When you make an excuse, you postpone success, and when you postpone success, you establish your life as a residence for failure. Instead of making an excuse, use the excuse as an opportunity to think differently.
The definition of excuse: a reason provided to release yourself from obligation. I love that definition. Everything in life that you need to do to be successful is your obligation. Your body, spirit, soul and every aspect of your nature and the reason you were created is there to back you up! You are obligated to succeed. Do it for yourself. Stop making excuses. Here is a sad, but true reality - no one cares about your excuses, they care about your actions. Seriously, if there is anything you take from this blog, take this: DO NOT MAKE ANOTHER EXCUSE IN YOUR LIFE! You heard me. Not one. It destroys any hope you have of being great. Greatness cannot be achieved on a path of shoulds and buts.
"Greatness is just around the corner, and excuses are the red lights stopping you from getting there."
The only person that is obligated to succeed is you. Every person is obligated to succeed for them, not for someone else. Even if you are in a job right now, working for someone else. As long as your lack of success doesn't impact the overall success of your boss and his business, then your success is your obligation. 99% of the time, your success is your obligation, and your lack of success is your problem. Your success or lack thereof impacts you, and your family. No one else cares whether you are successful or not and no one else cares about your excuses. They are too busy caring about their own life. An excuse releases you from your obligation to succeed. It excuses you from being great. It excuses you from doing great things. Greatness is just around the corner, and excuses are the red lights stopping you from getting there. Turn off the red lights by turning off the excuses. Here a list of classic excuses that I hear all the time; excuses I recommend you never use:
I'll do it someday: If you don't do it now, it won't be done. Now is the only time. Someday is not a day; you have today, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Choose one of these options; choosing someday means you are choosing a road to a place called nowhere, and trust me, you don't want to be there.
I can't: This one makes me laugh because it shows me the self-belief that people have. I was asked once to speak to over 1000 people off the cuff and guess what, I said yes. I always say yes, unless you ask me to jump into a giant volcano from an airplane. Say yes, and then learn how to do it afterwards, but don't say that you can't do it. I believe in you, but do you believe in yourself? Whatever you believe is true - if you believe you can't, you can't and if you believe you can, you can. Always say you can.
But: Who's but? But what? But my girlfriend said... Don't worry about your girlfriend! But whatever is a bad excuse. Stop butting opportunity out of your life and let it in. A verbal but is a U-turn; a complete turnaround. When you say but, you are saying, "wait, give me a minute, let me just turn around and look at a bunch of reasons why I shouldn't do something I need to do." It's just ridiculous. It's like driving a manual and changing your mind about using the gearbox. The gearbox is right there.
It's too hard: Really? Then use less viagra.
I'm too tired: Then go to bed. This is just ridiculous. When I'm tired and have something I need to do, I take a quick 20 min nap, wake up and then finish it.
I'm waiting for it to get easier: It's always easy. Okay, stay with me here - its easy if you have self-belief. Honestly, I have said yes to some things that were just ridiculous; it seemed hard in the moment, but as soon as I said yes, I had to do it. I put myself in a position where I had to, not where I had a choice to. When you place yourself in a place of decision making, you place yourself in a place of doubt and open a doorway to excuses. However, when you say yes, despite the difficulty, you have to do it and when you have to do it, you must do it, and in this moment, you know it will be done. Anything prior to this moment opens you up to procrastination and overthinking. Make it easy by simply saying that it's easy. I've said yes to things that were really hard to do and things that were just plain crazy and adventurous. When you have self-belief, everything is easy, simple and fun. Everything! If you choose to wait instead of taking action, then someone with self-belief, somewhere in the world will accomplish great things while you accomplish mediocre things. Waiting is an action. It's just not the right one. While you’re waiting, nature isn't waiting. Look at nature and see the way it moves, how it is always busy doing what it does best - being itself. Are you being yourself, or are you waiting to be? You are born to be great, now not later.
