He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~Benjamin Franklin
Use your mind to make money… and not to make excuses. ~Robert Kiyosaki
When you ask a six year old why they didn’t do their chores, they might respond with “I forgot.” When you ask your employee or co-worker why a project isn’t completed they may respond with, “I didn’t know it was a priority” or “I have not had enough time.” When you ask your congressman why the government is a mess you likely will get a long-winded response on why it is everyone else’s fault but theirs. Excuses are like air, they constantly surround you wherever you go.
Most excuses come in the form of answers to why specific actions were not performed. For example, the question of why you were late to work may be responded to with “my alarm clock didn’t go off.” There was a direct action that needed to be performed, in this case getting to work, and when it is not performed an excuse almost inevitably follows. These are the most common forms of excuses because one’s day is comprised of responsibilities that need to be performed and when they are not performed, people want an answer. Rarely are excuses needed for larger life-altering questions because frankly, people are too polite to ask the difficult questions. “Why aren’t you successful?” or “Why haven’t you lived up to your potential?” or “Why are you so unhappy” are questions many people are never asked in their entire lives.
While these questions are rarely asked directly by others, these are often the questions that individuals focus on internally and come up with the most excuses to explain away. When someone is not successful, many will blame their parents, the education system, their boss, their co-workers, their own spouse, and countless other individuals who stood in their way or did not contribute to their success. They will blame faceless institutions that for whatever reason create rules so that they specifically would not succeed. They will blame a lack of time in their life, as if for some odd set of circumstances time only gave them 16 hours a day to work instead of 24. They will blame everything under the sun except their own actions for why they haven’t achieved success.
Why you have not achieved success in life is not due to your intelligence, situation, or opportunities that have been given you. There are countless stories of individuals that started out with less that have achieved more. If you have not accomplished what you want in life, then you need look no further than the choices and actions you have made up to this point. If you are reading this and are thinking “Yeah, but my circumstance is unique” or “Yeah, but I don’t have…” or “Yeah, but (insert countless excuses here),” then you will simply continue down the path that has led you to this point.
It is time to become the type of individual who eliminates excuses and takes responsibility for their actions. It is time to become the rare individual that others can look up to as a model of accountability and performance. It is within you to achieve great things and taking responsibility for where you are in life is a wonderful first step.
As you move forward with the goal of being excuse-free, ask yourself a few questions:
Do You Really Want to Be Successful?
Achieving success takes drive and determination, qualities that are not easily artificially produced. Except for the most ideologically driven individuals, almost anyone would take a winning lottery ticket if it was given to them. Almost everyone claims that they want success but few are willing to put in the time, energy, and make the sacrifices necessary to become successful. What do you want to accomplish in life? What are your goals? If success truly isn’t something you want, then you will be unlikely to stumble into it.
Who and What Have You Blamed for Past Failures?
Answering this question honestly will take a level of self-awareness that might make you uncomfortable. Have you constantly inwardly or outwardly complained about a lack of time? Have you thought to yourself that if you had a different boss, or business partner, or a more supportive spouse that you would be more successful? What about your situation have you lamented about that you have seen as a hindrance to your success? By identifying and analyzing what you have blamed in the past, you are taking an important step to eliminating that excuse in the future. If you catch yourself in the future uttering that same excuse, just give yourself a little slap on the hand, smile outwardly and compliment yourself on the fact that you no longer are the type of person that blames others and situations for your circumstances.
What are the Excuses that have Prevented You from Moving Forward?
It is likely that you have a business idea or area of interest that you have hesitated to move forward on. Maybe it is a great idea for a website, or you know that your area needs a new type of business that isn’t available. Maybe you are interested in real estate and know you can be successful but haven’t taken that next step. Whatever the area may be, there have likely been excuses that you have told yourself on why you haven’t moved forward with your idea or ambition.
Some of the most common excuses in this area are a lack of time, resources, and specific knowledge that prevent people in their mind from taking the next (or sometimes first) step. When you catch yourself stating any of the countless excuses that can arise when you are tempted to put off action today, simply remember the quote from Robert Kiyosaki:
“The most life-destroying word of all is the word tomorrow.”
There will never be the perfect time where you have an unlimited amount of time or resources, performed all of the perfect planning, and learned all you need to know. Take your idea and run with it. Replace excuses with action and you will be amazed at the transformation that begins in your life.