“Stop with your excuses!” – Random Guru
I think gurus are close to having the right idea here. Many excuses are just that – excuses. Parents that blame their kids for the parent being messy, or fat, or unmotivated, will eventually have the kid no longer in the picture but the parents behavior continues on unchanged, despite the excuse no longer being valid.
The problem is sometimes excuses are valid, even though they’re mostly not.
People that have excuses about why they can’t follow their diet because “they’re so busy with work,” but then get fired, and their diet still doesn’t change.
John Romero, the creator of Wolfenstein and Doom, had an excuse that the team wasn’t being so productive because they were in Wisconsin and it was cold and miserable – so they all moved to Dallas. They moved to Dallas but their productivity problems followed them there eventually as well.
When you take responsibility for everything you do and feel, there’s no real excuses. But you can’t take responsibility for things outside of your control and that’s a valid excuse.
It’s possible for someone overweight to eat better – whatever excuse they have is not valid, unless it’s outside of their control (ie. they’re incarcerated and have no choice on what to eat because it’s in the control of others).
The tricky part here is whatever the excuse is regarding, is VERY likely to be completely fictitious. Meaning that the reason you can’t start that business you always wanted to because “you work so late at the office,” is totally false. Because if you got fired and didn’t work at all, you STILL wouldn’t start that business. The excuse would just change, “It’s not the right time,” or, “I’ve got bills to pay – I need to find another job!”
There’s only about 2 main things that are out of your control: the weather / environment and other people.
This is why Tony Robbins mentions that “proximity is power,” and being around other people can have real effects on you. You’ll never be a movie star if you just hang out by yourself in the Sahara Desert. In this same example, you CAN move to Los Angeles to get your acting career launched, but if you have an excuse as to why you can’t move there, it’s probably just that – an excuse.
In the end, the reality is that it’s very difficult to know if something is a valid excuse or not, but more often than not in many situations, the excuse isn’t valid at all.
While the excuse may be valid, the better path is to just treat the excuse as if it’s not valid and press onward. – Truth Cake
One way to see how invalid an excuse is though is via a) Honesty, and b) Knowing what you really love.
Getting in the habit of talking honestly with yourself is more powerful than excuses. “I don’t have a 6 pack because…I love doughnuts more than having abs.” Or, “I don’t have a clean house because…I like watching TV more than having a clean house.”
Behind every excuse is a love for something else more than the goal. – Truth Cake
When you realize excuses are hiding what you really love and want, you can decide CONSCIOUSLY to overcome it or not and stop pretending that an excuse is the problem when it’s not.
You can also tell whether it’s a valid excuse or not. An inmate that loves steak that says, “The reason I can’t eat steak is because I’m incarcerated and not given a choice.” That’s clearly a valid excuse – there’s nothing he loves more, and it’s in the control of other people.
However, the person that says, “The reason I can’t finish reading that book is because my kids distract me,” is much more likely saying that they love giving their kids attention more than reading a book.
What’s an excuse you told yourself about something and when that excuse no longer existed, you just found another excuse to not move towards a goal? How are your excuses showing you what you truly love?