I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse – Florence Nightingale
“My dog ate my homework, Miss.”
We start coming up with excuses at an early age.
Excuses manage to get us out of trouble. So we start coming up with more of them to avoid things that we should be doing but quite simply don’t want to.
A different word for an excuse is a LIE
Some of the excuses are blatant lies, like the classic “the dog ate my homework.” No it didn’t. You simply didn’t do it because you spent the time doing something that you prefer to do instead; watching TV, playing video games, sports or making out with the girlfriend / boyfriend of the day. It is understandable, doing homework isn’t fun. We would all have rather been doing something else. Some of us simply accept that the homework has to be done and get on and do it. Others, however give in to that desire to do something less dull, then when it comes time to hand the piece in which we haven’t done, the mind goes into creative overdrive to invent an excuse for not having done it..
I had a friend at school who literally never handed in his homework, he used the dog ate excuse on more than one occasion. My personal favourite revolved around his uncle visiting from Hong Kong, accidentally packing my friend’s homework in his luggage when he went home.
With a creative mind like that, my friend should have been a big name author by now. I saw him recently in town, and asked him what he was doing now. “I’m between jobs,” he said before launching into a tale of woe.
Strange that a man who had spent his school years coming up with excuses (lies) wasn’t successful.
Other excuses (lies) are built on what we consider to be truths.
“I simply didn’t have the time or energy to go to the gym after work tonight.”
You then go home and spend three hours vegetating in front of the television set, eating pizza. But you know that it was a long hard day at work, so you have a valid reason for not hitting the gym. It’s not your fault that your boss decided he wanted those reports fifteen minutes before you were ready to leave. Is it? You are fully justified in your actions. It is someone else’s fault.
There are two types of people in the world.
Those that give excuses and those that don’t.
Unsurprisingly those that choose not to give excuses are the successful ones.
I’m not saying that successful people never fail to follow up on something or complete something they know they should, but when that happens they take ownership of the failure, not invent an excuse for not doing it. As a result of this attitude the number of times they put themselves in a position where they have to take ownership of a failure reduces. They follow through more often than not.
We have all seen inspiring stories of people that refuse to give excuses.
Yes they may have lost their leg in an explosion, but they are sure as hell going to run this marathon. It doesn’t matter that the pain is intense, it doesn’t matter that everyone will understand if they don’t do it. They know that if they don’t do it, it is simply an excuse.
If you are a person who makes excuses for failing to do things. Now is the time to sit down and take a long hard look at yourself.
What are you going to do for the rest of your life?
Are you going to continue inventing lies as to why you aren’t successful, you aren’t thin, you aren’t “whatever you wanted to be in life” or are you going to take ownership of your life?
Are you going to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough?
Today I’m going to do my homework…the dog will simply have to eat something else instead.