Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I recently read an inspiring article about how having high standards essentially leads to a higher quality of life.  I reflected on this notion and found that it couldn't be more true.

Starting with this quote about "quality"...

So true!
If you stop to think about it, we strive, or should  strive, for quality over quantity in ALL things in life - friendships, relationships, child care, education, work, clothing, food, living space, experiences, vacations, how we spend our free time, etc.

For me, it's remembering things like...
The farmers' market or organic produce over the Walmart produce.
Finding an accredited, reputable day care vs. an unlicensed day care.
Surrounding yourself with a few friends who lift you up,
vs. many acquaintances who may bring you down.
A well-planned vacation (no matter where to) is always worth it.
Splurging on the more expensive shoes vs. buying several cheap ones at Target,
to spare the pain of blisters & bunions tomorrow.
How 300(+) thread count sheets really do ensure a better night of sleep
than the scratchy discounted ones.
(Something similar could be said for toilet paper!)
Yet, I am all for the cheaper Walgreens-brand ibuprofen, Dreft, etc.

Often, with SO many choices presented to us, we become unsure or uncertain as to what quality really looks like.  How do we determine what is of high quality and what is only posing as such?

By setting standards.

We need to set standards based on what we believe.  (Not what your fancy pants next-door neighbor believes, nor your frivolous friends, nor your favorite celebrity, nor even your own well-meaning relatives.)

Then, remain unapologetically consistent in your standards...
how you will allow others to treat you,
how the food you eat makes you feel,
how much your  rent/mortgage should cost,
how a fabric should feel against your  skin,
how a garment should look on your  body,
how experiences and people should make you  feel,
how the square footage of your home is inversely proportional to the memories and family traditions you  create within the walls...

These are the things we have control over.

Work hard, love unconditionally, role model admirable behaviors for your children.
Because when you set standards for your life you are immediately deciding on what is high quality, what meets or exceeds your  standards....and what doesn't.
Eliminate what doesn't!
And don't settle for less than your  best, what makes you  happy.

Sometimes, when we aren't paying attention and let the busy day-to-day overwhelm our way of thinking, life takes the reins.  When we allow others' choices, behaviors, and society's preferences to dictate the decisions we make, we are not setting a standard of living that will create a high quality of life for us personally.  Attempting to keep up with the Jones's only results in jealousy, dissatisfaction, and constant comparison.  It steals joy.  It's materialistic versus the pursuit of simple happiness.   This is not a healthy way to live!

Instead, we need to flip the situation on its head
and allow life to respond to OUR expectations.
I'd much rather be content and grateful for what I have
than be lusting for what I have not.  (And probably don't even really  want.)
And I certainly sleep better at night
when I know I was true to myself, my morals, my values.

Here are ten ways to set high standards and demand quality in your life...

What do you think?
A high quality of life is completely within our control.
Take a moment today and assess what you value in each area of your life (personal, professional, financial, etc.) and then determine if you're meeting your own standards or not.  
We can do it....it simply requires living each and every day consciously.

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