A couple of years ago, on one episode of my television program, I taught a subject titled Catalogue of Excuses. What prompted me to do that was because many people make reasonable and unreasonable, sensible and insensible, and tenable and untenable excuses why what they should have easily done wasn’t done. Some of these excuses are both ridiculous and ludicrous. One of my former colleagues once said that if you stand on a high street to ask people to partake in a survey, at the end of the day, you could come up with a bestseller book called Excuses. What many people make excuses for, they can actually do, but somehow, they don’t do it, or don’t have any intention to do it. Where excuses become pitiable is when it affects the cells of the essence of life. What do I mean? Some homeless people for instance, blame their conditions on divorce, meanwhile, under the same situation; some people have overcome their challenges and moved on. Some jobless people blame the economic climate for their conditions, but under the same scenario, some people have made honey out of the sting by starting up their own businesses. Some excuse is genuine and justifiable, but in spite of its legality, does not change any man’s circumstance. Sometimes, those that make excuses want to attract sympathy, but after the sympathy, what next? Sympathy does not change situations; positive and purposeful actions do. Excuses don’t provide valuable ideas that will move a person from zero to hero; so, why stick to it?
I have mentored a few people that are stunningly gifted but un-manifested. The only reason they haven’t made it to the limelight is because of excuses. If it isn’t one thing, it is something else; the list never ends; stories day and night why the chicken couldn’t lay the eggs. In concluding these stories; the chicken later died; they couldn’t buy another chicken because the whole poultries in town have been shut down. When it comes to excuses, some people are world champions.
Excuses are made to justify inaction, lack of obligatory commitments, or in defence of some faults or offensive behaviours. The worst of the foregoing reasons is the justification for inaction. There are people that make excuses for not running with their dreams and visions in life. They fine tune the reasons in such a way that it becomes sincere and convincing, but never convicting. Any reason that always puts you below or makes you accept the condition of staying put in a particular position without an upward movement cannot be in your own interest. If you want to do better than where you currently are, you must not make excuses for where you are.
How can you deal with excuse mentality?
I believe that it isn’t enough to tell people to be intolerant with excuses but to also teach them how to deal with it. To deal with excuse mentality, you must:
1. Understand what is relevant to you: this sounds so simple, but the truth is that most people don’t know what is relevant to them. A family man who earns $2000 per month, but chooses to buy a designer suit worth $1500 each month definitely does not know what is relevant to him. A student who spends eight hours a day watching movies does not know what is relevant to him. Understanding relevance helps cut down excuses. If you understand the importance of something, you won’t make excuses for not taking that thing serious. If your purpose in life means so much to you, you won’t treat it with levity.
2. Action your understanding: after understanding what is relevant to you, you must put your understanding to action. Some people know what is good for them, but never do what is good for them. An employee knows that being regular and prompt at work helps him get good evaluation from his line manager; he understands the relevance, but that doesn’t stop some from being perpetually late. To stop making excuses, you must action your understanding. If you understand the good that your gift will bring to you, go ahead and work on it. Why make excuses for not working on your talent when you realise how many doors it will open for you if you venture into putting it to action?
3. Be consistent: to be consistent, you need self discipline – taking action on fulfilling your calling or vision shouldn’t be a one-off thing. Consistency is what makes you a champion. Consistency is the firstborn of discipline. To be consistent, you need that mental discipline. Be rigid on sticking to the convention of the laid-down structure that you have outlined for yourself. In my home for instance, I made a decision that my children, apart from Sundays, must study everyday. At times, it is not easy for me, but because I have made the commitment, I never want to break the ranks, so I try as much as I can to keep up to it. Keeping up to it is essential in making it become the best. There shouldn’t be excuses for failing; the excuses may be genuine, but in all, there’s something somewhere and somehow you can do to make life worth the living. Think; what can I do despite the prevalent circumstance? As you ponder daily, one day, an idea that will beat the odds will flow into your mind. Creativities are revealed when all roads are closed. Stop making excuses; think and take actions now!