"High achievers have high personal standards. A personal standard is a personal choice. You get to choose what you expect out of yourself. But here's the problem - A lot of people confuse 'standards' with 'desire'.
- 'Desire' is hope with no accountability. And a standard with no accountability is just a hollow intention. Remember this. Low achievers and high achievers have the same goals.
The world is full of mediocrity, big talk, missed opportunities, and unrealized dreams. But it doesn't have to be that way. The difference in outcomes isn't talent, and it's not luck. The x-factor...the difference-maker...is personal accountability. And without personal standards, you can't have personal accountability.
When people think of standards, they tend to think about behaviors. But behind all behaviors, are thoughts and feelings. When you don't live up to your standards, it's because you talk yourself out of them. You didn't feel like it, so you gave yourself a pass. Now, no one's perfect, and you're not always going to live up to your standards. No one does, especially if you set high standards for yourself. But high achievers give themselves fewer passes than low achievers do. So what's the secret? High achievers hold themselves accountable for their thoughts and their feelings.
They make a very conscious decision to choose their best thoughts and to engage their more useful emotions. For high achievers, this isn't a trivial exercise. They're very intentional about their thinking. Now I want to share 10 examples of 'intentional thinking', and I'm going to state them as standards. Standards you can adopt for yourself. Here they go:
- 'I will routinely stop and think about what I'm thinking.'
- 'I'll quiet my mind and avoid distracting thoughts.'
- 'I'll think of myself in the third person and objectively distance myself from the emotions of the moment.'
- 'I'll hold myself accountable for the thoughts I choose.'
- 'I'll avoid mental time travel and focus on the here and now.'
- 'When I experience a negative emotion, I'll choose more useful thoughts.'
- 'I'll choose rational over emotional thoughts.'
- 'I'll be open-minded and avoid rigid thinking.'
- 'I'll reflect on the choices I make', and
- 'I'll think compassionately about myself and others.'
If you adopt these standards - these intentional thinking standards - all the other behavioral standards you set are going to follow. You won't give yourself as many passes, and you'll begin to master your thoughts and emotions."
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