June 21, 2007.
"People with integrity do what they say they are going to do. Others have excuses."
Rudyard Kipling, the celebrated English author and poet, once said, "We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse." Yet today we are literally inundated with a tidal wave of excuses from every direction. In fact, it seems everyone has a reason, explanation or justification for not doing what they were supposed to do.
Rather than just go out and do what needs to be done - when it needs doing - we seemingly work overtime concocting an ever growing repertoire of excuses. Just like the soup of the day at the local diner, everyone has an excuse du jour ready at a moment's notice.
"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you, never excuse yourself."
Henry Ward Beecher
So what's going on here? Why do so many of us crank out one excuse after another for virtually everything we fail to do? Well, for starters, excuses are easy. In fact, they're way too easy. After all, making excuses doesn't require any effort or commitment on our part. All we have to do is toss out excuse after excuse and we feel we're off the hook, since the best excuses always absolve us of any personal responsibility whatsoever.
Didn't do what you were supposed to do? Hey, no big deal, here's my excuse. Failed to hold up your end of the deal? No big sweat, I've got an explanation handy. Left someone else holding the bag? So what, it wasn't my fault. Didn't pay your bills? The excuse is in the mail. On and on and on it goes.
"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."
George Washington Carver
We've grown so accustomed to making excuses that they just blurt out whenever and wherever we drop the ball. Rather than fess up and admit we didn't do whatever it takes, we cower and hide behind our wall of excuses. But come on, who are we really fooling here? It's certainly not the people who have to listen to our mealy-mouthed nonsense. These folks quickly see right through our excuse laden rhetoric. So there's really no one else left to fool but ourselves.
While getting in the habit of making of excuses is easy, excuse making doesn't get any of us anywhere close to where we want to go in life. Sooner or later all of our years of excuses eventually catch up with us. Before we realize it, the best of life has slipped away in a lazy, hazy, crazy blur of excuses.
"It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible."
François de La Rochefoucauld
Hey, I realize that there are times when you don't feel like doing something you know you need to do. We've all been there a thousands times before. But like it or not, these are the make or break moments that determine your lot in life. You must decide whether you're going to knuckle down and give it your very best shot or allow another flimsy excuse to determine your destiny instead.
The person who really wants to do something invariably finds a way to get it done. And for those who don't want to do something; well, one excuse is just as good as another I suppose. What it all boils down to is simply this: what kind of person do you really want to be? Do you want to make excuses - or make something happen instead?
It's time to turn all of your excuses loose once and for all. Each and every time you fall short, pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and immediately get going again. No complaining, no explaining and absolutely no excuses allowed. You will find that the minute you stop making excuses and start finding a way to get the job done, you'll start making your life everything it could be and should be... and so much more.
The Bottom Line: Get rid of the excuses and you can get anywhere you've ever dreamed of going.
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