Posted March 21st 2020, Updated on October 2020 (Archive Post)

High standards are key to success across all domains within your life.

If you look at the best (insert dream job here) in the world, their standards are likely to 10X higher than yours in each of their respective domains.

But It was not always like this. At one point, they had standards below yours. At one point, Shakespeare wrote at the level of my English Class Slam Poem. At one point, Michael Jordan played basketball worse than you do.

By continually pushing their bar for performance, they were able to reach world-class standards. You can’t reach the best if you don’t develop high standards for your performance, the people you work with, the environment you achieve in, the knowledge you have, etc.

A lot of times, people are limited by the standards within their environment. If you are in school, your definition of high standards is what get’s you an A+. If you are working, your definition is becoming your boss's ideal employee. However, the problem with standards influenced by your environment is that once you reach it, think you have reached the best you can. It’s common to become content with your work after reaching what you think is “100%”, preventing you from reaching your full potential. This sucks if you don’t realize that the standards in your environment suck ass.

How can you become an award-winning writer if you continue to compare yourself to the best in your English class? How can you be a software engineer at google if you go to Seneca community college? Don’t be limited to your environment. It’s likely the standards are really low. You just don’t know it yet until you actively search for higher standards. If you want to reach world-class performance, work with the top people in the best environments, you need to be able to match their standards, surpassing your current idea of good performance.

Now how do you reach high standards?

To reach high standards, you need to know what high standards are.

The internet allows us to easily find information- this includes the best people in whatever you are trying to do. Look at their performance and practice raising your bar towards that level. You can increase the process of reaching high standards by surrounding yourself with people who produce high-quality work. This can be done physically or through the internet.

Don’t be limited to who you already know. It’s likely that your friends who you think are “super good at ____”, aren’t in the eyes of others. Find communities of like-minded people. This may be school clubs, students at your local university, different organizations working in your passion, etc. Find the best examples of high standards. Youtube is a great place. Find online communities of like-minded people. Reddit and Facebook groups are a good start. Find people you aspire to be like and connect with them through email, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever you use. You will be surprised just how easy it is to friend people online.