One of my favorite books on the topic of success is David J. Schwartz’s, Thinking Big, in which he discusses the power of our dreams and the things that derail them.
In it he talks about a disease that plagues so many people.
He called it excusitis.
When I read that I couldn’t help but laugh. Why?
Because I had that. I also realized a few friends who had it as well.
I just never knew it had a name.
While I love the name excusitis, personally I’m going with a blame list.
It’s the thing we pull out when we are looking for excuses as to why things aren’t done or didn’t go right.
It’s our defense against accusations by others.
Having been in some form of influence as either a teacher or coach for more than half my life I have heard every excuse imaginable.
But in the end they sound pretty much the same:
- I was going to but…
- I was soooo busy…
- I wanted to but…
- I had no time this week but…
- There was something I had to do…
They should because nearly all of us have used them from time to time, myself included.
There’s only one problem – most of the time it’s a lie.
And we know it.
And what’s worse, other people know it, too.
Sometimes things are out of our control – a death in the family, an accident, a natural disaster – they need no explanation.
But most of the time WE are in control of what happens.
The TV didn’t miraculously turn itself on, did it?
Our friends didn’t kidnap us and force us to go out for a night on the town, did they?
We didn’t just happen to find ourselves at the sale by accident, did we?
We made those choices.
In the end we must accept that we are, for the most part, in control of our own destiny.
Success is no mistake.
A gold medal doesn’t just happen.
And becoming a millionaire isn’t just luck. (lottery winners excluded)
Success, or lack thereof, is simply the result of our efforts to achieve it.
I can’t say it any simpler.
Unfortunately many people don’t want to admit that they didn’t do what they should have done, that they didn’t give it 100% or they were simply being lazy.
But I have found that by not willing to accept our responsibility for our actions, that there is little chance of change.
We will continue to get what we have gotten.
One of my favorite expressions (from the Bible) is, “and the truth shall set you free.”
An amazing thing happens when people start admitting the truth to themselves.
At first it hurts.
Then we think.
And finally, we take action to fix what happened so that it doesn’t happen again.
It worked for me, and I’ve seen it work with so many clients.
The results are nothing short of astounding.
So, the next time someone asks you why you couldn’t get the job done, will you whip out your blame list?
Or, as we say these days, will you man up (or woman up, as the case may be)?