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I had the TV on in the background this evening, when I overheard something that made me pause.

He said, “Maybe your standards are too high.”
She replied, “Our standards are who we are.”

They weren’t talking about dating. They were talking about quality of work. And again, I think it’s funny when things happen when you need them to happen, because I’ve been thinking a lot about my own standards both in my personal life and my professional life.

My boss likes to tease me, because I was a straight A student, and I always strive for 100% on our audits. And I always ask him, “Why would I strive for anything less?”

In The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, Mark Manson talks about some guy named Becker and his theory of “immortality projects.” Immortality projects are the things that drive us to leave behind a legacy. Becker believed that humans are so fearful of death, that it drives them to do great things to be remembered when their physical bodies leave the world.

Religion, politics, sports, art, and technological innovation are the result of people’s immortality projects.

Manson explains that these immortality projects are our values. And values can be defined as the standards of one’s own behavior. Like, whoa, right? I’ll give you a second to re-read that.

If the standards we set drive our behavior to achieve things out of life, why would I ever strive for something less than great?

Our values are what we find important in life, and if we don’t hold those important things in life to a high standard, well, I mean, who wants to go through life being mediocre? I want to go through life standing out, trailblazing my own path, and marching to my own drum.

Personally and professionally, I strive for perfection. But I’m not a perfectionist. I know that shit happens and that reality doesn’t always live up to our expectation. So why would I ever strive for less than perfection knowing that the expectation may not be met?

Our standards really are who we are, and they are what motivates us to move forward.