What Do You Get?

holy grailAre you familiar with the phrase “you get what you expect?” I heard a different spin on it this morning that brought me up short:

“You don’t get what you expect…you get what you tolerate.”

Wow. Think about that for a moment. Have you set the bar so low that the results you receive at work and at home are the bare minimum? Have you allowed certain behavior to continue, from your spouse, children, co-workers, boss, that perhaps you shouldn’t?

The conversation came from a female operations director in a male dominated, engineering firm who has  recently stepped into a newly created position. The “good old boys” of the office have been used to a certain status quo in the work place and she is shaking things up; holding people accountable, setting goals and expecting they will be met.

However, she has yet to really earn the respect of the salesmen in the office and therefore, their performance continues to be mediocre, at best. She is trying to make changes but the bar has been set so low that this lack luster performance has been accepted as the norm.

The group explained that if she continued to tolerate the poor performance, she would continue to get poor performance. And it wasn’t until she stepped up and held the sales force to a higher standard; and followed-up, that she could expect different results.

Just like the definition of insanity “doing the same thing and expecting different results,” we have to truly look at our lot in life and say “are we just tolerating or are we achieving?”

What are you getting out of life? The life you expect, or just a ‘get by’ one? What do you just tolerate in your life that you’d like to see changed. It might be something as simple as having the men in your home life put the seat down on the toilet. Or it could be explaining to your boss that you need clearer communication; that it makes it difficult to read their mind and be successful.

Until you shine a light on what you really want out of life, you will merely get what is tolerable.