Have you ever dreamt of doing something great in life? I am sure most of you have, or probably will at some point in your lifetime. Today, I am going to share with you a few secrets that I have acquired by studying some of my favorite personalities. One could ask, what was common in all of them? The answer is high standards. These group of special people have set for themselves really high standards in every thing they do. A high standard is the hallmark of a someone special, who loves challenges, dreams big, sets lofty goals, often unachievable at once, but ultimately knows it will happen. So, how to set high standards in life?
1. Challenge yourself: You must challenge yourself to put your skills to test, in extreme conditions. For example, think of an entrepreneur. He has two options. Either do something unique that no one else has done before, or do something that a million others are doing. If he, for instance, chose to play the game the hard way, that would be doing something someone else hasn’t done before.
Let’s take another example. Say you are a computer programmer. Now, solving easy problems would obviously help you to an extent, but your willingness to go a step further and solve the harder ones is what sets you apart. That’s challenging yourself. If you can’t challenge yourself, you aren’t setting yourself apart and you really aren’t setting a high standard for yourself. Therefore, you must challenge yourself, regardless of what the end result would be. Just do it!
2. Aim for Perfection: Steve Jobs has always been one of my favorite personalities. He had this innate understanding of what we, the consumers, wanted before we even knew what we wanted. Take an Apple product and compare it with any other product in the marketplace. The difference is clear. Each of the Apple products have Steve’s vision embedded in them and it becomes clear how Steve was a maniac when it came to perfection. He simply wouldn’t settle for anything until it was perfect. You must aim for perfection, even if you don’t achieve perfection, you would be closer. You must attempt to do so and that is the key.
Yesterday, I was watching Steve’s interview from 1995 and he volunteered to do a section of the interview again just because he didn’t like the way he put the words. I noticed that he was clearly tired but he didn’t settle for anything less, because he always practiced and followed his high standard quite religiously, in every facet of his life. Hence, aim for perfection, and even though things cant always be 100% the way you want them to be, you will at least in a better position than you would be had you simply aimed for something satisfactory!
3. Study your heroes: I usually study the work and lives of my favorite personalities, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and countless others. How does studying others life’s help you in yours? You get inspired and influenced. A major part of how I set high standards is by comparing my work with people who lead a particular part of an industry. This helps me gauge and fine tune my goals, missions and visions and ultimately, helps me realize my position in the grand scheme of things.
So, study your heroes, but do not worship them. You must have your own plan of action, backed by your passion and creativity. However, having the knowledge of how successful people got there is part of aligning yourself with similar standards they embraced. If you passionately follow the best in an industry, you already have acquired one secret of setting a high standard. So choose a group of your favorite people and learn more about them. It will help!
4. Dream Big: When I was a kid, my dad influenced me quite a lot by introducing me to books with titles like ‘How to build a CAN DO’ attitude. He used to stick quotes by great people on his note board, and I would wake up and read them before I went to school. One memorable quote that I remember is by Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams“. It is strikingly true.
Through time, I have realized how obsessed I have become with greatness, dreams, passion and wisdom. You will always have at your disposal your imagination and your untapped ability to dream beautiful things. Remember, whenever you dream of something, an idea, or anything of importance to you, write it down and keep a track of it over time on how you are going to make it happen. But you must at least dream, and not just dream, dream really big. Dreaming, for me personally, has always been a great part of the process of building a profile for my own high standards. Big Dreams = High Standards.
These were the four secrets that have helped me quite a lot in my personal and professional life and I am sure they will help you too. To be fairly straight forward and honest, setting a high standard is a life long journey, and if built into your ethos at an early age, it could work wonders for your future. Remember, it isn’t a formula nor a full recipe for a successful life, but rather an ingredient and a catalyst. Why? Because life isn’t only about high standards, its more than that. It’s about love, passion, patience, perseverance, struggle, hardship, creativity, intelligence and more. But I can assure you, if you have set for yourselves high standards, you are pretty much on the right track to become special, more than what you’re now, much greater.
About Ali Gajani
Hi. I am Ali Gajani. I started Mr. Geek in early 2012 as a result of my growing enthusiasm and passion for technology. I love sharing my knowledge and helping out the community by creating useful, engaging and compelling content. If you want to write for Mr. Geek, just PM me on my Facebook profile.