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By Coach Shawn


The military helped me raise my standards.

Of course my physical standards.

But it also helped raise my mental standards.

My discipline standards.

It has an obvious yet subtle way of doing this for people.

And because of those raised standards, people can have different qualities of life.

Large in part due to that environment. 

But what happens when one leaves that environment? 

That no longer is their everyday environment? 

When leaving the military it’s easy for one to lose this standard. 


A General of the Marines once said, 

“These men and women have such pride in themselves because they’ve made themselves do things that they normally wouldn’t have done. 

It’s definitely been influenced by this environment. 

And many of them, when they leave this environment, this will have been the peak of their life in terms of how proud they are of themselves, or what they will accomplish.

Unfortunately, they’ll never translate this standard to their daily life.”

Why is that? 

It’s because…

Most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.

Our peer groups are anyone around us we respect, care about and who we give power to. 

What they think matters to us.

We want them to like us, so at some level whether conscious or not it affects us. 

And here’s a challenge we can run into: 

What if we have a higher expectation for our life than the people we surround ourselves with? 

The result:

Our peer group will naturally pull us down because they don’t want to lose us. 

They will find ways to undermine us, not because they don’t love us but because they do love us. 

These could sound like: 

“Come on, relax, don’t be so serious.” 

“Do you really have to go to the gym everyday?”

“Oh that’s right you wouldn’t want to come out with us.”

“Working out is more important than time with me huh…?” 

Unconsciously they sense we might change, grow or expand and they fear that that could mean they could get left behind. 


So from this make a choice:

We either lower our standards

Or we make a different choice. 

We instead choose to lead.

We choose to raise the standard around us. 

And those people, if they have the desire and enough care to be with you, they will raise their standards too. 

Because whoever you spend time with, you will become. 

This is about stepping up. 

Creating environments that encourage you, challenge you, support you and bring out the best in you. 

We have created this environment within the four walls of Railroad for our community and people. 

It fills us with pride when individuals raise their own standards and help hold each other to higher standards. 


Now look outside those four walls for a moment, look at your immediate environment. 

Work environment. Social environment. Family environment. 

Are the standards in those environments and groups of people raising you up or are they pulling you down? 

If they are raising you up, excellent. Let those people know you are grateful and appreciate them doing so because it helps make you and everyone around them better. 

If they are pulling you down you have two choices. 

1 – Lead. 

Lead by example. You don’t have to necessarily be concerned with changing them (some folks won’t want to change or raise their standards unfortunately.) 

But like I mentioned above, if they have the desire and enough, care to be with you will raise their standards too. 

2- Let them go. 

Some people in our lives are anchors. They hold us back, bring us down and prevent us from progress, growth and expansion.  Ultimately affecting the quality of our lives in negative ways.

Is that what we really want? 

Letting go is hard, I understand.  

But worse, is holding on to something/someone or people that are constantly dragging you down. 

Change requires action.  

Otherwise, we run the risk of staying exactly where we are or more likely yet what nobody wants,

go backwards. 


Choose to lead.

To elevate.

To raise your standards.

And to continue to progress and thrive, take that standard with you wherever you go.  

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