by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier
When you make an excuse, you are seeking to defend or justify something. There are things that happen in life that catch us completely off-guard. When this happens, it flips whatever we had planned inside out. There are some things that are a matter of fact. It is what it is! You have limited to no ability to change it in the short-term. These are the unpredictable circumstances and the realities of life that we all face. When life throws you an unpredictable curveball or slaps you with real-world facts that delay or thwart you from accomplishing a goal. That’s not an excuse. That’s a fact. No need to defend or justify. You just need to explain.
There are things that we know that we need to be doing in order to enhance the quality of our life—but it’s hard! It requires work. It requires commitment. It requires sacrifice. It requires time. It requires knowledge. It requires consistency. It requires money. It requires thinking outside of the box. It requires a change in lifestyle. It requires a new way of thinking. It requires leaving our comfort zone.
The task required to accomplish our desired result is too daunting. We’d rather spend more time employing short-cut tactics to get ahead. We’re suckers for the “Get Rich Quick, Get Fit Quick,” “Buy Now, Pay Later,” “Cliff Notes,” and “Microwaved Food” ideology. We want what we want, and we want it now. We don’t have time nor interest for delayed gratification. We’d rather spend hours at the mall getting the right outfit to look good. Or spend hours at the hair salon or barber shop getting our hair done to look good, as opposed to spending hours in the gym exerting effort to get our body right to look good. Neither the mall nor the barber shop and salon require the amount of effort required at the gym. Those people who are in good shape look good in practically everything. They even look good naked. I can’t stand them chiseled gym freaks! (joking)
There’s no character, stamina, fortitude, or appreciation developed in the shortcut pathway to success. Microwaved food doesn’t taste as good as food prepared and cooked from scratch. There’s no long-term success in the quick success route. Easy come. Easy go! I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Mind you, I’m talking to both you and me. If we really want something, we’re going to have to bust our donkey to get it. Then we’re going to have to bust our donkey time and time again to maintain it and make it better. I had an athletic body before. I used to live in the gym. I currently make excuses as to why I can’t get to the gym. The athletic body left me. Do I really want the athletic body? Will I continue to make excuses as to why I can’t get to the gym? Time will reveal.
What about you? Are you where you want to be in life physically, financially, relationally, or spiritually? Are you a sucker for shortcut tactics? Do you make excuses as to why you can’t get things done? Are you a procrastinator? Do you have a little man can get ahead mentality? Are you content with the status quo? Have you accomplished a desired goal then fell back into bad habits that caused you to fall off? Are you afraid to step outside of your comfort zone?
I’m reminded of a baby with a dirty diaper. Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself chasing the baby so that you can change their dirty diaper. The baby knows that his or her diaper is dirty but they’re comfortable in their own mess. Excuses aside, have you not done what you know you need to do because you’re comfortable in your own mess?
At the beginning of this article we detailed that certain unpredictable events and real-life facts are beyond our control. They may stifle us from time to time in pursuit of our goals. It is what it is. What about those things that we can control? What’s holding us back from reaching our goals or realizing our full potential? Stop! Pick up your cell phone. Take a quick selfie. Take a close look at the picture in the selfie. That’s the person that’s holding you back from reaching your goals and realizing your full potential. We have to remind ourselves over and over again to “stop making excuses!” Excuses don’t explain and explanations don’t excuse. We are our own worst enemy.
• Tired? Go to sleep earlier! Take a power nap!
• Out of Shape? Exercise more! Eat less!
• Don’t have time? Quit watching TV! Quit scrolling social media!
• Don’t have the money? Stop wasting money! Get a second job!
• Seems too complicated? Put your best foot forward and take baby steps! How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
• Don’t have the knowledge? Read a book! Google it! Watch a YouTube video!
We all know what we need to do in order to achieve our goals. If we’re unsure, the Internet is an information gateway. We can learn what we need to know or seek out professionals who will serve as both an accountability partner and help guide us on our path. Most of us don’t follow all the way through on our goals. We either procrastinate or make excuses.
Kobe Bryant said in an interview before his untimely death…the biggest mistake he made in life was thinking he had more time. When we procrastinate, we assume we have more time. We make excuses because: We don’t believe enough in ourselves. We don’t want to put forward the effort. The journey seems too long. We’re afraid to leave our comfort zone. We’re comfortable living in our mess.
Excuses are the monuments of nothingness. They are bridges to nowhere. In the end, if we keep making excuses, the only thing we’ll have to show for it is the painful emotion of REGRET!
(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached @ 412-216-1013 or visit his website @ www.damonmoneycoach.com)