Posts Tagged excuses
Episode #37 A world without excuses.
“It seems to be a fact of life the human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some rationalization to clothe their act.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Have you ever wondered what a world without excuses and justifications for our actions and inactions would look like? Now think about it this way: What would your life look like without excuses and rationalizations?
Oh, it would be a much better use of our time and energy!
So, if it would be a much better place, why do we resist change and cling to excuses, justification, and rationalization for our behaviors, desires, and decisions?
Several reasons actually:
- Fear is a huge reason we avoid change and create excuses. But at what cost? Clinging to excuses and bad choices prevents us from truly living in freedom by keeping us chained to fear. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this (behavior, choice, etc.), because it’s just who I am.”
- Comparison is another biggie. “Everyone else is doing it!” We compare mortality, behaviors, desires, and actions based on what other people are doing. If ours doesn’t look, seem, or feel as bad, we write it off and convince ourselves we could be doing worse…like they are. “Well, at least I didn’t do ________ as often as him/her!” Do you remember your parents giving you the age-old lecture, “If all your friends decided to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?” Of course, the answer was always “No”. The truth is, in order to save our lives, sometimes we have to do the opposite of what “everyone” else is doing, and do what we know is moral, ethical, right, and life saving. As we all remember from our teenage years, popularity and peer pressure to follow the crowd can certainly be the disguise to our demise, because we think there is safety in large numbers—even when those large numbers are traveling on dangerous ground.
- Avoidance of the truth keeps us locked in our present situations. We tend to focus and place blame on the result of our choices instead of the actual choices or decisions or actions that led us to the results we find ourselves facing. “I can’t change my ( resulting issue or problem) because my (insert life area/thing of blame) is failing.”
Truthfully, rationalizations mask truth and even allow excuses to feel legitimate even though they may very well be man-made and inappropriate. When this happens the result is always a “stuck” state and an acceptance of what really needs to change. And many times people feel safe in that state, because while it may be a miserable place to be, they know it well and find comfort in the familiar. Change is hard. Change can mean losing friends and family. But surrender to change also means surrender to positive life transformation where the benefits of change outweigh the risks and pain of staying the same.
As long as we continue to turn to justification, we will continue to turn from transformation.
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My questions for you to ponder this week are:
1. What behaviors and habits are you knowingly masking with justifications, rationalizations, and excuses?
2. How will your life areas improve if you stop making excuses and justifying those actions and behaviors and embrace change?
3. What 3 steps can you take in this next week to surrender to change and start your transformation toward truth? (Remember, truth doesn’t tolerate excuses!)
Changing your life is not easy. It requires people to get off their buts.
Some of you are thinking I misspelled buts. I’m talking about but as in the form of an excuse. Not a person’s hind-end or butt. The first step to life change is getting away from the use of the word but.
I would, but…
I could, but…
I tried, but…
I did, but…
You said, but…
When we make the decision to change anything in life:
- A habit
- Our character
- Our circumstances
- Our appearance
- Our financial health and well being
- Our health
- Our priorities
- Our goals
- Our attitudes
…the first thing we have to do is get off our buts. Yes, you need to take action and do something. But you also have to get away from your excuses. Excuses will give you an out. They’ll pacify you when you look for them and give you the comfort or justification you need to quit moving toward the very thing you desperately want or need to change. They’ll give you a reason to give up, give in, or quit.
If you’re looking to get away from the status quo and really change something: Get off your but and stay away from other buts.
Steer clear of the tiny buts. Stay away from the big buts.
Buts are bad news when it comes to changing your life. They will sabotage even your best efforts!
Don’t let your life become ruled by your but.
I posted that image on my Facebook page earlier. I hope you find it encouraging. Tell us how you’re getting off your but, and let us know how we can encourage you!
In training and coaching, I always hear a lot of cause and effect. Things happen in life that cause effects. And some we have control over. But there are also those we don’t. What I see is a lack of change happening, because so much of our time is spent on consoling the effects that are caused by the actual cause, that nothing ever changes, and everyone maintains focus on the not so enjoyable effects.
Confused? Here are some examples of this cause and effect:
Relationships: Someone has still not found a “nice” girl or guy, they are STILL single, they are still coming out of relationships for whatever reason, and all their friends are wondering why, because “You’re such a nice guy/girl!” In this case, the individual has been in and out of so many get to know you phases (not even getting to the relationship part) because they are running away as soon as any emotional attachment enters the picture. So everyone consoles the effect, which is another broken heart or “single” status. However, to end this cycle it requires much less consolation on the after effects and determining up front what the individuals fear of relationships are and addressing them.
Why? Addressing, focusing, and working on the cause will eliminate the negative effect.
