Never lower your stan­dards

The Manica Post - - Motivation/Feature - Arthur Marara

“Let us be about set­ting high stan­dards for life, love, cre­ativ­ity, and wis­dom. If our ex­pec­ta­tions in these ar­eas are low, we are not likely to ex­pe­ri­ence well­ness. Set­ting high stan­dards makes ev­ery day and ev­ery decade worth look­ing for­ward to.” [Greg Anderson]. Stan­dards are im­por­tant in life, they help us de­fine what we do and what can­not.

WE LIVE in a world where val­ues have fast been eroded; truth has been sus­pended in or­der to pro­tect feel­ings, com­mit­ment suf­fer­ing at the in­stance of con­ve­nience, in­tegrity be­ing sac­ri­ficed for money. This is the time whereby peo­ple need to make in­di­vid­ual de­ci­sions for their des­tiny – set­ting per­sonal stan­dards or val­ues for life. This week we shall share some thoughts on set­ting per­sonal stan­dards.

Have stan­dards for your life Stan­dards are im­por­tant in life. The world has its own stan­dards. Hol­ly­wood has set its own stan­dards; the mu­sic in­dus­try has set the same as well. If you do not set stan­dards for your­self, the world will set stan­dards for you. Have stan­dards that gov­ern you as an in­di­vid­ual, have stan­dards that gov­ern your busi­ness. If you do not have stan­dards in your life, you will ac­cept what­ever that comes your way.

A num­ber of peo­ple are di­luted when they change en­vi­ron­ment, they as­sume a new stan­dard. Those who have been to col­leges or uni­ver­si­ties will at­test to the fact that some peo­ple get ir­re­deemably wild when they go to Univer­sity or Col­lege. Ev­ery en­vi­ron­ment will al­ways have a stan­dard that guides it.

There are cer­tain busi­nesses that have a stan­dard of medi­ocrity, dis­re­gard for cus­tomer care to it, and have a dis­torted work ethic. If you get in this en­vi­ron­ment, it is very easy to be dis­torted and to be ac­cus­tomed. When you set your own stan­dards, you can­not be eas­ily changed, save for the bet­ter. Do you have your own stan­dards?

Cre­ate your cul­ture

The habit with most peo­ple is to take the his­tory and mis­takes of the past and call it their cul­ture. Cer­tain peo­ple boast about cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties and point to an ex­ist­ing prac­tice that they found in place wher­ever they are. This is be­cause of the stan­dards that they have set for their life.

There are some mar­ried peo­ple who even de­fend the so-called, “small (smell) house” sys­tem and point to their pre­de­ces­sors or con­tem­po­raries who prac­tise it. Some jus­tify lazi­ness and medi­ocrity on the ba­sis that none of the peo­ple in their fam­i­lies have done any­thing mean­ing­ful in life.

As hu­man be­ings we are priv­i­leged with the abil­ity to make de­ci­sions and choices. You can de­cide and choose to set a bet­ter stan­dard for your life. Do not be bound by un­pro­duc­tive prece­dents. Set a new stan­dard for your life and defy the ac­cepted norm in your area of busi­ness, your fam­i­lies. Cre­ate a new cul­ture.

De­fine the pa­ram­e­ters that you op­er­ate with; be clear on what you do and what you will do not.

Raise your stan­dard — the story of John Deere

“You can be­come an even more ex­cel­lent per­son by con­stantly set­ting higher and higher stan­dards for your­self and then by do­ing every­thing pos­si­ble to live up to those stan­dards.” [Brian Tracy]. You can­not do your things like ev­ery­body and ex­pect to be dif­fer­ent. Set high stan­dards for your­self. Life is too short to spend it play­ing small. What­ever that you do, should be gov­erned by the higher stan­dards.

