Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do you give excuses?

Seems like everywhere we turn, we’re inundated (and irritated) by the musical notes of justification, rationalization & realization... in the form of excuses. The dictionary defines excuse as An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness, however with the pervasiveness of this character flaw the definition isn’t the focus of today’s post. The focus of today’s post is WHY excuses have become the steak & potatoes of our daily interaction?

A quick, non-evidence based study leads me to a few conclusions about why the excusepidemic is thriving.

  1. ego:  We just cannot bring ourselves to admit we’ve failed. Our massive (but fragile) ego’s quickly begin scrolling through the litany of reasons until we find the one we believe to be true. Once we find the reason that sounds the best to us, we repeat it to ourselves. By repeating it to ourselves, we come to believe it, hence assuring ourselves we will probably not learn or grow from admitting we’ve failed and putting measures in place to minimize future failures. *it’s not about being perfect.
  2. moral fabric: The moral fabric of society has become so porous you could drive a semi through it without a snag. The list of contributors is for another blog but without some effort on tightening this material on an individual, family, community or societal basis, we fall victim to the trend mentality. *Note in any interview of a high achiever is usually a reference of their mom’s, dad’s, mom’s & dads “not raising me that way”. Correlation or coincidence? Point here, is we don’t need to wait for society to sort their #^*( out before we start our own movement.
  3. consequence: Do we have consequences anymore? Seriously, when is the last time you committed to something - didn’t do it – gave an excuse and suffered a consequence of any magnitude? There are NO CONSEQUENCES, in fact, the exact opposite. The excuse-rs HOLD THOSE - HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE IN CONTEMPT.  Seriously, try it. You turn out to be the villain. I assure you the people hearing excuses simply listen & decide – not going back to this person again - while picking up the slack.  
  4. media: Think back to the steady diet of the Ingles [Little House], Wally & the Beave [Leave it to Beaver], Richie & Joanie [Happy Days], Theo [Cosby Show], or even Will [Fresh Prince]. These shows provided a steady diet of humor, paired with underlying messages relating to being kind, appreciative & grateful. On any given segment was a lesson on honor, doing your best and being true to your word. Now we’ve got the Simpsons, Family Guy & American Dad. Feed us a steady diet.... and we will eat.
  5. personal pride. Even if 1-4 do not resonate, there’s simply a personal pride in doing what you say you’re going to do when you say... without excuses. Ya life’s hard, we’re all busy, distracted etc excuse etc justification etc, but there’s a certain personal pride in OUR CONTROL which WE get to showcase with the consistency we want. Our ego doesn’t prevent us from being honest with ourselves, we decide how we’re going to conduct ourselves, we create our own consequences and we feed & surround ourselves with people who take us where we want to go.
So the next time you catch yourself scrolling through excuses – stop – think about it and make adjustments so you don’t find yourself there.

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