BENCHMARK: a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed (Oxford Dictionaries).
In business, benchmarks are used all the time to help make business decisions, to determine what moves to make with finances, to redefine processes, or even what employees to hire. Those benchmarks can be drawn from the business’ own experience or the experience of other companies. Either way, when studied appropriately, a benchmark can be the leading example for others to follow; to maximize potential for success.
In your personal life, it’s no different. We often seek people or observe people from afar that have similar talents or skills. Maybe they are an expert in their field of creativity or business. When we’re trying to reinvent, evaluate or strengthen ourselves, we almost involuntarily look to others to help determine what the standards for ourselves will be. Even if we draw from our own experiences, there are external references that help us decide what our next moves will be.
Well, what if you became the benchmark? What if you became the guide; the mark; the reference point for others? I’m convinced that if you’re striving to become the benchmark; you’re intentionally and consistently working to be the leader of the pack; to persistently find ways to grow more solid and rooted than before. If you’re the benchmark, you’re laying groundwork for others, in turn reaching back, helping others to become benchmarks; thereby carrying the torch of community.
Being the benchmark doesn’t mean you’ve done everything there is to do or that you’ve mastered all there is to master. Life is a mountain of growth, often times with endless peaks to reach. Therefore, even as the benchmark, you’re steady-looking for other benchmarks around you. You’re constantly looking for those reference points to refuel you; guide you to the next point.
Working to become or continue being the benchmark helps ensure that you’re staying on the right track – the track that you purposely have defined for yourself and work hard to clearly follow.