Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No Excuses

This one will be direct, because I want the message to sink in, to hit home without a lot of distraction.

The secret to your happiness, the secret to finding your bliss, boils down to this, more than anything else: There are no excuses.

Sound harsh? Good. It's what you need to hear. If you hear yourself saying anything remotely like this--"I would take a vacation, but I just can't because..."--then you are making an excuse, and you need to stop. Right. Now.

I'm not trying to be unforgiving. I'm trying to help you see that whatever you want is within your reach, so long as you don't use the word "but" to avoid going after it.

My dear brother told me today that he needs a vacation desperately, to recharge his batteries. He's in sales, so when he takes a vacation, he loses potential income, and his mortgage needs paid. When he told me he couldn't take a vacation because of the house payment, I reminded him that buying his house, at that price, was his choice. No one forced him to do it. It may be true that you can't afford a vacation, but that isn't because of forces outside your control. It's because of your choices.
  • You choose to spend money on other things.
  • You choose to define the word "vacation" too narrowly.
  • You choose to work a certain kind of job.
  • You choose to spend the free time you do have on other things.
  • You choose not to make a plan for how to afford a vacation.
I've written about this before, about the need for you to take responsibility and quit yer whinin', but I want you to think about all the times you say "but" to make it seem like you don't have a choice, like you are excused from acting on your dreams and desires.

Once you get your head out of your "but" (ha ha), you will begin to find ways to get what you want, or to decide that what you want isn't really that important to you, it's just something you think you want, or something you want because other people want it for you.

Practice for one day. Heck, start with one hour. Catch yourself every time you're about to make an excuse. We all do it. Just try to be aware of how often you do it, how much those excuses are getting in the way of what you do really want. Imagine how your thinking would change on a day without excuses. Now give it a try! No... well, you know. :-)

No excuses now, subscribe to Gimme Bliss!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


This reminds me of the "dump a cup of dirt on the rug and ignore it to write" exercise you assigned our class. That was a wonderful lesson for me because it helped me realize that some of my self-proscribed 'priorities' were really an insidious form of excuse-making. It turns out I never made time to write on the weekends because I had to clean the entire house entirely: dusting, mopping, changing sheets, scrubbing grout... every week, at least four hours. With the yard on this house, that added another four hours of weeding and planting (not altogether unenjoyable, mind you). The truth is, not everything has to be done every single week. I learned that my Chore-Bot Routine was my form of excuse. It had the compound effect of allowing me to waste even more time whining about my lack of time! Once I redefined what had to be done based upon my true priorities, I found I had almost a full weekend day to dedicate to writing, without taking any additional time from my time with my husband. It's wonderful!

- erzsebet