Blog #627 – I just didn’t feel like writing today (excuses)


John Wooden – famed basketball coach at UCLA, had these three points in his philosophy: The second set of three dealt with how to handle adversity:

-1 Don’t whine.

-2 Don’t complain.

-3 Don’t make excuses.

I’ve talked about whining two days ago, about complaining yesterday and today – about not making excuses!!

(And, an aside first.  Yesterday, I complained about something – it was wrong on my part. Yes, I was venting, and yes, I shouldn’t have done it!!!  I do readily admit, I am not perfect (not even close!!! OUCH!!!!)

Okay, moving on.

Excuses:  “I was late because traffic was really heavy.”  Probably true – and if this is a one-time event might be overlooked.  But, traffic is always heavy. Plan ahead, leave 20 minutes earlier!! (Or even better (in my opinion, if  you have the option) take the bus – you won’t have ‘road rage’, you won’t have to drive around looking for a parking place!!!)

The linked article says:

“People use excuses to rationalize their actions regarding their circumstances, their actions toward other people, and regarding certain events. However, excuses are often the primary reasons why people are unable to accomplish what they want out of life.”

“Because of this, one of the best habits you can build is to proactively make a commitment to stop making excuses. Stop excusing your failures or your procrastination and start taking the steps that are necessary to get what you want out of life.”

Excuses are sometimes made out of FEAR.  We don’t want to get out of our comfort zone.  We don’t want to fail. People do make mistakes.  (By-the-way – don’t make the very stupid mistakes like driving drunk or similar).

The article suggests that excuses can be because we don’t set realistic goals.  The vague goal of “I want to lose weight” might let you eat that doughnut; while the specific goal of “I will lose 15 pounds between now and the first of June” might keep the doughnut on the plate.  By-the-way – doughnuts just just ‘jump’ into your mouth. Yes, they are good, they are a treat – but if you are dieting and watching your weight, they are excuses!!!

How about “I don’t have time”.  That can be a pretty lame excuse.  Do you have time to watch four hours of television tonight?  The excuse of “I don’t have time to be my son’s Boy Scout leader” – might just be “I don’t want to be a Boy Scout leader”.  If you really look at your life, you probably could make the time to be a Boy Scout leader. (I did it when I was a college Dean!!!)

And, “I don’t have enough money” can be a lame excuse.  If you don’t want to buy something – or give to some charity, just say ‘no’.  If asked ‘why?’ You can correctly answer “There are many charities I support.  While this charity is a good organization, it isn’t one of my contribution priorities.  May God bless you, but, as for me at this time, no”. (Some charities want to pluck our heart strings – ‘look at the starving children in Africa”.  Do you feel and think that your contribution will be of value and you want to make starving children in Africa a priority, then go ahead, but if it is because of pressure, then don’t make the contribution.

So, think about your excuses.  You probably make some excuse every day.  Maybe they are legitimate, but maybe not. Are you a habitual ‘excuse maker’?  

What do you think?


Posted by Bruce White

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