“I would have played more, but coach has his favorites.”
“I would have gotten the promotion, but Jerry’s such a suck up that she gave it to him.”
“I would have more money right now, but life hasn’t given me any breaks.”
What do all of these quotes have in common? That’s right…they’re all EXCUSES!!! You know what excuses are right? Those reasons we tell ourselves and others when we fall short of getting or having what we want. In all of these quotes (and trust me, there are many more), the reason success wasn’t achieved is NOT owned by the person saying them. They seem to have failed because of someone or something besides themselves. Their success or achieving of their goal was based on someone or something else. Hmmm…that doesn’t seem quite right.
“When you’re good at making excuses, it’s hard to excel at anything else.”
—John Landis Mason (Inventor of Mason Jars)
Are you great at making excuses? Are your failures in life never your fault? Are you consistently blaming others, the economy, or life for all the things you haven’t accomplished? When will you hold yourself accountable? When are you going to realize that your success and achievement of any worthy goal depends on you and you alone?
He’s More Popular
I remember playing high school basketball as a sophomore. I was the sixth man, which, for those of you who don’t know what that is, means I was typically the first person off the bench when coach wanted to substitute someone out of the game. A buddy of mine and I were pretty even in skillset and what we gave to the team, but he seemed to get all the starts. Why did he always start and I was the sixth man?
I convinced myself it was because he was popular. And he was. He was probably the most popular guy in the school with successful parents, two hot sisters, and a family that had money. Well at least they “had money” according to the standards of our small town. This was the reason he started. This was the reason he got to be on the court for tip off. This is the reason I was on the bench. I believed this for a long time.
But as I reflect on this, he deserved to start. It wasn’t because he was popular. It was because he was a better rebounder. He was also a bit bigger than me, wider that is. Not in an out of shape way though. He had broader shoulders and stronger legs. This made him a great rebounder as he was great a blocking out and fighting for rebounds. He was a better rebounder than me and a more powerful forward. He deserved to start.
Why did I make excuses instead of working on my game? Why didn’t I get hungrier and become more focused? Perhaps a little more work on my side would have changed things? I’ll never know now.
At the end of the day, your success at anything depends on one, and ONLY one person…YOU!!! You are responsible for whether you reach your goals and have a life you can be proud of. Sure, you can blame others for why you’re not where you want to be in life. But that doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t change a thing, and surely isn’t helping. Instead, hold yourself accountable. If you don’t get more playing time, work on your game. If you don’t get the promotion, look at what you can do to increase your chances of getting it next time. If you are struggling with money right now, figure out ways to get in control.
Your success depends on you. Don’t let “making excuses” be your gift. Let hard work, determination, and focus be the traits that lift you up and help you attain your goals. Put the power back in your own hands to change your life. It’s hard to get ahead in life if you believe your success relies on someone or something else. Make the mind-shift today. Have a day where you make no excuses. Turn that day of no excuses into a week, a month, and a life of no excuses. Only then will you be in control of where your life is headed.