Putting it off: You can't do it now? Are you disabled? Just go and do the thing. A lot of people believe that if they acquire the power to do something, then they will be able to do it. If I get a university degree, I will be qualified to start a business. If I read cooking books over and over again, then I will be able to cook. If this, if that. What if the pathway to success is you, not some personal development course, a book, some lecture at University or some workshop. Don't get me wrong here. All of these things are great, and I have personally engaged in all of these. However, I never believed that by doing these things, I would acquire the power to do great things. No, I simply did them to compliment my already existing power. As soon as you try to acquire the power to do something, you postpone doing the thing because no matter how much training and power you acquire, you are never truly prepared. The only moment is now. Do the thing, and then the strength and the power will come. Doing the thing and failing is better than not doing the thing. Whatever that thing might be, don't put it off. If you need to call someone, go and call them. If you need to apologise to a friend, go and do it now. Failing while doing it is better than not doing it. Most of the time though, you might surprise yourself. Success is possible with persistent actions, not persistent procrastination.
I don't have enough money: Then go and make some money and then do it! Or borrow money from a friend and do it. Are you going to let a few pieces of paper fiat currency stop you from doing something great?
I'm not good enough: Yes, you are right - you are not good enough: If you say you are not good enough, you are not good enough. If you say you are good enough, you are good enough. If you say you are great, then trust me, you are great. Your self-belief determines your greatness.
I would if I: I hear this a lot, especially with people that don't give time or money away. If you are not giving money and time away now, you never will. People say to me, "I will give more when I make more money." This is nonsense because money only exemplifies who you are; money enables you to be more of you, and that's why I wish there are ways to stop money from going into the wrong hands, like the government. When those that give, receive more money, they give more money. If there is something you need to do, do it. Don't let the accumulation of something or the occurrence of an event be the gateway to action. Don't try to teach an old dog new tricks, just resurrect the dog. A lot of times, people look at some external goal or object as a sign which indicates whether they should or shouldn't do something. Nothing in the world is able to stop you or postpone you from taking action. Only when you give your attention to something external is that external thing capable of stopping you or postponing you from taking action. See, the biggest problem here is the anchor of your decision making. Is the anchor of your decision making your soul, spirit, mind and body or is it the occurrence of some external factor? Sometimes, the external factor might be your girlfriend/boyfriend. "I won't if they don't want me to." Okay, seriously, here is the reality - if they love you, truly and deeply love you, they will honour you when you do what you feel is the right thing to do and when you do what you love because they love you for who you are and what you believe in. If your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't want you to do something that you are passionate about, that you know you need to do, then they are the not the right one.
You just read the top 10 excuses I hear on a daily basis. Now, let's discuss why it's important to shift our mindset, to think differently. When we think differently, we allow a separate and distinct outlook to make itself known to us. This new outlook is an opportunity to change from an excuse to an opportunity. Following is a list of different and separate outlooks; ways in which we can shift our mindset; the opposite perspective of the excuses mentioned above. This is what I live by and something that has empowered me to be great. Place these ten mindsets and beliefs on your wall and claim it for yourself. Move from a "taking excuses" mentality to a "never again make excuses" mentality.
It is done vs I'll do it someday: Nelson Mandela once said, "It all seems impossible until it is done." Speak in faith that it is done. When you do this, you are proclaiming that what you need to do is easy and simple, despite how hard it may seem in the moment. It is so easy that you can see it already finished with your eyes. You can feel and smell the victory. Think like this before you engage in an activity, and then go and do it. Don't leave it for tomorrow or the day after. Just do it. There is only one thing from Nike that I buy, and it's their slogan - "Just do it."
I can vs I can't: Albert Einstein once said, "I can is 100 times more important than IQ." A person that has a high IQ that believe they can't is ten times dumber than a person with low IQ that believe they can. Whatever you believe becomes true so first change your belief about you and your ability, and then take action. Great results are bound to follow.
