When I was 8, I started playing flute. I was desperate to learn the piano but there were money issues and other long stories that will bore you. I played the flute for 4 years. I hated every moment of it.

That’s why I worked hard to lower the bar.

That was my strategy. I did the minimum amount of practicing, did just enough not to get a written reprimand from my teacher in trouble with my parents. When I finally left the program for good, the teacher must have been happy that the future of flute music was saved.

99% of people try to meet the bar.

When I studied law, I sought to meet the bar. I didn’t care that much about “summa cum laude” or “magna cum laude”. What I cared about was to be done with the degree and get on with my life. I didn’t care about doing something out of the extraordinary, being a lawyer in Kafkaesque settings was good enough for me.

When I started in advertising, I wanted to raise the bar.

While many outsiders think advertising types are busy downing cocktails and shopping for cool shirts, I was always amazed how many people in this industry are working relentlessly to raise the bar. They overdeliver on projects, push, question and suggest.

Constantly raising the bar is hard work. It’s exhausting, it will wreck your sleep pattern. But anyone I ever met focusing on raising the bar, didn’t want to have it any other way. You get to experience a different world, a different way of living and a different flow.

The industrial age rewarded the 99% that tried to meet the bar. No matter how the global economy develops, being part of the 99% crowd is not good enough anymore. You need to be part of the 1% that leaps forward.

That person who runs a marathon just to start another one.

The person that believes “very good” means mediocre.

If I had a choice, I’d rather be the one to raise the bar. And not wait frightened for others to do so.