Setting a High Standard
I always encourage Scouts whenever I can to set high standards for themselves. This is so important that I believe it is our duty as Scouts. This is the essence of the Scout Oath and Law. We should constantly be striving to push ourselves harder and accomplish more. This is the spirit which motivated the great deeds of the past. The great inventors, the great explorers, the great scientists, the great soldiers: all of these had a burning desire to do their best or to die trying.
As Scouts we should remember our heritage. This movement was inspired by the desire to emulate these great men of history. Scouting was very experimental. Many people did not think it would work, but they were proven wrong. Scouting showed to the world that young men can be heroes; young men can do great acts of service; young men can undertake daring adventures; and young men can be self-motivated to improve themselves.
Most people dream of doing great things, but that’s as far as it goes. Accomplishing great things takes great effort. Scouts go beyond the dreaming, they do. But all too often we find ourselves just getting a little too comfortable. It can be hard to hear at times. We need to be reminded, though, because this is a very easy thing to fall into.
As a society, our lives are getting easier with each passing decade. Most of us don’t have to fight for survival like many before us had to do. It is very easy to develop the habit of being satisfied with less than our best. As Scouts, we cannot let this happen. The life of the Pioneers was always much harder than those living in the eastern towns. So it is with us. We are modern day pioneers. We seek to recapture and embody that spirit which drives men to do great and hard things for the benefit of others.
The Difference Between a Scout and a Boy Scout
All of these principles of Scouting are not just for the Scout-aged boy. Scouting is a program for boys, but whether you are 13, 30, or 60, these principles are universal for those who have the Scout Spirit. I once posted on this Website’s Facebook page: “Scouting is not for the young. It is for the young at heart. It is for those who say, “I can!” when others say, “I can’t!””
This is why one doesn’t stop being a Scout when one gets too old for the Scouting Program. Scout Spirit is an ageless spirit. There are boys who stop participating in Scouting at 16 or 17, and there are boys who get their Eagle Scout award early and consider it the end of their Scouting career. Show me one of these boys ,and I will show you one who has not captured the Spirit of Scouting. Now, I do not mean to say that every Scout should volunteer with a Scout Troop their whole life. There are different times and seasons for everything. However, when someone has the Scout Spirit, they will show it in whatever they undertake.
Managing the Expectations of Others
Everyone is different. Everyone was raised a little differently, and everyone is surrounded by different people. When it comes to Expectations, the expectations of those around you (especially those in authority), pose different challenges.
Some have parents or other authority figures who don’t set high expectations or standards for you. It doesn’t take much to win their approval, and they very rarely criticize. This can be challenging for you as a Scout, because it is easy to simply rest on these people’s expectations and not push yourself. Be aware of this danger. Make sure you keep setting the standard higher for yourself. Hang around people, if you can, who motivate you to get better and better. Don’t be afraid to be called an “over-achiever” as long as you make sure your priorities are straight. If you have the right priorities for your life, there is no such thing as an “over-achiever”.
On the other hand, some have parents or other authority figures who set impossibly high standards for you to accomplish. You feel like you can never please these people, even if you honestly try your best. Now, first make sure that you really are trying your best. I know from experience that it is easy to think that someone is asking too much of you when they are simply trying to motivate you to do better than you are. If you are still trying your hardest and not pleasing these people, the important thing is to not get discouraged. Remember, this is your life, and the important thing is that you are setting a high standard for yourself and striving to live up to it. Don’t set your worth on what others think of you. What you do isn’t as important as who you are. You are a Scout.
Most of the time, your parents or authority figures will fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes they will not expect enough of you, and sometimes they will expect too much. The important thing is to keep that high standard for yourself no matter what. Encourage others to give you constructive criticism, and take all criticism, even nonconstructive, without getting offended. Try always to do your best, and always know that you can do better.
Thanks for reading this post! How do you get into the habit of setting high expectations for yourself? Comment below; let me know!
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