Your success is predicated on the building blocks of your personal standards. The quickest way towards making progress in your life, which ultimately will lift your happiness levels, is to force yourself to become conscious of your standards, and then to redefine them.
There are so many useless slobs that exist all around the world and I don’t say this to be mean to them, but I do say it to get you to take action, and not become one of them. Even useless slobs can change their level of success as long as they stop procrastinating.
The standards that you currently have in your life can be very hard to change because they have been programmed in you for a long period of time.
First of all, who cares what success other people are having because nine times out of ten they are only telling you the good bits about their life, and behind all the fake money, cars and Instagram selfies, they’re life probably sucks big time!
Why raise your standards?
Your entire life is the result of the one percenters that you do each day. Having a Coke while watching a movie may seem harmless, but the twenty other things each day that you do that also don’t serve you, are the reasons why you are guaranteed for failure if you don’t do anything about them.
Until you make the bold decision to redefine your standards, your life is going to suck one way or another. Your life is going to feel draining and you are not going to be able to smile at anything. Since I raised my own standards, I find myself smiling at people a lot for no good reason.
You’ll know when you have raised your standards to the right level because you will feel like your life is working and that you have progressed in some way, hopefully, over a short period of time.
If I look at who I was just six months ago, I am now a totally unrecognisable person.
When I catch up with people that I haven’t seen for a while they often comment on how they can hardly recognise me both physically and through the way I talk. This, my friends, is where you want to get too and I believe you can. Hopefully, you can see why you must now raise your standards!
Here are the nine ways to raise your standards from today onwards:
1. Write down your current standards
The first way to raise your standards is to acknowledge honestly what your current standards are. Think about what time you go to bed, how many hours you work, what you eat, who your closest friends and colleagues are.
These are the areas where your current standards are formed. Once you know what they are, rewrite them with a slightly higher standard. For example, if you currently go to bed at 11 pm, rewrite this to say that your new standard is now 9:30 pm to go to sleep.
If you have trouble raising your standards, then make the adjustments to your current standards in a less drastic way. Using the above example, you could start by making your bedtime 10:30 pm instead of 9:30 pm to begin with.
2. Stop being a victim
The biggest barrier to raising your standards is whether you are behaving like a victim or not. By thinking that others should give you money (parents, lovers, friends) or expecting the government to help you in life, you are living the life of a victim.
Victims expect everyone else to take the action for them and hold their hand in life. All of us, including me, have some element of victim behaviour in our life and we all need to drop the excuses. You are where you are right now because of you and no one else.
The beautiful thing is that you have the power to change it all and it just starts by changing one standard for how you are going to live your life going forward. The keys to the kingdom are within your reach as long as you start taking responsibility.
Victims are the lazy slobs you see wasting their life away in gambling venues, or going to shopping centres and spending money that they don’t have, or money that would be better put into some other income producing purchase instead.
I’ve got your back and we are going to succeed at life one blog post at a time, but just make sure you drop that victim mindset.
3. Insist on doing things that are uncomfortable
Lazy slobs are obsessed with always being comfortable. They can’t go outside because they are scared it’s too cold, or too hot, or too something. Continually being uncomfortable is a critical component of raising your standards.
My standard for weekends, for a very long time, was to try and forget about the weekdays. I did everything in my power to forget, and drown my negative thoughts with parties and alcohol. Where did that get me? Absolutely nowhere and I made zero progress throughout this period of my life.
It’s hard to change your ways or live life differently. It’s challenging to avoid social activities, and stay at home and work on your dream. It’s hard to get up and talk in front of hundreds of people.
If you don’t know where to start then think about it this way; what are all the things you have avoided doing or that you fear? Then, just go do all of those things right now! Don’t think about them just schedule them in your diary.
A classic example for me is going to the hospital. I absolutely hate having to go for any reason and avoid it like the plague. A new standard, by embracing that uncomfortable feeling, is just to book it in and then not think about.
The more I think about hospital, the more I don’t book in my appointment, and the more I live in fear of having an illness take over my life. I try and find the good in the activity so it makes being uncomfortable worth it.
