Raise Your Standards

Steve Pavlina:

Maintain high standards for the quality of your output. When you’re working on something important to you, do your best work. If you aren’t willing to do your best, then switch to work that demands the best of you.

Keep shifting your work in the direction of what you love to do. This week do more of what you love than you did last week. The more you enjoy your work, the easier it is to feel motivated. This kind of hard work feels good.

Think improvement, not perfection. Keep raising your standards over time. Strive to become more dedicated to your work this year than you were last year.

High standards require commitment. You cannot maintain high standards while simultaneously tolerating low standards. Start noticing where your standards are out of alignment with your best efforts, and make some real changes. Disconnect from those who are constantly dragging you down. Dump the uninspired work that makes you feel like procrastinating instead of contributing. Brainstorm a list of 20 things you can do to increase the quality of your work output; then implement one of those items immediately.


You can work smarter and harder today than you did yesterday. You can eliminate one distraction today that you succumbed to yesterday. You can do more work today that you enjoy and that matches your skills and talents. And this is all that’s required.

Make your best effort not to be perfect but to improve upon yesterday or last week. Take on one little change at a time. Find one small improvement you can make today, and do that day after day. After months and years of iteration, you’ll find your work much more productive, enjoyable, and rewarding.


When you respect your work and your contribution, it’s easier to allow yourself to receive the rewards of hard work. Abundance can flow through your life with less resistance. You’ll be able to receive more rewards if you make a bigger contribution because you’ll feel you deserve it; it won’t violate your biologically pre-programmed standards of fairness. But if you know deep down that you aren’t doing your best, some part of you will block that abundance. You’ll know you didn’t really earn it.


Are you doing your BEST? Not just working hard… Not just putting in the time… Not just showing up…

Are you doing your personal best to grow and improve today? Are you besting what you did last week? Are you working on the best project you can be working on to make a meaningful social contribution?

If you aren’t doing your best, how can you shamelessly expect the best in return? If you output mediocrity, expect to receive that. That’s only fair, isn’t it?

If you truly do your best, then you have good cause to expect the best in return. Time and again you’ll see that when you really do your best, the universe will back you up. Social support will come to you. Resources will arrive. Obstacles will be overcome. Encouraging signs will appear. Life will flow with grace and ease.

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