Many peo­ple might know John Deer trac­tors or other agri­cul­tural im­ple­ments. The per­son be­hind this brand un­der­stood very well, the con­cept of rais­ing stan­dards. John Deer was born [J1] in 1804, in Rut­land, Ver­mont. With scanty ed­u­ca­tion, he was ap­pren­ticed in 1821 at age 17, to Cap­tain Ben­jamin Lawrence, who was a pros­per­ous Mid­dle­bury black­smith. With the com­pe­tent train­ing he had ac­quired, he en­tered the trade for him­self in 1825.

In 1837, John Deere fash­ioned a pol­ished-steel plow in his Grand De­tour, Illi­nois, black­smith shop that let pi­o­neer farm­ers cut clean fur­rows through sticky Mid­west prairie soil. The pol­ished steel be­came a suc­cess in the United States and then went on to found the com­pany that now bears his name.

The con­cept of pol­ish­ing steel had evolved from his ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­ish­ing and sharp­en­ing nee­dles in the sand. This prin­ci­ple was ap­plied to steel and it worked won­ders in the soil con­di­tions of the prairie.

The dis­cov­ery process took time and a lot of work, but he was able to en­dure it be­cause of the stan­dards that he was op­er­at­ing with. He in­sisted on high stan­dards on every­thing that he was do­ing.

John Deere made a very in­ter­est­ing re­mark which I would you to im­port in all that you do, “I will never put my name on a prod­uct that does not have the best that is in me.” Does your name com­ple­ment your prod­ucts? Have a stan­dard for your own


A story is of­ten told about the en­counter be­tween Muhamad Ali and his daugh­ters. In fact Muhamad Ali’s daugh­ter nar­rates the in­ci­dent as fol­lows; “When we fi­nally ar­rived, the chauf­feur es­corted my younger sis­ter, Laila, and me up to my fa­ther’s suite. As usual, he was hid­ing be­hind the door wait­ing to scare us. We ex­changed many hugs and kisses as we could pos­si­bly give in one day.

My fa­ther took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said some­thing that I will never for­get.

He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, every­thing that God made valu­able in the world is cov­ered and hard to get to. Where do you find di­a­monds? Deep down in the ground, cov­ered and pro­tected. Where do you find pearls?

Deep down at the bot­tom of the ocean, cov­ered up and pro­tected in a beau­ti­ful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, cov­ered over with lay­ers and lay­ers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with se­ri­ous eyes. “Your body is sa­cred.

You’re far more pre­cious than di­a­monds and pearls, and you should be cov­ered too.” I will not tell you what to wear, but what you wear should re­flect the stan­dards that you have set for your life. Have stan­dards for your own body, work on your groom­ing and de­port­ment, pri­ori­tise your diet, your heath and so on.

What Stan­dards gov­ern you? This is a very im­por­tant ques­tion, you need to sit down and an­swer this ques­tion.

◆ - What stan­dards gov­ern your busi­ness?

◆ - What stan­dards gov­ern your busi­ness life?

◆ - What stan­dards gov­ern your re­la­tion­ship life?

◆ - What stan­dards gov­ern your fam­ily life?

The en­vi­ron­ment you live in can have its stan­dards, but the im­por­tant thing is, what stan­dards guide me? The stan­dards that you choose to live with de­ter­mines the life that you lead. What life do you want to live, or what life are you liv­ing right now. What stan­dards are you us­ing now?

Join me on Star FM on Wed­nes­days (09:30am-10:00am) for some mo­ments of in­spi­ra­tion on the Breeze with Tariro and Iy­ati.

◆ Arthur Marara is a cor­po­rate law at­tor­ney, key­note speaker, cor­po­rate and per­sonal brand­ing speaker com­mand­ing the stage with his de­light­ful hu­mor, raw en­ergy, and wealth of life ex­pe­ri­ences. He is a fi­nan­cial well­ness ex­pert and is pas­sion­ate about ad­dress­ing the is­sues of well­ness, strat­egy and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment. Arthur is the au­thor of the “Per­sonal De­vel­op­ment Tool­kit” among other in­spi­ra­tional books. Visit his web­site www.arthur­ or con­tact him on +263772467255 for book­ings.

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