What Happens When We Set Standards

It is believed that after the age of two, we begin to distinguish what is right from wrong. Simultaneously, we create impressions and assumptions about the world we live in. These would eventually influence the things we want in life and what seems we require for ourselves and to others. This is where we start setting standards. But to what changes these standards have in our life is the focus of this blogpost.

We tend to ignore alternatives.

Our perspective immediately becomes narrow when we set standards. It could actually be beneficial to do so because we  set our minds in achieving a goal. We tend to focus on that thing and work towards getting it. However, the process is not linear and easy, such that nothing would hinder one from taking actions to meet one's goals. Sometimes, there would be a need to adjust goals or even explore other alternatives. The problem lies when we become too fixated with our goals that we are no longer willing to do something else, believing it could be less than what we want. The truth is that alternatives are opportunities like all options one has, nothing less than one has assumed.

We become tough with ourselves.

We require too much from ourselves. We constantly aspire for a better future based on the personal standards we have. We imagine ourselves having everything what we want. That image becomes an inspiration for us to initiate something. That itself is fine. However, in reality, the moment we set standards we set the threshold of contentment and happiness higher. It would take more achievements to feel happy. In the process, we strive harder and harder, believing that hardwork guarentees success. However, this is not true. Success is dependent to how contented we feel day-by-day. The tougher we become with ourselves, the lesser probability we are happy with what we have, thereby, making one feel empty, incomplete and unsuccessful.

We become bounded with norms.

Traditions, customs and mores facilitate order in the society. It sets expectations and becomes an indirect barometer of what is good or bad for ourselves and the society in general. The society also dictates what behavior is acceptable and appropriate, which often opposes what we want to do in life. Ofcourse, there should be limitations to our actions, especially with those that concerns the general welfare of the community. However, there exists many restrictions imposed by the society affecting greatly our personal happiness, without significantly affecting the society. We must behave in a certain way, not because it harms others, but because simply that is what the society judges as correct to do as an individual. In the long run, we become bounded to these standards which are supposed to guide only, not restrict anyone.

This blogpost seeks not to paint standards as bad. However, we all need to reflect how these standards have influence our decisions and actions. Sometimes, it is better to take one day at a day, rather than think over what we must get or achieve. It is fine to have objectives but these goals should not limit to how we should love our lives, and attain contentment and happiness.

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