Firstly, how would you define standards as they relate to your life?
Secondly, where do your standards come from?
And finally...how do we raise the standards we set for ourselves?
Let's begin with some clarification.
A dictionary definition of 'standards' is...a level of quality or attainment.
Reflecting on the words quality and attainment, the implication of the definition is that standards per se, contain both of these aspects.
Standards and values can relate to any aspect of how we choose to live.
In the movie, 'American Gangster" the main character (Denzel Washington) valued money, greed and power over almost anything else and his ruthless behaviour reinforced these standards.
Unfortunately, his standards revolved around a nefarious world of crime and corruption which, generally speaking, never ends well for the people involved.
So, when reflecting on your world what standards or values do you live your life by and do they equate with your purpose, happiness and contentment?
Also, would you be able to recall them if someone asked you?
When considering the question of where your values come from most of the research suggests that as soon as an individual's cognitive thinking skills develop sufficiently they observe value-based behaviours in the people they have around them and begin to identify with them or not as the case may be.
Personal values are also formed from the interface of personality, identity, environment and social factors and have the capacity to change and evolve over a lifetime.
In essence, your values come from a variety of sources and providing you know who you are and who you want to be and where you are going you can select and align your values to your purpose.
Holding yourself to your standards and values is primarily about your ability to reflect on or journal your daily experiences and interactions and compare them with what you expect of yourself and the clarity of your purpose.
Finally and maybe most importantly be comfortable that your standards and values are yours and that comparison with others is always going to be unhealthy...always.
Not everyone's high standards have to be the same thing.
In relation to standards and values in your life, test them against something solid (your purpose) and then climb the ladder to see what it looks like from the top.