What’s Your Standard?
Hey! I hope your weekend is going well!
I’m sitting in Columbus airport right now waiting to board my plane. I had a pretty cool weekend up here taking a continuing education course on manual muscle testing and advanced concepts related to it. Very productive weekend indeed.
It was interesting having conversations with my clients and colleagues about my trip last week leading up to my departure because one question I got a few times was “is this a requirement to maintain your certification?” When my response was “no I’m taking it just to become even better at what I do” it seemed to be a bit of a shock to them.
My motives for going and my answer to the question speaks to the standard that I’ve set for myself in regards to my education and my skill development. I have a standard that is set not by the minimum requirements stated by my certifying organization but by what I feel I need to do in order to be the best I can be. My standard is to do the best job I can for those who entrust me with their body and rely on me to help them.
It’s interesting to think about this concept of a standard. Our standards that we set for ourselves in large part will determine what we will actually do in various areas of our life. If we hold ourselves to a high standard and we keep ourselves accountable to maintain that standard than our actions will reflect it and so will our results. The same thing will happen in reverse.
In my example, if my standard were lower and was dictated purely by what is minimally required of me in order to remain legally able to continue my work than it would translate into DOING much less to improve my knowledge and skills and subsequently being a poorer practitioner.
Lower standard-less action-poorer results and improvements.
I think about this concept of standard a lot when I think of health habits also. People that hold themselves to high standards for their bodies make different choices than those who don’t. They tend not to settle for the status quo and they don’t wait until they have “problems” to do things to improve their body. Unfortunately many of us can often fall into a trap of lowering our standard and have it be nothing more than to “feel good enough to make life tolerable and to be healthy enough to not be inconvenienced.”
Have you ever known anyone with a standard like that?
If someone has a standard that is grounded in a principle of wanting to treat their body with a high level of respect, maintain it well and work to improve its health and function than that will translate into a completely different set of actions. How their body feels and works will reflect those actions.
In working with hundreds and hundreds of people over the past 10 years, I’ve been able to easily see the standards that exist in people’s lives. Many people have a standard of maintaining convenience that is higher than maintaining health. This standard says that “if this health habit is easy to perform, quick to complete and requires a low amount of effort than I will do it, if not than I won’t.” What are they really saying when they have that thought or when their behavior reflects that thought? They are saying that their convenience is held to a higher standard than their health.
Others have a standard for pleasure that is higher than their standard for health. They might say or think “as long as I don’t have to give up anything I enjoy than I will do what I need to do for my health.”
I had a client recently come to me asking me to help him improve his muscular system in order to make playing golf more comfortable on his lower back. I told him that his best results would come from not only working with me, but also doing consistent home exercises and reducing his intake of certain inflammatory foods (which he was eating a lot of). In no uncertain terms he told me that his convenience and his pleasure was more important than this aspect of his health and that he just wanted to try working with me without doing much else and to settle for the results he got. I can virtually guarantee that his results will reflect his standard.
So my question is- what is your standard? Are you holding yourself to a high standard or a low standard? Is it being reflected in your actions? Are you expecting results and outcomes that are not possible based on the standard that you have set?
Don’t settle for low standards. You’re worth a lot more than that.
Chris Vercelli MATm, RTS, CPT
Founder: Non-Fiction Fitness