You get what you tolerate

A mantra I live by in business is, ‘tolerance is the enemy of excellence.’

Essentially, you get what you tolerate.

In life, nothing changes until we reach a threshold whereby we make a decision to no longer tolerate something that isn’t right.

Think about it, if your job, your finances, your relationship, your health etc. isn’t where you want it to be, then unless you are right now doing something major to change it, you are tolerating the undesirable state. And you are getting what you tolerate.

Now, don’t get me wrong, tolerance is necessary in many situations. There are things in anyone’s life that aren’t ideal, that’s just a reality. But, if something isn’t a major priority, then you might choose to tolerate that in order to fight the battles that truly matter. For example, you might tolerate a long commute to work because you love the job. Even though you don’t like the drive, you love what you do so that makes the drive worth it.

The problem, however, comes when tolerance becomes a way of living, when you start to tolerate everything that isn’t ideal. That tolerance, that state of consistently putting up with things you don’t like, eats away at who you are and what you stand for. That erodes your self-worth, so you tolerate even more that isn’t ideal and it becomes a downward spiral.

If we tolerate mediocrity we are in danger of dying a death by a thousand cuts.

We need to focus on the little things, because it’s not one thing that undermines us, it’s the sum total of many things.