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Why You Should Cherish People Who Hold You To A Higher Standard

Why You Should Cherish People Who Hold You To A Higher Standard

Have you ever stopped and thought about the people in your life? Are they all the same sorts of people? How do they influence what you do or how you think about yourself and the world around you? It’s often quoted that we are the average of the five people we spend our time with, so what kind of people do you choose to be around?

Have you ever considered that the quality of your life and the quality of your work are a direct result of the standards you have for yourself and the standards of those around you?

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Do You Think About Who You Spend The Most Time With?

Most of us pick up friends out of proximity to where we are at a particular time. Whether they are friends we know from school, work, or the activities we do most, we tend to choose to spend the most time with people we see easily on a regular basis.

Not only that but, as humans, we always want to make friends and spend time with people that praise, appreciate, and recognize us. This seems obvious because we all want to feel loved and accepted without any hassle or feelings of criticism, but is this helping our growth and development as a person?

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Why The “Harsh” Friend Is Better For You Than You Think

Shying away from people that are seen as harsh or critical might be doing you more harm than good. This isn’t about spending time with selfish, manipulative, and hurtful people we all encounter from time to time, instead it’s about surrounding yourself with friends that tell you the honest truth and who don’t feel the need to sugarcoat their opinions – especially when they feel it will encourage you to grow.

These are the people who are actually holding you to a higher standard. They are the people who believe you can do better, who believe in you to do better. They are the ones who always have your best interests at heart and steer you into a direction that you might not have seen or wanted to see.

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I always had the same group of friends who I loved – they would tell me how great I was, they always agreed with my opinions, they always told me I looked beautiful without makeup when I felt insecure in myself. But there was always one friend who challenged what I said, would give me their honest opinion that I would sometimes interpret as harsh, condescending, or critical, but as a result I never felt so close with her.

As I got older, I soon realized that what she was doing wasn’t critical, it was just that I wasn’t used to hearing the truth and I wasn’t used to being challenged. I saw it as a knock to my ego rather than an opportunity for growth.

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Why You Should Surround Yourself With People Who Have Higher Standards Than You

If you want to improve and succeed in your life, whether personally or in your career, surrounding yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard can do more wonders for your self-improvement and personal growth than you realize. These people aren’t the ones we should avoid or escape from, but instead we should cherish them for the unexpected growth they can provide us with.

So, don’t neglect those that love us dearly and tell us everything we want to hear, but also don’t neglect the people in our lives that sometimes tell us what we don’t want to hear. Your life is a reflection of your standards and how much you develop yourself can simply be  down to who you are venting your opinions to and who is telling you honestly how things really are.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of facing your limiting beliefs, limited perspectives about yourself, and what you’re capable of. Cherish those that elevate your thinking and energy. Don’t take what they say to heart but rather, take what they say mindfully and consider using it to push yourself and raise your game. They are not there to criticize, they are there to teach you something about yourself you weren’t aware of.

Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Published on May 20, 2019

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

Time.

When you think of this construct, where do you see your time being spent?

As William Shakespeare famously wrote “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me…”

Have you used your time wisely? Are you where you want to be?

Or do you have unfinished goals to attain… places you want to be, things you still need to do?

The hard truth is, that time once passed cannot be replaced–which is why it is common to hear people say that one should not squander time doing nothing, or delay certain decisions for later. More often than not, the biggest blocker from reaching our goals is often inaction – which is essentially doing nothing, rather than doing something. 

There are many reasons why we may not do something. Most often it boils down to adequate time. We may feel we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never quite the right time to pursue our goals.

Maybe next month, or maybe next year…

And, before you know it, the time has passed and you’re still no where near achieving those goals you dream about. This inaction often leads to strong regret once we look at the situation through hindsight. So, take some time now to reflect on any goal(s) you may have in mind, or hidden at the back of your mind; and, think about how you can truly start working on them now, and not later.

So, how do you start?

Figure Out Your Purpose (Your Main Goal)


The first important step is to figure out your purpose, or your main goal.

