Anyone who has raised children realizes that humans pretty much begin life with this amazing ability to make excuses. It doesn’t matter if you catch them in the act; a child’s natural tenancy is to make an excuse. These excuses can be out right lies, twisting of the truth, or even strange yet imaginative utterances.
Conquering Excuses – A wild story
I remember catching my son taking one of my ‘forbidden to touch” tools. He stood there with the tool in his hand, inside the garage, right next to the toolbox. Instead of telling me he wanted to use the tool, or apologizing for taking the tool, he decided to come up with an excuse.
It was a whopper of an excuse that went something like this – “some guy across the street asked me if I had some pliers, and I told him my dad does. Then he said, why don’t you go get it and bring it here, and I will give it right back. But then I said, I wasn’t allowed to touch it, but he said that it was an emergency and that it would be all right. I told him I would get in trouble, but he said he would talk to you after he was through, and he seemed like a nice guy. I didn’t want to get it for him, and then I remembered you said we should help those in need, and this guy really needed it, so I decided it would be alright, and then you came and that is why I am here now.”
At first I was ready to scold him for making up such a ridiculous story, but then I decided to play along and said – “OK let’s go over, and see him together maybe he needs help.”
I could see the fear in his eyes, but being a true natured human, and not wanting to get caught, he blurts out: I, I think it’s too late, he is probably gone by now.
It took awhile, but I finally got him to admit the truth, and it was better for him to tell the truth and not lie.
I know this may have been a little hard to follow, accept for those who have raised or worked with children. The sad thing is many still make lame excuses to keep from being held accountable for their actions.
The problem is these excuses can inhibit, and even prevent, us from reaching our highest and greatest potential. This is why it is vital to understand our own proclivity to blame others, and make unwarranted excuses as to why we do, or don’t do certain things.
Excuses, excuses, excuses
To become successful, we have to build the fortitude to stop making excuses, and begin to accept accountability for our own actions or inaction. The same tired excuses that hold us back need to be stopped. There will always be things that inhibit us from reaching our goals. However, to be successful we can’t let our excuses become a stumbling to inhibit us from reaching our goals and living our dreams.
* Stop thinking like a victim. Yes life is not fair, and there are many variables we can fall victim to. However, in the end the only one who is to blame for a negative, and excuse-filled attitude is ourselves.
* Focus on the positive in your life. It’s easy to spend our attention on negative things and events, and overlook the positive. Try thinking of, and writing down, all the positive things in your life, and begin to focus on these regularly throughout your day. It’s amazing how focusing on positive things can brighten up your day and those around you.
* Begin to be thankful throughout the day. One great and easy way to start is to begin to say thank you. We can say thank you to the person making our coffee, or ringing up our groceries, or our wife for being thoughtful, or when our kids say nice things to us, or the stranger holding open the door. It’s also important to just be thankful for the everyday things in life, and learn to express it to those around us.
* Read or listen to positive music, books, and other inspirational input. Like the old computer adage, if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.
* Memorize positive and upbeat quotes and verses. You can find thousands of quotes on-line, and the bible has many versus about thankfulness and developing a positive spirit.
* Lastly and most importantly. we really just need to be aware of our nature and what makes us tick. We need to be aware of what sets us off, and what brings us discouragement. By being more self-aware it’s easier to uncover our real problem, and what we can do about it.
Conquering Excuses Conclusion
When we take responsibility for ourselves we free ourselves up to make the right adjustments along the way, and become more successful in our endeavors.