Posts Tagged ‘excuses

03
Apr
13

Does This Excuse Make My But Look Big?

motivationalexcusesstopsignSpring is a time for rebirth and regeneration. Whether it’s cutting back the dead limbs in your garden or cleaning out your closets, it’s all about out eliminating the non-productive to make way for the fruitful and useful.

It is just as important to weed your mind as it is your physical surroundings, and now is a great time to prune the word “but” from your vocabulary.  Excuses are the mental weeds that strangle any chance at new growth regardless of how many new seeds you plant.

Excuses thrive in two kinds of soil. The first are things we will not do despite the direct negative impact of inaction, such as developing a healthier lifestyle. These “buts” are insidious because you just don’t care enough about yourself to take action. The second grows from things we will not stop. This could be allowing negative people to stay in our lives and allowing ourselves to be compromised.  This but is fertilized by the guilt-and-fear excuse and thrives in an enabling personality.

I like big buts, I cannot lie; but not anymore. I am a recovered excusaholic, and like any recovered addict, when people come to me and state the same issue or problem over and over I want to scold them like a child only because I know the years of waste and stress it cost me.

Excuses are like interest payments. They take away from your principal and you get absolutely nothing in return, not even a write-off.  Oftentimes the only way to get off your but is when the results are so positive or so painful that you must take action. If you keep repeating the same excuses rather than taking action you aren’t at this point yet. It’s that simple.

I recently read a statement about the endless circle of repeating excuses as “all retch and no vomit.” How grossly appropriate! When we allow ourselves to be subjected to thankless, negative, or even unethical individuals we become poisoned by them.  It’s not their fault, it’s ours. When we lack the discipline of self esteem to break a negative habit and cling to our big buts we are poisoning ourselves. Excuses are rationalizations and when we rationalize all we are doing is reinforcing our rational lies.

Better to be silent than to regurgitate the same old retch over and over again. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This includes making excuses. For things to change first you must change. And a big but doesn’t look good on anybody.

11
Oct
12

When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

There are times in everyone’s life when we cannot get to the end goal we desire despite how much effort, hope, or prayer we apply. One of the keys to a successful life, not only for you but for those underneath your influence or command, is to know when to step aside. This is a great reflection of true leadership but it is too often unrecognized.

Let’s face it. We all are endowed with specific gifts and abilities that no two have alike. That means that you will do certain things better than others and others will do certain things more effectively than you. This should not threaten a leader who is focused on the end goal. It’s the old cliché, “It’s amazing what you can get done when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

On the news, I recently heard someone in a position of great authority reply, in response to a question, “We are doing the best we can.” While we certainly encourage this type of language among children to encourage them to truly do their personal best and to develop self esteem, this verbiage has no place in a leader’s vocabulary.

When I attended the Air Force Academy in the mid-80s, first-year cadets were allowed only five basic responses when asked a question by an upperclassman. They were “Yes, sir/ma’am”; “No, sir/ma’am”; “No excuse, sir/ma’am”; “Sir/Ma’am, I do not know”; “Sir, Ma’am, I will find out”. That’s it! No more, no less. This first year of only answering with these responses stick with me to this day. It’s probably why, when someone answers me with an excuse, I feel a tremendous urge to tell them to drop and give me twenty! The service academies are first and foremost leadership academies. After all, you cannot defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic, if you are not a leader. And that is the primary job of a leader, to take care of those under their care.

Had I ever answered “I’m doing my best” as a cadet, I’m sure I would have been drummed out of the corps, and rightly so. Had I ever answered “I’m doing my best” to a Fortune 500 customer when they asked why their five-million-dollar piece of equipment wasn’t ready, I’m sure I would have been fired, and rightly so. If, when running a classified project, I replied “I’m doing my best” when asked why there were documented security violations, I’m sure I would have been escorted off base, and should have been.

If you have truly done your best and still cannot get the job done, do not let your ego sink all the good things you’ve accomplished. Realize it is time to move on to the next area requiring your particular set of talents and let the next team come in. That’s why we have succession plans and it’s why no one, no matter how smart or how powerful, is ever indispensible. Do not ever say, “I’m doing the best I can” because that is never an answer that serves any purpose other than making an excuse for yourself and alienating or infuriating the questioner.

10
Apr
12

Never say never, unless……

The word to never say: “Why”

Only children ask “why”.  It reflects something that has transpired and is the equivalent to crying over spilt milk. It is what it is and the only possible course of action is to respond. When you ask “Why” you are reacting, most often wallowing in self pity or making an excuse for not taking action. Instead of asking “why”, ask “how” you can move forward, “how” you can ensure something does or doesn’t happen again, “how” you can benefit from the experience.

The act to never do: “Quit”

You can want to quit, we all do, but don’t do it. Don’t ever give up on your dreams, your passion, or doing what you know needs to be done. If it’s getting tougher, it means you are doing it right. Trials are the precursors to triumph. You are going through the fires in order to emerge as something stronger. Don’t pull away too early or you’ll suffer a literal stress fracture. If we quit prematurely we set the stage to repeat the cycle in our next job, relationship, or group.

The thing to never forget: “Purpose”

Purpose is what courses through our veins. It’s why we get up in the morning and sleep only when we absolutely have to. It’s what drives us to take action despite insurmountable odds. When we discover that something worth fighting (even dying) for, nothing can stand in our way. It’s nothing to go against all odds when you are committed to the outcome. After all, it’s your reason for being on this planet.

Never ask “why”, never “quit”, and never forget you are here for a “purpose”. If you remember these three things you’ll be able to meet all the challenges life has in store to develop you and achieve your highest potential. They say “Never say never”, but in these three cases, make sure it’s the first word out of your mouth!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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