Human beings are the social beings. What differentiates us with other animals is the way we behave in society and how the society works. Across the world, we all follow different culture, practice different religions, traditions and customs. Every culture, every tradition has their own values and people of that particular group tend to abide by those values. We can say that we all follow our social norms, which means unsaid rules or beliefs followed by our society. It is also important to acknowledge that what is normal and acceptable in one culture or group can be offensive or unacceptable to another group. Based on such values people categorize what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. This also leads to the classification of people within a society. However, there are few basic standards the goes same for everyone around the world with just the need to be a better version of themselves.
Do Social Standard Matters?
Social standard can have both beneficial as well as harmful effect on a person’s well-being. Though sometimes, such social standards can help in better functioning of a society, they can also turn out to be very harmful in other ways. It can lead to unequal system and discrimination among the members of the society. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the social standards while discussing the standards of an individual’s life.
Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow has given a hierarchy of needs where he divides human needs into different levels. First two stages talk about the basic needs like food, air, water etc. And how a person needs to feel safe and a sense of security in their lives. Third stage talks about affection and love.
The fourth stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs says that an individual need to feel powerful and recognized in a society and they feel a need to have their own unique identity. Establishing one’s identity in the society gives a sense of power and control to people. We all seek for basic needs and strive for more and more. Ultimately, the goal of a person is to establish their influence and power in society.
Here, the concept of social standard enters. When one achieves a level of social status, they want to be superior to other and have control over others, especially those under them. The fifth stage which is also the highest stage explains the concept of self-actualization where the person makes the perfect use of their potential and does their best overall. This theory of needs proves that a person always strives to do better.
Achieving High Standards
As we discussed in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that a person strives to be better and achieve things one after another, it is important to understand how to set standards and achieve those standards that we set for ourselves. Increasing our standards does not restrict to one or few areas, it covers many aspects of our lives. Some things that you need to consider to have better standards are:
1) Physical Health:
Any major growth or improvement starts with health at first. Before talking and chasing higher goals, it is important to first take care of our physical standards. It includes a nutritional diet, physical activities, proper sleep etc. Your standards are a cause as well as consequences of your health. So taking care of health is a must to improve your physical standards.
Before setting your standards, one should be aware of who they are, what they believe in and how do they see life. It is because our unique believes and value system makes us who we are and the standards that we are setting should and must align with our values in order for them to be practical.
For example, a person who wants to quit smoking keep believing and saying that he is a smoker. The belief that he is a smoker will not let him quit smoking even if he wants to because he has wired his brain like that. Therefore, what we say to ourselves and what we believe in plays a very important role in determining our standards.
3) Having Broad Perspectives:
It is very normal for people to stay stuck in their old value system and reject different or new perspective. Though having a value system helps to stay disciplined, it somewhere limits the scope of your growth and success. Sometimes, you start living under a false identity and deny who you really are just because of the beliefs that you adopted in the past. Therefore, it is important to challenge your beliefs as and when needed to set a better standard for yourselves.