Here’s another example:
Finances: An individual you know is in their late 50’s, always broke, and can’t figure out why they can’t keep a roof over their head and eliminate always schmoozing people for a handout. I’m not talking about someone truly down on their luck, but a repeat moocher. At first, people console the person by offering, giving, helping, assisting, and encouraging him/her for toward a better future as soon as this difficult season is over. Hang in there seems to be the encouragement necessary. But how long can we encourage someone to hang on when we begin to see that they are blowing their money in ways that are inappropriate which leaves them in such a bad situation over and over again? How long before people realize that consolation of the ill effects and offering sympathy only enables this same behavior?
Once we begin to see the relationship of cause and effect, we can begin to determine how to best help our friends and family. We can begin to offer appropriate advice or direction to help them move forward instead of just simply consoling the effects of a broken and dysfunctional life area. I’m not saying we should not be sympathetic toward those who have relationship or money issues. There are thousands of things that can affect any one of our life areas at any given time. And it’s perfectly okay for us to provide a shoulder to lean on or encourage someone toward a better tomorrow.
We have to make sure that we don’t console the effect of a patterned and unacceptable behavior. By doing so we can inadvertently create a pattern of excusing the behavior that causes the problem. We then allow the person to carry on as always without accountability or accepting their share of the responsibility for the effect and mess they are now in and the behavior continues. And as long as this happens, they remain blind to the issue. For people to change, it’s important that they become honest about their role in the cause and own up to the effect they now face whatever it may be. Once they learn to accept responsibility for their behavior and have to work out of it on their own in some instances, they have no choice but to change. They will decide that reaping the seed they sewed wasn’t the effect they really wanted.
Living through the effect without the consolation and excuses can be that life changing moment. We can’t and shouldn’t keep people from that. If we do, we are creating excuses and consoling ourselves out of our own fear, and then nothing changes for anyone.
Just some things to ponder…
Today I was finishing the painting in my training room, which meant that I was at the top of my ladder painting the trim at the ceiling. Not my idea of fun, since I do not like heights and get dizzy easily. But, I was on a mission to finish this today, so I just carefully painted while listening to the Oldies Station on the radio. I find it funny that music I listened to in high school is now played on the Oldies Station.
As I was painting, the radio suddenly picked up no signal at all and then changed the signal it received all by itself. It started playing KLOVE. As I listened to the song playing, I realized it read my heart perfectly-the WHY’s associated with the reason I teach to change lives and have taken the steps to open an official training center. I just know it’s time. I know it’s time to get out of the boat. And there are no excuses. I have a mission to complete and a life journey in front of me, so there is no turning back. I also know that through God’s strength and provision, I can do this—despite those attempts by the enemy to cause doubt. The story of how this came about is a miracle, and yet here I was-on a ladder-making it a reality.
I found myself singing the song and almost in tears that came from so deep inside that I can’t even begin to figure out where that part of me is. But it is my purpose, and there is no getting around it. I must do this, and I can’t rest until I do.
Here’s the song. And you have to listen to it. Until you do, you just won’t understand.
What I am doing is not for me. It’s for people. God’s people. Before I officially open, I am going to have a prayer and dedication. This is to bring Him glory and although I don’t know all of his plans, I do know that this is the beginning to many changed lives. And through this, He will work. I’ve never painted with such passion before. But anything short of excellence just wouldn’t do. It was all there, and it’s ready.
And the entire time I painted, the entire time I conquered my fear of heights to prepare the space, I got to worship. First time in my life I’ve ever worshiped from a ladder with a heart full of song and a roller loaded with paint. It was awesome.
Be sure to check out this song. It’s one you’re sure to love. It’s one of my top 3 now;) Josh Wilson, I Refuse…
I sit in a super-excited state of anticipation. I am opening a training center and just yesterday secured the perfect location. My
business has just entered it’s third year. And it’s been three years of blood, sweat, and tears. I mean that literally. I’ve sacrificed many hours of sleep, worked two and three jobs, and kept going even on days when I thought there was no where left to go.
And yesterday, I found the perfect office setting and location to open my official training center. Changing lives through developing people self-leaders, self feeders, and life management ninjas is what I do best. I also believe it’s my passion, purpose, and divine calling.
All of this break-through has me thinking about many conversations I’ve had along the way. When people would listen to me, they’d say in opposition or what I think some might have meant as a twisted sort of encouragement:
“You can’t do that. I tried and…”
“That won’t work…”
“I thought about doing, but…”
I could literally write pages of excuses and well meaning things people said that were truly discouraging. But the number 1 thing I heard was and want to focus on here is this: “I was going to do XYZ, but X happened, so I couldn’t do it.” The reality is, they tried ONE thing. One obstacle stood in their way. Whether it was price related, location related, timing related, or the five million other reasons why something could be a challenge to implement, they tried the one thing, met some resistance, and QUIT!
One thing I’ve learned on this three year journey is this:
Talk is cheap, because supply exceeds demand.
People spend a whole lot more time talking about doing things than they actually do doing them. We spend a lot more time planning and a lot less time taking the steps necessary to make those plans or dreams a reality. We talk about being winners a lot more than showing up after we’ve suffered a loss to do it again and again until we finally succeed.
