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High Standards: Do what you can with what you have where you are

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve had an insatiable hunger in my bones now for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories began during tennis conditioning, hurling my body up and down the court running lines, pouring sweat, and leaving it all out there. In school, this meant sacrificing sleep to stay up late perfecting my astronomy project on extraterrestrial bodies by hole-punching a million white stars and individually pasting them to a trifold board. You could say I’ve long identified with adjectives such as “dedicated” and “driven”. 

In my younger years, I didn’t quite understand what made me tick, or really think much about it. I wasn’t fully cognizant of what having “high standards” meant, or that I was doing anything that could have been categorized in this way. It’s just how I was by nature. 

However, I recognized early on that if I had the choice between upholding quality in my life or not, I was going to choose the former. That’s certainly not to say things have always been perfect, but I stand here today with a grateful heart that those seeds took root early on. Those very seeds asked me to show up and give my best regardless of the circumstances at hand. They asked me to bring it all to the table and never hold back. That in so many ways, my relative effort was me leaving my mark on the world, and it better be purposeful. 

But WHY does it matter? Why is it important to have high standards in life? 

Regardless of the vehicle through which I was exploring having high standards, it’s those same seeds that have gently and powerfully carried me through some of the more difficult seasons of life and taught me a great deal about myself along the way. It’s formed the foundation of my very being and most importantly, allowed me to make a significant impact on my own life and the lives of others. That there is so much on the other side of whatever life dulls out because we get to choose our effort, our attitude and our approach. And we might as well make it good.

In my life, having high standards means I won’t budge for anything less than the best. It’s quality that speaks for itself. In business and in life, generally speaking, people respond to quality because it shows that you care. That you took the time to produce something you feel proud of and that you want others to benefit from, too. And in your own unique way, you can employ certain tactics to show an even greater level of care. Simply put, having high standards ensures that things get done and confirms that I am giving my best not just for myself, but for others who are relying on me. 

I still struggle to put into words what having high standards means to me, or why it resonates so deeply. I just know it’s an inherent part of who I am. Expecting quality of yourself in all things probably means there’s an opportunity to love on yourself, pour into others, or simply make the world a better place. When doing what you can with what you have where you are makes its greatest impact. It’s those endeavors that will always matter. 

This article was written by our very own Megan Carter. Learn more about Megan here.

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