Never lower your standards
“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.arthurmarara.org or contact him on +263772467255 for bookings.