Evolving Your Standards And Expectations
What you’re about to hear is a fundamental concept to personal development that a lot of people overlook, and it’s causing them to get frustrated that they’re not where they want to be in life.
I imagine your life looks very different today than it did 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even one year ago.
Do you know why? Because things change. Maybe you have a new job, new home, new relationships, new responsibilities, commitments, and interests… Things are not how they used to be and they’ll keep changing, fast.
This isn’t new to you nor is it new to humanity. Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher in the 6th century BC said “The only constant in life is change.”
But here’s the problem. Many people refuse to evolve and match the way things have changed around them, and it sets them up for failure.
I’m a perfect example of this. I am a former collegiate Division 1 Student-Athlete. For my entire life my identity was wrapped up in being among the most athletic people in my peer group - Making All-Star teams, earning awards, being named captain of the team, the list goes on.
And that served me until life changed…
When I no longer was a collegiate athlete, I struggled. I still saw myself as an elite performer, but I didn’t feel motivated to stay in top shape and wondered what was wrong with me. I was used to excelling in school, but when I started my career I was average or worse at my job. I had grown accustomed to people telling me how great I was, how I’m on the fast-track to success, how I was going to make a difference in the world, but I was starting to doubt if any of that was ever true.
Looking back at it, I know exactly what was happening and it’s the same problem I see people experience both through major life transitions and on a daily basis. The problem was - I had not changed my standards and expectations when my life changed.
What has served me since was to get clear on the role my fitness plays in my life, what level I want to maintain, and how I can proceed with fulfilling that in the current context of my life. It’s not what it used to be but it’s not supposed to be, and it’s still phenomenal.
I had to change my understanding about what success means. For years I was evaluated based on wins and losses, awards and accolades. That wasn’t fair anymore, so I needed to update my mindset and get clear on what success means to me and how I wanted to pursue it in this chapter of my life.
And in all areas, once I evolved my standards and expectations, I stopped feeling the resistance of trying to live up to how things used to be and started meeting the current moment as the person I needed to be now.
And that has led to me getting the elite results in the game I’m playing today (startup acquisition, 18+ million download podcast, meaningful social impact business), on a new and different playing field.
In summary, I share my story to drive home the key point here - If you’re too hung up on trying to be the person you used to be, that was the best fit and optimized for how things used to be, you’re going to fall short of making the most of how things are now. So stay ambitious, be practical, and design your life so that you’re set up to win!