Raising Your Standards
Mike Ditka, the great football coach of the Chicago Bears, has often said, “You get what you tolerate.” If your life is less than you’d like it to be, it’s possible your standards are too low. One of the reasons Donald Trump makes so much money is that only making $1 million per year is totally unacceptable to him.
Are you comfortable with only making $50k or being 20 lbs. overweight? If you don’t raise your standards, you’re stuck. Are you okay with marrying someone that hits you a few times a year and verbally abuses you the rest of the time? What is the outcome of that standard?
You’re likely to end up with whatever is acceptable to you and little more.
Raise your standards and enrich your life:
- Your standards determine the lower level of what’s acceptable to you. What’s the least you’re willing to accept in your life? What do you really want? You won’t sink below your standards, but you won’t rise too far above them either. When your standards have been violated, you’ll get busy in a hurry to change your situation.
- You can raise your standards at any time. Your standards are entirely up to you. You have the right to thrive. You weren’t put on the planet to just exist and scrape by. Determine your own destiny.
- Your most important standards deal with your own conduct. Are you willing to tolerate being late again? Procrastination? Letting your family down? Not speaking up for yourself? Making changes in this area will have the greatest impact because all aspects of your life are influenced. Become a more effective person by raising the expectations of your behavior.
- Determine a standard you’re committed to raising. Perhaps you’d like to make more money or take more calculated risks in life. What would impact your life the most? How would your behavior change if you adopted that new standard?
- Visualize success in that area. Imagine yourself in that high-paying job or enjoying time with better friends. Focus on the feeling it generates. That feeling will draw you to your new standards like a magnet.
- Take aggressive action. You’ll know when your new standards have taken hold because your behavior will change. If you’re still stuck, your standards haven’t changed enough.
- See your new standard as a fundamental shift, rather than as a goal. See yourself as the person that makes health a priority. This is much more powerful than having a goal of losing 25 lbs. When you change who you are, many of your results will change, too.
- Recognize when you’re living up to your new standards. If you’re trying to save more money, make note of all the times you’re behaving congruently. You might buy less expensive food at the store, skip your morning latte, or carpool to work. Point out your progress to yourself and feel excited.
- Consider what could happen if you fail to live up to your new standards. Keeping with the money-saving example, you might not be able to pay your bills on time or you might have to work at 65 instead of retiring. Make a list and understand the pain you face if you don’t stay on track.
Tony Robbins has said that raising his standards was the most important factor in turning his life around. It’s important to set a baseline for what you’re willing to accept in life. You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you’re willing to tolerate. Have high standards and your life will rise to meet them.
Sam E. Orum, ECP