The act of going to the hospital for me is now reframed as a chance to take a day or two off work and do nothing but read books. Hospital now equals, time to relax, time to learn, and time to grow. Pretty powerful huh?
4. Get away from emotionally challenged people
We all have emotionally challenged people in our life who are not in control of their emotions. They are either constantly depressed, always angry, or not caring towards others, or even worse, all of the above.
These people will drain your energy and force your standards even lower without you knowing. There are only two ways to fix this problem; either get rid of them or minimise your exposure to them. One of my best standards is not to associate with toxic people. This standard serves me the most.
5. Analyse where your time is going
Your standards have a lot to do with how much time you have. To raise your standards in a particular area of your life, you need to spend time in that area. For three days, try writing down everything you do in a day and the amount of time you spend on each activity.
You will quickly see where your time is going and then all you need to do is set a new standard, and cut out activities that don’t meet your new standard. A simple example of this in my life is TV. I make sure this is the last thing I ever do and I will only ever let myself consume a maximum of thirty minutes of TV in one day.
My goal is to reduce this to zero and based on the sixty minutes of TV I watched for all of last week, I feel like I am nearly there. I have now reallocated this time into reading one chapter of a book per day, and I actually feel a bit smarter already…haha.
6. Check in on your energy levels
Lazy slobs, who have low standards, all have one trait in common: they have very low energy levels. When your body has to operate on low amounts of energy, your mind and emotions are often all over the place.
The only chance you have to raise your standards is to lift your energy levels. The quickest way to do this is by doing the following: getting more sleep, eating more plant-based foods, doing more exercise (even if that’s only walking more), and by being around people that have higher levels of energy.
When your energy levels increase, it’s much easier to begin the process of raising your standards. What makes someone a slob is a lack of energy and I know that’s just not you. An easy hack I use to have more energy is always to try and sit up straight and walk with a straight back. This might sound incredibly dumb but it works well – try it for yourself.
7. Find the hidden cause
To be able to raise your standards you need to find the hidden cause of the habit that is not serving you.
For example, if you want to give up coffee then you need to find out why you drink coffee. In my life, the root cause went like this: I would need coffee because I was tired, which was because I went to bed late, which was because I was out drinking booze two nights in a row, which was because I was unhappy with life and because I couldn’t say no to invitations from friends out of fear that I would upset them.
The reason you are not raising your standards in life is probably because there is a host of contributing factors. Lift the carpet of your standards and analyse the hidden causes about why you are living the current pattern of your life.
You are going to upset people in the process who don’t agree with your new standards but that’s a problem with them not with you. You want to change the world and you’re prepared to build your life one layer at a time.
8. Redefine the niche of your passion
A lot of the reason why you want to raise your standards is so you can have more success within the niche that relates to your passion. My recommendation is that you do whatever you can to redefine the niche of your passion and change people’s perception of how things have always been done.
Many years ago I was an emerging dance music producer and I never got to the level of success I wanted. Looking back, the reason was that I tried to copy other types of dance music rather than redefine the category as a whole.
Back then, the artists that were having all the success – like Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and Axwell – all redefined dance music and you could tell a song was made by them from a mile away. Whatever your passion is, you need to redefine your niche and stop copying what everyone else is doing.
“Approach your passion from an entirely different angle. Redefining your passion will help you raise your standards by focusing your mind on what’s important and honing your skills in one area of growth” – Tim Denning
Your standards will become like the rules for how you operate when time stands still, and you are engaged in your passion.
9. Put your indulgences at the end not the start
Falling down the rabbit hole of distraction is easy when you let your indulgences always come first. I see so many people who want to sit down to work on their dream but insist on indulging in some other useless activity before they get started.
This pointless activity – like social media, cleaning the house, or shopping – then wastes the small amount of time they have before they return to the job they hate, and they never make any progress on their dream.
How do you overcome this? Simple, you flip the equation back the front. Hard work on your dream, equals a quick reward of some indulgence, rather than indulge first, and work later. This is a powerful life hack that is not hard to implement right away. Again, dream first, indulgences and distractions later.
How have you changed your own standards? What are some of your new standards? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.
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