Life is about failing forward. And we learn and grow as we go.
I hope you’ll join me in developing yourself and the people around you by attending workshops, classes, and surrounding yourself with people and materials that encourage you to do more than just talk.
Talk is cheap. But, perseverance is priceless.
I have no idea how this happens. None, at all. This blog post. The subject. The content and play on words. But somehow in my mind it does. And it happens within a fraction of a second. I sat at my desk and blurted, “ShaZAAAAM!”
Out of nowhere and in a matter of five minutes, I had an entire blog post outlined. I had a thought. And then another. And within the five minutes it took me to devour two Sloppy Joe, (I eat that fast, and yes, I eat that much) this post was ready to be written.
I started thinking about people doing something other than just going through the motions with their lives. So many times I see untapped potential just sleepwalking through life. And I thought about the difference in these lifestyles.
I, myself, am a very passionate, and on fire to live life type of person. (Or I have the most severe case of ADD ever, and I am totally ok with that!) I’m always moving, always consuming information, always trying to do something new and create progress with whatever I am working on. I can’t stand complacency or becoming stagnant, and I know there is always room for growth. Have I driven you nuts yet?
I began thinking about other people I know who live life like they are on fire. A few I know are consuming their lives and living their passions as though it were firewood. And so this post began to get some heat behind it. My thought process was growing hotter, and this was definitely becoming a teachable moment, which just makes me add more wood to the fire!
As I pondered people I see who just sleepwalk or wish their lives were different, people who don’t live with such intensity to make things happen or change the world around them by getting involved and doing something to change their situations, I realized they all had something similar. Some had would. And others had wood. But they are two completely different sources of fuel.
It’s a different kind of “would” they are grasping.
Wood burns. We use our time, talents, and energy to create something useful, change our communities, or simply our life circumstances. Those are the things that burn like the wood we utilize. We use it up and keep finding more fuel! We search for more time, energy, resources…you get the picture.
But the other would is like the liquid fire-starter that sits on a shelf, but does nothing until someone opens it. It’s there. It has the potential to become something. But until we decide to use it, it’s useless.
As I thought further, I began to tinker with the meaning of the word would.
The word “would” is defined as expressing:
- a desire or inclination, such as “I would like to…”
- a hope, such as “I would hope…”
- an inclination, such as “…I would have had I…”
But the one thing that all definitions of would didn’t have is a hot, burning, passion that comes from action. There is no action. So while would has the potential to become action and bring life change, it doesn’t until someone actually does something with it.
The truth is, even if you would like to change things more than anything in the world, nothing will change until you do something differently. Change the type of would you’re using. Grab a load of action and you’ll light it.
The truth is as much as you hope for something to happen, it won’t unless the proper steps are planned and taken by the parties involved. Do you want to make sure the firewood gets lit and things would finally start to turn around? Light the wood yourself. Plan the first steps and invite some people to the fire. Let them bask in the glow of progress and watch them light up. Soon the “would- be” excuses for not doing anything turn into planning for action, and those actions become a combustible source that bring about change!
And finally, you won’t ever have to say, “I would have, if only I…” if you stop using the would that just doesn’t burn from passion. Passion ignites with action. And changing your would-be’s into actions, is the first step to setting your hopes and passions on fire.
All it takes is a spark.
Wood you be willing to strike out and make a change in your life or the life of another?
This world needs people who consume would.
It wood change everything.
I really wood.
This is something I could write about on my business website or my blog, but I’m choosing my blog for now since I thought of this at church yesterday.
Do You Really Want To Be Here?
We’ve all seen and heard people make excuses of why they couldn’t do this or that, why they couldn’t be here or there, or why they just gave up on something.
I believe many times that the answer is they didn’t really want to be there. Or it just wasn’t something that important to them.
Have you ever heard excuses from friends who didn’t follow through, people who didn’t show up when they should have, or listened to “stories” as excuses that “buy” an “out?”
Have you heard the excuses?
“Oh, I was just too tired.”
“My car wouldn’t start.”
“My dog died, it’s ninth death this month.”
“So and so couldn’t go, so I didn’t either.”
And then we’ve all observed the exact opposite. You know, the people who do care and still made all the effort to get to their destination. Why? It was IMPORTANT and had meaning to them.
Here are examples:
The single mothers and fathers who get multiple young kiddos ready for church all by themselves, secure transportation with another family member, juggle all the kids, diaper bag, and toys just to get to church on time.
The person who won the lottery, but hitch-hiked all the way to the capitol city to cash in their winning ticket despite not having transportation or a penny to their name to get a ride any other way.
The ill person due to accept an award at a banquet who despite being sick, makes every effort to show up anyway.
The parent who has had a terrible day that smiles through the school play and pretends not to have a headache.
It’s the difference between having a vested interest and not. It’s the difference between wanting to be there and not. It may not always be easy or pleasant, but you are there, because you want to be. You didn’t let the obstacles get in your way, and you didn’t settle for excuses.