And vs but: Instead of saying, "but I don't have time" or "but my parents are visiting this weekend, so I can't make it to that free seminar," say "and I have lots of time" or "and can my parents come with me?" And means that you are adding something, but means that you are setting something aside. So instead of removing things you need to do or opportunity from your life, add positive comments to everything. Add happiness to everything. Add something good to everything in life. What you add to a recipe makes a huge difference to the taste of the end result - imagine the taste of a cake if you used salt instead of sugar? It works the same way with life. What you add to life affects the taste of life along the journey. What are you adding to your life? Are you adding happiness or are you adding sorrow? You are the chef of your life, and you choose the ingredients. Get your but out of the way. Instead of saying, "but I can't," say "and I can."
Its too easy vs its too hard: Doing the things that move you from unsuccessful to successful is a lot easier than doing the things that keep you where you are today. If you're not growing, you're dying. Now, what makes it too easy? Well, firstly, there is a high chance that someone in the world has done something that was more difficult than what you are trying to do right now. Therefore, it's easy because someone has already done it. Tirunesh Dibaba, who broke the 5,000m world record in 2008 said, "I strongly believe that future generations will run faster because, as you can see, we are running much better than our predecessors." When someone accomplishes new greatness, they place a new class of achievement, a new possibility for others to achieve, enabling someone else to do it better. Whatever you want to do right now, it is too easy. Place a new level in your life. When you view things as being too easy, you will always try to stretch yourself, and do things that are more and more difficult over time. The greater the difficulty of a task, the greater the solution you must imagine, and the greater you become as a result. When you face a difficult situation, you must think of a bigger and better solution. People buy solutions and value people that think of solutions. Instead of thinking that it's too hard, believe that it's too easy.
I'm too energised vs I'm too tired: Be so energised that people say you are too energetic. Recently, and believe me this is a true story, I was told by a manager at one of the gyms I go to, that I am too energetic, too loud and her customers are getting offended. There are five customers at this gym that, when they see me, they leave, go home and return an hour or so later. When I leave the gym, they arrive. Crazy but this is actually happening. I'm too excited, too loud and too magnetic. Isn't that just wonderful? Knowing that you are so energised, stimulated and excited to do what you do that people get offended. Now, please understand that I do not believe that you should purposely offend people, however, if someone gets offended or upset at the fact that you are energised, that is, unfortunately, their problem, not yours. I encourage you to be too energised. Instead of thinking, "I'm too tired," stimulate yourself to the point where you say, "I'm too energised." If you have to drink 2 to 4 cups of coffee to reach this point, do it.
Waiting for it to become more difficult vs waiting for it to get easier: Never wait, but the point here is this: that you will do everything in your power to embrace difficult tasks and that whatever you are doing now is too easy. Having this mindset provides you with heavier weights, greater challenges and more problems. Exactly what every successful person yearns for. Successful people know that the greater the weight they lift, the stronger they become; the greater the challenge, the greater the victory, and; the bigger the problem, the bigger the solution and hence, the more money they make. So, always bear in mind that whatever you are doing right now is too easy, and get excited as you wait for things, and in fact, yearn for things to get more difficult along the way. I've been a hardcore weightlifter since I was 14 years old. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I scream and shout as I lift very heavy weights; the weights I lift are so heavy that if I don't shout, I may pass out. Just like Arnold, I know that the heavier I lift, the stronger I become. When we lift light weights, we don't become stronger, and we certainly don't gain muscle. When you embrace weak and mediocre challenges, you embrace weak and mediocre improvement. The heavier the weights, the greater the muscle you develop. Where do you think the no pain, no gain philosophy comes from? Gain is painful; lame is easy.
Putting it on vs putting it off: Put on what you need to. Put on the person you need to be to do great things. Instead of putting off what you need to do, put on who you need to be. Look at the greats; what can you learn from them? Success leaves clues; unfortunately, only some use the clues. Put on what you need to put to be who you want to be. If you want to be a successful public speaker, what skills do you have to learn? What coaches and mentors do you need to contact? What courses do you need to enrol in? If you want to have more friends, you need to learn EQ, not IQ. A lot of times, people learn the wrong skills. What do you need to put on?
