Are people lowering their standards?

I have very high expectations and standards for myself. And since I have them for myself, I believe I’m justified to have them for others, as well. When something doesn’t go right or as expected, I still get passionately irritated by it, and I work every possible scenario in my head trying to search for a way to fix it, make it better or have it turn out as intended. In my view, it’s never too late.

But my standards and expectations aren’t everybody’s. Things are bad right now for a lot of people. Many have felt like they’re hanging on by a thread for months now. Generally speaking, people with jobs are afraid to take new ones and often play it safe at their current one to maintain it. Too many more don’t know what to do.

There’s a lot of stress and frustration out there – especially for those who remember the ease with which they could get a job just 6 months ago – and certainly in the last three years.

My concern is that people have given up and have lowered their expectations. Or they just don’t think much is possible. On an individual level, part of leadership is goal setting, vision, and a belief in the possible. But on a country level, we should collectively be gravitating toward inspiration and vision instead of lament and frustration.

The lesson of America to me has always been you can make what you want of yourself. But that’s not just a global, end of life, are you rich or poor sentiment. It also means you can be great at a particular job. Or you can complete a task really well. You can achieve small successes just like big ones, and they’re all worth celebrating.

These are frustrating times, but hang in there. We’ve been through tougher times, and we will be again. My suspicion is that before long, we’ll be finally looking back at this period, and as we rebuild our careers and our businesses, things will adjust from what we’ve learned and be better than before.