It should be a no brainer that when it comes to employment and to relationships, having high standards is very important. However, we seem to forget what commitment is, when we become complacent or disgruntled.
We get a new job, and we are all excited about having the new job. So we promise ourselves that we will learn all we can learn and do the best job we can possibly do, and we quickly learn how to do our new job. We even dare to believe we do our job better than the guys that have been there longer.
Then we begin to notice undercurrents. We learn the unwritten hierarchy and we learn how to leverage ourselves above the others. Then we start noticing how the others are slacking off. We start to hear conflicting messages from the higher-ups. An unfavorable attitude brews in us. “Why should I do my job to the fullest if they aren’t?”
The same scenario can play out in our relationships as well. At first, all we see is sunshine and rainbows. We see stars that blind us, as we travel through the early stages of a relationship. In a romantic relationship, this is the lust phase, when we are madly passionate about everything that has to do with our new beau.
But after awhile, we start seeing the blemishes and the flaws in our new beau. We then enter into a phase that will make or break the relationship. If time has been invested to really learn about our new interest, then the relationship will weather any differences of opinion that happen to arise. However, as in many romantic encounters, if the new couple chooses to explore each others bodies and they neglect their minds, there isn’t enough in the lust to keep the relationship alive. That’s why it is so important to spend some time really getting to know someone before hopping into bed—so that the relationship is built on a solid foundation of common ground, instead of heady clouds of lust.
If we are reaching for a strong committed relationship this time, instead of another painful fling, then we need to invest the time upfront to build that foundation.
Any beau worth having will understand waiting until you know each other better.
We need to set the bar higher for ourselves, if we expect to experience commitment in our relationships and in our work.
When it comes to our personal standards, where we choose to set the bar is a personal matter. What I mean by this, to achieve my own personal best, my standards cannot be dependent upon anyone else’s performance or demands.
I’ll go back to the work analogy to explain this better. When we accept employment, we agree to perform our assigned duties. We agree to uphold everything listed in our employment contract. Most companies nowadays have rules concerning our conduct while under their employ and while on their premises. Most of these are standard rules of etiquette. Others are specific to the company. Either way, when we sign on, we agree to follow all their “rules.” Their list of expectations is the baseline. Our bar needs to be at least this high for us to succeed in their company. As a side note, this is not basing our standards on their demands. This is us meeting the expectations of our job.
However, sometimes we must follow our own standards, rather than blindly following orders. As as example of times when our personal standards trump company standards, sometimes, after we have been in a company for awhile, we start to notice shady dealings at the management level or above. Even though this seems to be the status quo for the company and other employees are following suit, my own personal standards would keep me from partaking in those shady dealings. For instance, I once had a situation at work where I was informed that someone was in the process of stealing people’s identities, and he was using our company to do so. The higher ups knew the repercussions on their customers, if this criminal succeeded. Yet when the officials (police and/or feds) told them to carry on as if nothing were wrong, because they were on to him, my boss passed that official command along to me. Try as I might, I could not follow through with my orders. My personal standards would not allow me to partake in ruining the lives of all those strangers, when his call came on my phone.
Included in the expectations of employers is being a productive member of the staff. Being hired to do a specific job is a binding agreement between two entities, between employer and employee, and nowhere does it state that if so-and-so slacks off, then I get to as well. And this is the same in relationships. Just think of that thing moms used to say, “If Bobby jumped of the bridge, would you?”
When we disregard our work ethic to play the same games as everyone else, everyone else does not suffer the consequences for us when we get caught and get either reprimanded or fired. It is our own reputation that suffers. Our own paycheck suffers and our own family’s welfare suffers. Same goes for our relationships. When we neglect our morals, our reputation suffers, and it costs us other, more valuable relationships.
I’ve had problems in the past with thinking I had to play their games in order to be liked by the other employees. Being accepted was very important to me, and unfortunately I made decisions that didn’t always honor my employer. It didn’t take long before I figured out that my place of employment was not a social outlet; then I started putting my nose into my work and stayed away from the gossipers and those who tried to entice me to extra long breaks, and such. I am not placing blame. I made every decision. We like to blame things on that catchy phrase, “peer pressure,” but even though I was being pressured, I made the final decision to succumb each time.
My prayer for you today is for you to find strength to stand up against peer pressure. My prayer is that your relationships will grow and blossom, and that you will blossom where you are planted.
In His Grace,