S:0504 Distinction: Standard vs. Habit

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


These two words are very close in meaning and usage, but they do have a distinction worth noting. [This is about useful habits. “Bad” habits are the subject of other S3MC s.]

A habit is something you do without thinking. So is a standard.

Acting out of habit gets you an automatic outcome. As does a standard.

The distinction is in choice. Habits usually are created unconsciously. They emerge, evolve, and become “just the way I am.” No choice, no thought.

A standard, on the other hand, is nearly always the result of choosing to live at a higher level. It is a conscious action to choose to have the standard to, for instance, have your desk clear at the end of each work day. You would only make this choice if you felt your life would be better because of it. No “should,” no “must.” It s your standard.

An interesting side note is that once you have practiced a new standard for a while it becomes a habit. But it s a habit you have consciously chosen because you want to.


Coaching Point: What are some of your standards?


Copyright 2005 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.