What’s Your Minimum Acceptable Standard? (The M.A.S.™ Principle).

Many of us aspire to achieve so much, yet we often let ourselves get away with so little. Don’t you wonder why? 

I want to share with you my concept of M.A.S.™ – The Minimum Acceptable Standard™

Let’s do a quick refresher of my ‘OK Zone’ model. 

Imagine there are three zones where we can be in life. 

  1. The winning zone: You feel like you’re getting the best out of yourself, and life is exciting and fulfilling (but not necessarily easy).
  2. The OK zone: The good old comfort zone. Nothing hurts, you’re not overly stressed, but deep inside, you know too well you could do so much better if you tried harder. The bottom part of the OK zone is The Zone of Tolerable Discomfort™: Life is not good, but not bad enough to do something about it.
  3. The Rut: This is when things got out of control, and life just sucks, and you’re forced to act on it. 
OK is NOT enough - Minimum acceptable standard

What separates the OK zone and the Rut is the M.A.S.


The M.A.S. is your Minimum Acceptable Standard™. In other words, the least you let yourself get away with before fear and discomfort gets too great, and/or you simply say to yourself the good old: “C-mon, get your sh*t together, this is unacceptable!” 

We all have M.A.S. threshold. 

The problem is that, unless you’re very ambitious, or you’ve intentionally set this threshold at a certain level (e.g. I’m not going to make less than x per month, I’ll never weigh more than x, I’ll never do xyz again), your M.A.S.™ threshold will be dwindling somewhere around minimal effort. 

This is a poor standard that will yield poor results. 

But wait, it gets worse! Ha! And this is really a big point I’d like you to understand. 

Your M.A.S. is not static. In fact, in almost everything, we have, what I call, “This one-time” tolerance”. It’s the supposed one-off rule-breaking. 

The problem with this is that it rarely is just a one-off. And with every one-off, you’re more likely to “commit” the second one-off. 

A real-life example could be: 

  • I’ll submit my work late, knowing it’s a bit no-no
  • Not going for your scheduled run even if the weather is great, you have time, and you feel totally fine. 

However, this can easily become more frequent, and your M.A.S. will slowly slide even lower because one thing we humans are REALLY good at is normalising and getting used to things, good or bad.  

So, what do you need to do? 

Think of your M.A.S. levels in the areas of your life you want to do well in. Where is the threshold that you don’t want to let yourself get below no matter what?

This can be an actual result or a habit/activity. 


  • I’ll not weigh more than 82kg.
  • I’ll complete every training run as scheduled if the weather is good and I’m not injured. 
  • I’ll not make less than 15 calls a week. 
  • I’ll not earn less than $5,000 on commission. 
  • I’ll not get up later than 9 am. 
  • I’ll not work out less than 4x per week. 
  • I’ll not post less than 3x per week. 

You get the idea. 

Your M.A.S. should be realistic, though. 

Keep in mind that it’s the Minimum Acceptable Standard

it’s not a target or a goal. It’s the bottom line you are committed to never slide under. 

TIP: Don’t have your M.A.S. too low!  

I recommend picking 1-3 areas and set M.A.S. for each of them and reflect every week on whether you’re keeping well above this threshold. 

Again, it’s not your target. You’re surely aiming higher. 

It’s just a success fuse that would go off should you drop below your M.A.S.™ 

PS: If you just realised that your Standards are too low and would like to work with me as your coach, drop me a message and let’s talk.



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