As we think about what we hope to aspire in 2020, it’s essential we understand the difference between standards and ideals.

For example, when the Dalai Lama was a teenager he became dedicated to pursuing the mastery of buddhist principles on his journey toward achieving enlightenment. In an ideal world, he would live in nirvana everyday.

However, just like you and I, the Dalai Lama is human – He’s not perfect.

Today, and even more so at the beginning of his journey, if he judged each meditation practice by whether or not he had achieved enlightenment, he would become disappointed by how far away he was from nirvana and may not have the strength or determination to continue his journey.

Enlightenment is an ideal situation, but it’s too high of a standard to hold to everyday.

Where in your life have you confused ideals and standards? 

When do you hold yourself to your ideal when you could be holding yourself to a standard?

Where are you lacking a standard to help you get one step closer to achieving your ideal?

If you want to look at this from an artist/management perspective, here’s an example:

I love K-Pop’s content strategy of releasing video content almost daily on YouTube. In a world where consistent content guides the fan journey, ideally artists would release content this frequently in every genre.

Instead of measuring artists’ content output by ideally where they would be, set a standard of output higher than where they are at today.

Maybe it’s two or three videos a month. Then can increase the standard of output accordingly over time until they hit ideally what’s needed to keep fans satiated at the highest level.

Artists are humans. So like all of us, they reject big change. But if the changes are tiny, they are more likely to implement and grow with them over time.

Set and work up to a standard keeping the ideal in mind. Not the other way around.


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