The Weekly Dream: Lying Down With Dogs

“Beware of the Company You Keep”

Question of The Week: What are your standards and do you have the courage to stay true to them?

I have seen something that consistently amazes me. And in reality it bothers me. What has my goat this week? It is the low standards that people set for themselves and those around them. A while ago I wrote about having a personal code and to take the time to articulate that, and this is a continuation of that discussion.

Low standards really occur on the dating scene. I meet many professional women that seem like they got it together, but they go for deadbeat dudes. Guys will do the same thing, dating girls based on her physicals, but that will be the topic of a different post. It all comes down to standards.

The Diagnosis

What is the source of low standards? I believe it stems from a lack of confidence/self-esteem, belief, laziness or ignorance. A lot of people do not know they can do better because they have never seen better. Others simply do not believe they can do better, and others still consciously or subconsciously do not believe they deserve better from themselves or others. Then, there are those who could do better, but lack the drive and motivation to take it to the next level.

Just as detrimental as to having low standards is having the wrong standards. This is the most common case. In this case, people make their decisions purely off of signals instead of looking beneath the surface. They look purely at what a person can offer them or they base their self-esteem on their finances or status, rather than the content of their character. You see this especially in social settings (e.g. clubs). It is cool if a person is doing well financially or they are in graduate school, but what about their integrity? Do they challenge you? Are they a good person? These are the type of questions we should ask of ourselves and those around us. Because money and status entitles us to nothing and it could be gone tomorrow. When you strip away the superficial things, what is left?

Analysis

So, how do we overcome this epidemic of low standards? First, we must know our value: Our real value. Our real value are things like your hopes, dreams, character. By knowing this, we steer clear of the false pride that accompanies wealth and prestige. When somebody meets me, I tell them I am The Man because of who I am, not what I do.

Next, make sure your standards are not mismatched. You cannot expect the world from someone else and you don’t have anything to bring to the table or you do not expect the same for yourself. Lead by example. Expect more from yourself than anyone else does, because only you have the final say as to what you can and cannot do.

Most importantly, believe that you are capable of more and you can do better. And if that means you have to be alone, then you are alone. It is lonely at the top and jam packed at the bottom. The minute you take your eyes off your standards, you begin the treacherous slide into mediocrity. We must always keep an eye towards what we will and will not accept. We must always believe that we are worth the high price we put on ourselves, because we know what we bring to a situation. I tell people, if I am with you, there is no Buyer’s Remorse with me, I am worth everything I say I am-and probably more.

Surround yourself with people with the same high standards, because they will hold you accountable. I am reminded of when I was in high school. I did not associate with “losers.” I wanted to be with the Movers and Shakers. I wanted to raise my level. I thought I deserved the best and I was going to get it.

As adults, we get use to settling and making compromises-that is a part of life. But when is enough enough? Where do you draw that line in the sand.

The weakness you make allowance for today, can destroy you tomorrow.

Do not internalize failure and mediocrity, although you are surrounded by it.

We all deserve better, believe it and go get it.

Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas

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4 responses to “The Weekly Dream: Lying Down With Dogs”

  1. ladyAge30inVirginia says :

    I clicked on your blog for entertainment purposes and ended up enlightened. I think I’ve been “settling” for my husband for seven years. The signs were there that he would be a dog and cheat but I kept hoping that he would change… because he said he would. Well, three kids later, he’s still doing what he wants to do and I’m still questioning our marriage and whether I compromised myself.

    Yeah, I need to stick to my standards and get over the fact that he’s not going to change. I look good, I’m educated, and when I love you, I LOVE you. I just need someone to give it back.

  2. super_mujer says :

    Maybe the problem is knowing where to go to find other people that can work with you on a level you are comfortable with. It seems that since I left my bubble of existence called higher education it seems a little difficult to locate such people. Especially for the dating scene things seem a little dry where I live. I would like to dive right into a pool of eligible people with your same values and ethics, problem is I do not know where they are. And thus I end up at the same social scenes with mutual friends, sipping on wine and looking around for something good (but usually end up empty handed). I keep an open mind to meet nice people and quickly discard when I start to see signs of crazy or lazyness. I can deal with a man without a degree but crazy and lazy is something I have had enough of :) In the meantime I will keep my eyes open for someone almost as together as you DeVougas….or maybe I should be looking for someone better (but probably almost impossible lol)

  3. "The Consigliere" says :

    I appreciate both comments. To Lady: I have never been married, but I do know what a good marriage looks like. If you feel undervalued you have to do something about it. As the Word says, you should not be “unequally yoked.” It takes courage to ask those hard questions and to seek those answers. Only then can you address the root of the problem. One thing I know about human nature, and that is if a person goes to long feeling neglected, unhappy or unappreciated, the normally end up doing something drastic in reaction to those feelings. As always, do what is best for yourself and your children. Pray for strength and guidance, because life is too short to spend a single day unhappy and full of regret.

    Super Mujer, I can totally relate to your plight. When I moved home from Ann Arbor, I had a serious period of adjustment. It was like I was from outer space because no one could relate to the experiences I had. However, I kept going out, seeking new experiences, and putting myself out there to find and interact with these individuals. It is not easy, but it is well worth it. I would suggest you mix it up a bit, go to near buy cities. What I did was do community service and hang out with people from the different organizations I worked with. But get out your comfort zone. But keep your head up.

  4. Nikki P. says :

    Steve,

    I liked this post a lot. The only thing I would like to add to the conversation is that I agree with not surrounding myself with losers but I don’t disassociate myself with them either. I believe maybe I can help them and serve as a better example. Like you said, some people don’t do better because they don’t know they can. Sometimes I look at those folks who don’t have everything quite going for them as a guide as what not to do he-he. I feel as a community we are only as strong as our weakest link and some of those folks I would really not like to associate with or claim I know them or they are a part of a community with me, I can’t give up on either.

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