Our performance will never consistently raise to the level of our desires and ideals but will always inevitably fall to the level of our standards.
Our standards are our expectations about what is acceptable in certain areas and scenarios. It’s our principles we use for judgement of what is sufficient and insufficient.
A meal from Taco Bell is acceptable to some and unacceptable to others based on their personal consumption standards. Some people’s standards of income for themselves is 500 a week; for others it’s 5000.
Why do some people stay in unhealthy relationships? Dead end jobs? Perpetual sickness caused by diet and lifestyle? They have lower thresholds for what they are willing to tolerate in their lives.
Higher standards are by definition more exclusionary- the higher the standard the more restrictions to what is acceptable and allowed. We can all have peaks and troughs of performance; but for us to sustain it day in and day out requires a hard rewiring of our expectations permanently.
You can never raise your life conditions without firstly changing your personal ruler of what’s acceptable and sufficient.
And those who have higher standards inevitably make us feel uncomfortable. It is those who are willing to surround themselves with people who’s standards make them uncomfortable and nervous that begin to change their point of reference. When you begin using those elite performers as your new benchmark to determine your own standards, everything in that area of your life begins to change.
We can radically change our lives by examining where our standards came from and looking at the point of comparison we used to determine them in the first place.
As leaders, our ability to inspire higher standards is key to the growth and forward momentum of our followers.
Remember though that we can never inspire higher standards than we embody and model.
It all starts with me. It all starts with you.