Standards: our code of ethics, morals; how we live and manage our lives; how we measure ourselves against expectations

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Henry Ward Beecher.  

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc

Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he has himself read, not by what others tell him. Albert Einstein   

   Standards are the expectations to which we are held accountable. They can be someone else’s standards or of our own making. All of us are held accountable, to the “Rule of Law” as administered by the government and our courts. We are also held accountable to standards in the workplace and to standards of society in general.

    There are also standards to which we hold ourselves personally accountable to (or not). As individuals, we can hold ourselves marginally, somewhat, or very accountable. Those who do not hold themselves accountable likely have a life filled with problems and cause problems to those around them and to society in general. There often may be something missing in their upbringing, mental capacities, socialization skills, and overall make up.

   Many of us fall into the ‘somewhat accountable’ category. We hold ourselves accountable in conjunction with our on “path of least resistance”. This means we hold ourselves accountable to a degree along as it is convenient and not ‘painful.’ If holding ourselves accountable causes mental anguish, feelings of guilt or disappointment, we sometimes abandon our standards because we do not want to make ourselves feel bad. We mistakenly think that there are no repercussions for us being so undisciplined. The truth is that this is very damaging to ourselves.

    There are those who hold themselves very accountable. Very often these are the people who have their lives going in the right direction. They are growing and realizing their potentials. They are their own managers and supervisors and hold themselves to the highest standards and expectations. Some of these individuals can sometimes be so rigid and out of balance in their handling themselves, they provide no room for miscues or mistakes. They can become very unhappy and miserable because they fail to live up to their own expectations.

     We need an established set of standards, ethics, morals and principles to live by. Preferably, we have them written down and commit to them. We should hold ourselves accountable to them rigorously and consistently. However, we must handle ourselves in a loving and forgiving attitude and at the same time and be prepared to forgive ourselves when we fail. The goal is to grow and develop a little at a time, making room for our failings as they occur. This is a life-long effort. Sometimes, we take two steps forward, while taking one step backwards.

Challenge:  Are you holding yourself accountable to your personal standards, to growing and living to you capabilities? It is often easy to allow yourself ‘off the hook’, to look the other way, and allow other allowances. Take the time to establish and to identify your standards; hold yourself accountable to them, monitor and supervise your efforts. When you fail, examine the reasons, forgive yourself, make progress and go forward.

Wisdom: 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

Spiritual: (NIV)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.  Proverbs 16:3

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean nut unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Pro 3:5, 6

Those that maintain high standards and measure themselves against those standards will likely fare better in life than those who do not. God ultimately holds us all accountable for what we do in this life. In our own power and strength we will always fall short of becoming all that we can be. When we let go and ask God to help guide and direct us, he empowers us to do so much better than we can on our own. He will give us a helping hand.

Prayer:  Help me to be hold my accountable to become what it is you would have me to be.     


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