Resolve to Choose Your Standards

Ron McIntyre
3 min readFeb 23, 2024

Ask them about their standards the next time you talk to people you know. Most people will tell you their standards because most people have them.

They might not be able to articulate them. They might have difficulty putting their finger on it, but you can tell by their behavior, what they choose to talk about, and what they choose to avoid that they do have standards.

Here’s the problem. A lot of us absorb our standards. We didn’t intensely think about them. We definitely did not agonize over them. In many cases, it would seem like we just unquestioningly absorbed all of them.

We often live our daily lives oblivious to the standards we currently acknowledge. We will join similar groups. We meet new, similar people. People we know, love, and trust say things. And we end up absorbing these standards. Often, these seem so comforting and reassuring that they appear ‘natural’ to us. They often feel like they fit our conception of ourselves and our personalities. However, we are filtering out standards that may challenge and push us up and out. Instead, we corroborate or validate the things we think we already ‘know’ about ourselves, otherwise known as confirmation bias.

If these standards always worked for us, it would be great. If they always pushed us up and out, it would be great. But that’s not the case. Frequently, we hold ourselves to impossible standards that end up discouraging us.

Soon enough, if this drags on for a long enough time, it devastates us. And the worst part is that we think that this is just natural. We believe it’s the way it goes. We shirk it off and think that’s how the cookie crumbles. Standards are standards.

Well, they’re not. You must understand that you always have a choice as to the standards you choose to live your life by. It’s always a choice.

Believe it or not, some magical process did not mindlessly implant the standards you currently have. If you think they just dropped in your lap, and you had no choice, think again.

You always have a choice, period. The fact that you’re retaining these standards is a choice. It’s all a choice. At the same time you must realize that there a costs with those standards.

Accordingly, you should choose your standards consciously. Do they reflect your values? Do they speak to our better selves? Do they lead you to where you wish to go in life? Have you thought about where you want to go in life?

These are the big questions that you need to grapple with so you can clearly understand what your standards should be. Shape and mold them so they can add to your life instead of dragging you down.

Know why you believe what you do and how it affects you and your relationships around you.

Choose them wisely. Truly reflect your interests and your values to evaluate and solidify your standards. Don’t for a second think that you’re just some sort of victim and that this happened automatically; there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s not true. That’s a lie. You always have a say. The only questions are whether you realize this and whether you plan to make full use of it. You always have a choice.



Ron McIntyre

Ron McIntyre is a Leadership Anthropologist, Author, and Consultant, who, in semi-retirement, is looking to help people who really want to make a difference.