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Excuses

He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.      Benjamin Franklin

People I’ve known who are happiest and most fulfilled have never made excuses for success, happiness or achievement. Why is it, then, that we are full of excuses for all negative outcomes? It seems to me that the simplest and most reasonable explanation for a lack of victory or positive consequence is that I didn’t work hard enough. Or maybe I didn’t spend enough time in understanding what needed to be done.

This makes me wonder why it becomes so difficult to realize that we weren’t up to or prepared for a particular journey or task. If you didn’t finish a 5k race, was it really because the weather was too hot or humid? Many others finished, probably at a faster speed than you had. Saying that I didn’t train, didn’t focus or didn’t push hard enough is a much better explanation than climate.

Very often, we make excuses for not doing something. Why not call your mother instead of conjuring reasons not to do so? Why not save something out of every paycheck? And if you haven’t worn something for over a year, don’t keep it because you will someday – donate it to someone who can use it now.

We all have a huge amount to learn from special Olympians who finish races or compete in sports that are difficult for those who have all their physical and psychological capabilities. And how many of us have seen youngsters and older people survive and overcome illnesses that would have incapacitated most of us?

My lesson learned is to understand what is required and do everything necessary to approach whatever work or undertaking with all aspects prepared to succeed. Blaming everything outside of us for our inability to prevail provides the enticement to shirk any responsibility we choose. But nothing is learned, and growth is impossible.

Don’t make the mistake of removing yourself from every unfulfilled equation. Excuses are easily created and perpetuated but taking ownership and growing is much more difficult and infinitely more rewarding. Shalom.

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