I have always been a fan of the practical wisdom Eleanor Roosevelt shared. Starting today’s blog, I recall three of her most empowering quotes: “It is always easier to do nothing than to try a new line of action.” But “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Because “You can have results or excuses. Not both!”
I remember when my sons were growing up and some small catastrophe would befall. I would invariably ask two questions: “What happened?” and “Who did it?” Usually the standard responses where, “I don’t know.” and “Nobody.”
“Nobody” lived with us for several years and seemed to be oblivious to his surroundings. Eventually as my sons grew older, Nobody quietly moved on. His presence in our home taught me that nothing impedes progress more than making excuses. Nobody’s excuses robbed all of us of our momentum, knowledge, power and identity. The real answers were there all along and the excuses prevented us from seeing them.
Have you ever blamed someone else for circumstances beyond your control? Have you ever denied responsibility for something? Have you ever just ignored an obligation? Have you ever wondered why?
Truthfully, for me, sometimes I just don’t want to do something. Sometimes I am afraid I will fail or not do it well enough. Sometimes I just can’t find the inspiration. Sometimes I just want to change my mind. The consequences of making excuses in such instances can result in hurting ourselves and those we love and are counting on us. Rather than make an excuse that will not accomplish the task, fulfill a promise, or honor an obligation, I have found it is much better to ask myself this: What can I do to improve? Why am I resisting?
I have found that with a positive attitude, I can commit more time, energy and resources to doing whatever I said couldn’t be done. I can be mindful and honest with myself about what I can do better, and I can free myself of the blame and denial that is sure to hold me back. By taking responsibility for my actions, I live life honestly and freely. By taking time to create positive momentum, I keep moving forward.
Make a list of your very favorite excuses. Every day, pick up the list for a quick review. Examine each excuse thoughtfully and find a way to let one excuse go. If you let it go, cross through it on the list. In the words of William Arthur Ward, “Focus your energies on answers—not excuses.” If you say you are set in your ways, mark this off your list today. You are not too old and it is not too late. Live your life!
I Care, Barb