There are lots of misconceptions surrounding the terms values, principles, and standards.
Other times people simply think they’re the same thing. Each term is similar and all three are related but there are unique differences that separate them.
Values are your long-lasting beliefs on certain issues and things that are important to you. They are essentially the foundation of your principles. Some examples of values are integrity, compassion, patience, and generosity.
Principles are indisputable, unchanging rules you hold that are based on your values. For example, “treat others the way you want to be treated” is a principle. Another one I apply in my life is “don’t dip your pen in company ink”, meaning don’t get involved with women at your work.
Standards are actions or behaviors that you expect yourself to live up to based on your values and principles. These include things like working hard, being rigorously honest, committing to your physical well-being, and supporting your family.
How do values, principles, and standards play a role in your reboot?
Oftentimes I notice that people tend to pick up values, principles, or standards because they think they sound cool. They hear someone they admire or respect throw one of these things out and so they adopt it without thinking. However, if that value, principle, or standard doesn’t align with your truth, it’s not going to hold up over time.
Values, principles, and standards are all very personal things. You can’t simply look at someone else and take theirs as your own. Sure, there will always be some crossover between you and other people. But the system as a whole will differ slightly from person to person.
There isn’t necessarily a “right” or “wrong” way to approach these things. Everyone has a different way of thinking and believing. Our value systems are shaped by factors like the society you live in, the area you grow up in, your family, and your friends. At first, you’ll likely share some similar values, principles, and standards with those around you. Over time, though, you may start to recognize where the values you learned when you were young don’t align with how you see the world as an adult.
As you grow up, you develop a set of values and principles that fit with your beliefs. This results in a set of standards that you live your life by. An important distinction between values and principles and standards is that standards are very personal. People often try to impose their standards on others and it leads to problems. Values and principles are used to determine who you surround yourself with but standards aren’t something you can force others to adhere to.
I’ve talked about values and principles before and their importance in the reboot process. I don’t think I’ve dedicated enough attention to standards, though, and that’s what I want to focus on today. Developing standards is a crucial part of your reboot and I want to help you begin that process.
1. You must create personal standards that you adhere to at all times.
There is no avoiding developing a set of standards as a man in porn addiction recovery, sex, and masturbation. You cannot live a directionless life free from personal standards, nor can you simply adopt the standards of those around you.
Your standards inform your decisions, from the job you take to the people you spend time with. If you don’t have standards you’ll be left to react to whatever happens around you. Successful men who are strong in their convictions do not live a reactionary life. They develop a set of standards and stick to them without question.
2. Recognize that your standards are not goals.
Some men mistake standards for goals. They believe that they’re ideals to work towards at some point in the future. However, standards are not something off in the distance. They should inform your life as it is right now in the present moment. Your standards serve as the filter for your decision-making and behaviors.
Every time a decision comes up you should run it by your personal standards. Does going out to the strip club with your buddies align with your standards for maintaining your reboot? Does slacking off at work align with the type of man you’re working to become? These aren’t distant decisions; they are happening right now and your standards inform your choices.
3. Your standards are yours and yours alone.
Again, standards are a personal framework for living. Standards are something you determine for yourself based on your values and principles. They are not something you impose on your friends and family. Nor are they something you adopt from the people around you.
Drawing your standards from others leads to a dishonest life. Imposing your standards on others creates unrealistic expectations that will inevitably be unmet at some point. Your standards should work for you and you alone and serve as the driving force for your actions, not for others.
4. Standards are for personal fulfillment, not for impressing others.
Do not outline standards that you think will impress others. Even if they are aligned with your values and principles, standards aren’t a tool for boosting your ego. You’re still developing a dishonest set of standards if you approach them this way.
Instead, outline standards that leave you feeling personally fulfilled. They should be a framework for living that lets you put your head on the pillow at night knowing that you’re being true to yourself. Ultimately, the most important part of living a successful life is ensuring your thoughts and actions align with your beliefs. Standards are the way to ensure that happens.