Standards: how you do one thing is how you do everything
If you’re particular about your work, I bet your home life and everything else demonstrates a similar quality; well-planned schedule, tidy living, clean car, etc…
If, on the other hand, you routinely do things in haste and without care, you probably take that with you just the same.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
If it’s true that excellence is a habit, the opposite must also be true; that failure is not an act, but a habit.
One big idea I draw from this quote is about standards. Once set, you take your standards with you in everything you do.
Your standards are the lens from which you view the world and ask the question; “What is good enough for me?”
Low standards produce low outcomes and high standards high outcomes.
It begs the question, what are your standards?
If you’re unsatisfied with your results in life, perhaps the fastest way to fix that is by raising your standards.
When you do, you gain clarity around what you want and from that, equal clarity that your current station is unacceptable to you.
The key however, is protecting those standards from those that would diminish them.
You say to yourself one day; “I’m done eating crap food, I’m going to begin eating better”
…and on your own, you do pretty good.
…but then you go out and your friends question why you’re not putting your face in the double nachos like you always do.
…and they say you’re “no fun” anymore because you don’t drink as much.
Those are your standards at risk.
There’s a poem I read once and at the time, it had such big impact on me that I memorized it. I still do.
Here it is:
“I bargained with life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more.
However I begged at evening,
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”
What wage do you ask of life?
Put another way, go to the ocean with a teaspoon or a five gallon bucket.
Friend, the ocean doesn’t care.
Committed to your success,