What is it that you’re after in life? And, are there any barriers preventing you from reaching your goal? These are good questions to ask when it comes to figuring out how (and for what purpose) you are spending your time.

Your purpose will guide you, and it will ensure your time spent is within the bounds of what you actually want to accomplish.

A good amount of research has been done on how we as humans develop and embrace long-term and highly meaningful goals in our lives. So much so, that having a purpose has connections to reduced stroke, and heart attack. It turns out, our desire to accomplish goals actually has an evolutionary connection–especially goals with a greater purpose to them. This is because a greater purpose often helps both the individual, and our species as a whole, survive.

Knowing why it is you’re doing something is important; and, when you do, it will be easier to budget your time and effort into pursuing after those milestones or tasks that will lead to the accomplishment of your main goal.

Assess Your Current Time Spent

Next comes the actual time usage. Once you know what your main goal is, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have now. It’s good to know how you’re currently spending your time, so that you can start making improvements and easily assess what can stay and what can go in your day to day routine.

For just one day, ideally on a day when you’d like to be more productive, I encourage you to record a time journal, down to the quarter hour if you can manage. You may be quite surprised at how little things—such as checking social media, answering emails that could wait, or idling at the water cooler or office pantry —can add up to a lot of wasted time.

To get you started, I recommend you check out this quick self assessment to assess your current productivity: Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

Tricks to Tackle Distractions

Once you’ve assessed how you’re currently spending your time, I hope you won’t be in for too big of a shock when you see just how big of an impact distractions and time wasters are in your life.

Every time your mind wanders from your work, it takes an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get into focus again. That’s almost half an hour of precious time every time you entertain a distraction!

Which is why it’s important to learn how to focus, and tackle distractions effectively. Here’s how to do it:

1. Set Time Aside for Focusing

One way to stay focused is to set focused sessions for yourself. During a focused session, you should let people know that you won’t be responding unless it’s a real emergency.

Set your messaging apps and shared calendars as “busy” to reduce interruptions. Think of these sessions as one on one time with yourself so that you can truly focus on what’s important, without external distractions coming your way.

2. Beware of Emails

Emails may sound harmless, but they can come into our inbox continuously throughout the day, and it’s tempting to respond to them as we receive them. Especially if you’re one to check your notifications frequently.

Instead of checking them every time a new notification sounds, set a specific time to deal with your emails at one go. This will no doubt increase your productivity as you’re dealing with emails one after the other, rather than interrupting your focus on another project each time an email comes in.

Besides switching off your email notifications so as not to get distracted, you could also install a Chrome extension called Block Site that helps to stop Gmail notifications coming through at specific times, making it easier for you to manage these subtle daily distractions.

3. Let Technology Help

As much as we are getting increasingly distracted because of technology, we can’t deny it’s many advantages. So instead of feeling controlled by technology, why not make use of disabling options that the devices offer?

Turn off email alerts, app notifications, or set your phone to go straight to voicemail and even create auto-responses to incoming text messages. There are also apps like Forrest that help to increase your productivity by rewarding you each time you focus well, which encourages you to ignore your phone.

4. Schedule Time to Get Distracted

Just as important as scheduling focus time, is scheduling break times. Balance is always key, so when you start scheduling focused sessions, you should also intentionally pen down some break time slots for your mind to relax.

This is because the brain isn’t created to sustain long periods of focus and concentration. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. After this time, your likelihood of distractions get stronger and you’ll become less motivated.

So while taking a mental break might seem unproductive, in the long run it makes your brain work more efficiently, and you’ll end up getting more work done overall.

Time is in Your Hands

At the end of the day, we all have a certain amount of time to go all out to pursue our heart’s desires. Whatever your goals are, the time you have now, is in your hands to make them come true.

You simply need to start somewhere, instead of allowing inaction waste your time away, leaving you with regret later on. With a main goal or purpose in mind, you can be on the right track to attaining your desired outcomes.

Being aware of how you spend your time and learning how to tackle common distractions can help boost you forward in completing what’s necessary to reach your most desired goals.

So what are you waiting for? 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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