Excuses are the extinguishers of dreams; they are what keeps us in denial and blinds us from the truth.
The sooner you cease conjuring up excuses for why you aren’t successful, the better of you’ll be. The myriad of excuses is too many to list in one sitting, so I will highlight a few of the most common excuses that can be fatal to accomplishment.
1. I’m not smart enough
I was reading about a concept in the book The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience Behind Success and Failure that illustrates a dangerous self-imposing limitation we often place on our selves. Its called genetic fatalism. To paraphrase, it’s basically the belief that your intelligence or ability is fixed. People who believe this believe that successful people were simply born with the traits necessary to be successful. The reality is that success is definitely not directly correlated to IQ. Also, intelligence can be increased incrementally through learning. I heard an analogy that can be useful in describing this –Imagine your IQ being a beaker or container. People with large IQs simply have a larger container than others to utilize, but that does not necessarily mean that they fill it up. Someone with a lower IQ, that has a container filled to the brim through learning, diligence, and effort, is essentially smarter than someone who has a larger IQ but fails to “fill up their container”.
Yes, there is variance in natural talent, but hard work is the great equalizer. I’ve been reading a biography about Michael Jordan, and its amazing how hard this man worked. He actually wasn’t the most highly touted recruit in high school or college. He worked on his craft relentlessly. It’s the only way to make it.
2. The time isn’t right
The excuse goes something like this. I would start _________________ but I’m just way too busy right now. I have way too much going on to even think about starting my own project. I’ve got some news for you: The time is never going to be right for you to drastically alter the course of your life. You can continue to wait, but mark my words; time is a cruel and fickle motherfucker. You will blink and years will have passed. When you wait long enough, it will come to a point where you’re so far gone you won’t even want to try anymore. Today is the youngest you’ll ever be, so it’s best to start now.
3. If only I (fill in the blank) then I’d be happy
Happiness is a decision you make, not something that is thrust upon you by circumstance. There is a fine balance between having gratitude and at the same time aspiring for more. You have to do both. As soon as you get what you desire, you will enjoy it for a time, then you will become used to it and you will just want more. This explains why people with billions of dollars keep working. It’s hard to stay satisfied. Find satisfaction in your life regardless of the circumstances, and the circumstances will still probably end up being pretty great.
4. I just have bad luck
Woe is me. The sky is falling. It rains on my parade. Boo hoo hoo wah wah wah. Stop. Stop it right now. You’re not unlucky you’re lazy. On the flipside of this notion, get it out of your head that the successful people you see on TV and magazines just got there on accident. It doesn’t work that way. Many of the stories that we perceive as overnight successes are anything but that. We are only shown the end result and none of the struggle. The universe isn’t just randomly selecting people to wield its power; these individuals are actively seeking it. It’s no coincidence that successful people seem to continually get “lucky”. The harder you work and the more you put yourself out there the higher your odds of getting what you want, plain and simple.
5. It’s my employer’s fault, they don’t pay me enough
The job market can be tough, and due to circumstance one may seek less than desirable employment, but you have a choice in what you do for a living. Even if you’re working somewhere that makes you feel underemployed, continue to work harder and perhaps you may move up to the next position. The amount of money you make is a monetary representation to the value you provide to the marketplace. Don’t like your job? Find a new one. Don’t have the skills? Develop them. There are online courses you can take in your spare time. The amount of educational information out there is nearly infinite. Go to work on yourself harder than you work on your job.
6. The economy is bad
It’s the economy’s fault that you and your family are in dire straits. It has nothing to do with the fact that you have refused to save money for years, even decades. It has nothing to do with the fact that you have a housed filled with tons of crap that you had no business buying in the first place. It has nothing to do with the fact that you had no business buying that house in the first place. It has nothing to do with the fact that you’ve taken little or no time to learn about financial education. Yep, it’s the economy’s fault.
7. Life’s not fair
Nope it’s not. Get over it.
8. Its not my fault
This last one is the overarching theme that encompasses the vast amount of excuses people like to use. Let me put this bluntly to get my point across. It’s entirely your fault. What you get out of life is predominantly due to what you give to it. Even if life dealt you some shitty cards, it’s still your fault that you didn’t do anything about it. If life knocks you down, it’s your fault if you don’t get up. The only variable you can use to change the equation of life is you. There’s no way of avoiding that sobering fact. It’s been said that insanity is the result of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. We live in a society filled with insane people. The only thing you have control over is your actions. Make better decisions, work harder, do something. You’re the only one who can fix it.