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Higher standard

January 19, 2007

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” Henry Ward Beecher

I was talking with some others earlier this week about holding ourselves to a higher standard and how to teach that value to those younger than us. The above quote reminded me of that discussion and all the thoughts I had about it that I didn’t add to the discussion.

How are you doing at holding yourself to a higher standard? Can we do that without others?

The part I really appreciate in the quote is “be lenient to everybody else”. I think we should encourage and support others to a higher standard, but often we demand it or expect it and when it doesn’t happen we criticize them. What would the world look like if we encouraged others to reach for a higher standard while also being lenient when they miss the mark?

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