill succeeded in chasing happiness in part because he had the support of his wife, his brother, and those two black physicians. Bill had a vision, but his wife helped him transform those 78-acres into a golf course. Bill did not have the money, but he was able to find family and friends who were willing to invest in his vision. But the first step is always yours to make my fellow achojah warriors. You must raise your standards and rise to the challenge to change the world around you. You cannot ask others to change first, you need to change the way you interact with the world for the world to change the way it interacts with you.
Like Bill, when you are chasing happiness, two amazing things will happen. You will find people who share your standard will be drawn towards you; and people who disagree with your standards will be repelled by you. This is the toughest part of chasing happiness, but it is also to most rewarding part. Know that you are not alone and there are people who are excited to encourage you to continue.
What is wrong with the world today
The risk of lower expectations is evident in the world around us. Have you ever seen a video of someone dealing with a difficult situation and instead of then being helped, everyone is recording the event? The reason people do that is because they have learned through other viral videos that people celebrate capturing the event more than helping those in need. If we stopped sharing and liking the videos and started condemning the fact that people are not helping those in need, the new standard will change future action.
The people around you may not be excited when you start chasing happiness. Now, this does not mean you should not follow the inner message of your drum beat, but it does mean you need to be mentally prepared for their mixed reactions. Keep in mind; you have attracted the people around you based on your old standards. There are always going to be people who are excited about you raising your standard and there are going to be people put off by it. If you continue to raise your standards and rise to the challenge through action, the people who remain in your life will come to respect you on your terms.
Until next time,
Dre ‘Living the achojah life‘ Griggs