Money doesn't have enough of me vs I don't have enough money: Everyone is always busy saying they don't have enough money. How about saying that money doesn't have enough of you? Sounds much better right? There are tonnes of money out there waiting to be claimed. Are you going to claim it? Are you going to get out there and be creative and claim the money? Money is waiting for you. Instead of saying you don't have enough, say that money doesn't have enough of you. There is no lack of money in the economy right now. Governments all over the world are printing money to oblivion. In Australia right now, as I write this blog, the government is printing over $120 million every day just to keep the economy going. There is a lot of money out there; however, only some are using their intelligence and creativity to claim it. Instead of saying that you don't have enough money, think about ways in which you can provide more value to the world, and hence, make money have more of you.
I'm too good vs I'm not good enough: Belief in yourself. You are beyond good - you are brilliant. Every single one of us have the same brain, an incredible and powerful supercomputer. Some of us use it more than others. Trust me, spend some time doing great things, and you will be surprised just how great you are. You are not good, you are great! We both know that you are too good to be doing whatever it is your doing. Go out there and be better. Even if you are absolutely smashing it right now; everyone can be better, always.
I won't if I vs I would if I: What are the things and people out there that stop you from doing it? Things in your life that won't let you be great are things that you need to run away from. Find out what these things and people are so that you can separate yourself. A springbok lives a long life when it separates itself from danger, such as lions and cheetahs. In the same way, ensure that you stay away from danger, such as lazy people and distractions. You can't be great if you spend time with good, and you can't be good if you spend time with bad.
Now, get excited because this is the tipping point. All of these incredibly powerful phrases and words can be used to take part in incantations. An incantation is when you utter words in such a way that you empower yourself. I am not speaking about the first definition of the word being witchcraft, black magic, or wizardry. Definitely not. I am speaking here about the utterance of words in such a powerful way that it empowers you. Speaking the following words over your life in such a way that you upgrade yourself. You believe in better, instead of worse. You empower yourself by speaking life over you. The incantation that follows is an example that you can use. Memorise this incantation if you want. Take a few deep breaths before you begin and then speak this out powerfully over your life:
I can, I will, and I must fulfil my purpose to live a full life. I must continuously grow, improve, achieve and contribute. I must love others. Everything I must do has already been done, or if it hasn't, I am the one to do it. I am to be a light in the darkness, and in this, I mean different. I am different. I am unique. I am powerful. I am to be a difference. I can do all things. I have been created to be great. Great results are for the taking because I can, and because I can, I will. I am a leader: a person that does good and is good. I am an unshaken, unbreakable and powerful force that believes and has faith. I am the chef of my life and choose the ingredients which I add to my life. I choose to add joy. Love. Purpose. Peace. Selflessness. Kindness. Goodness. Self-control. Power. I will beat the drum to a rhythm of power and speed. I will never retreat. I will push to win. I am a champion. I am a soul, spirit, mind and body. Daily I am improving in soul, spirit, mind and body. I am a gladiator. An anchor. A statement of power and influence. I hate easy, and I love challenges. I am empowered to thrive on greater challenges. I am empowered. I am stimulated. I am excited. I am whom I am. Created to be great. I am so energised about life that life can't keep up with my energy. I am a performer, a dreamer and a doer. I'm too good at what I do and who I am, and that's why I choose to be great. I am all of these things because I believe in me. I separate myself from danger, but I do not separate myself from challenges. I am a lion in the day and an owl in the night. I am unstoppable. I am unshakable. I am unbeatable. I am a legend among legends. I am the future of the life that I live. I am present to all that exist and present as I embark on the journey ahead of me. I do what needs to be done and am strong as I do it. I command my subconscious mind to harness the power that I possess, to be the person that I have been created to be. I will use my power to turn weaknesses into strengths, fears into faiths, wounds into scars, hate into love, lies into truth, blindness into sight, and darkness into light. That light is inside me. That light is what I see, feel and become. Now.
YES! YES! YES!
Go out there and be whom you were created to be. No excuses!
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