Excuses. Who wants more of those?
No one likes hearing them — almost always accompanying something not being done correctly — or using them, struggling to explain our own lack of results. Follow the following principles to ensure that you don’t ever again need to employ excuses in your life.
Stop Owning People Explanations
Being biased towards giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt, what others may see as an excuse coming from us is our version of a reason or explanation. And while we can debate people on the semantics and merits of our reasons/excuses all the day long, here’s a better fix that goes over the top of the problem: Stop explaining yourself to people.
I wrote about how much I didn’t appreciate Tiger Woods’ apology to the golfing community for cheating on his wife. He didn’t cheat on the PGA or Nike or McDonald’s. As soon as he started explaining himself to people, he made himself small to a public to whom he owed nothing.
You’re a free human with free will. You make your own choices as to what you do and don’t do; sometimes it will turn out a great decision and sometimes you’ll be dead wrong. The only people to whom you owe explanation are those who’ll have to live with the results of those actions — your public (if you’re in government), your family (if they’re affected), your customers (since they’re investing in you, depending on the situation). Everyone else needs to mind their damned business.
To excuse means to seek to defend or justify. No matter what happens in your life— the best news ever or your worst possible outcome — if you stop trying to defend of justify yourself to people, it’s impossible for you to ever offer anything that could be seen as an excuse.
Don’t Announce Your Plans
If you’re a goal-setting individual, you’ve noticed that there aren’t many of your kind out there. Most people have no idea what they want, who they want to be or where they’re going in life. Yeah, they get up out of bed and work hard every day, but if you asked most people, they couldn’t even tell you why they do it or where all that effort is taking them.
What all of this means: When you, with your clearly-defined goals and plans, comes along, all the others without goals will gladly play the sidelines and watch you go after whatever it is that you’re after — the losers amongst them reveling in watching you try and fail to reach your goals: Your failure to achieve justifies their failure to even try.
While you may think that there’s nothing you can do about this phenomena, there is something that you can do really easily: Stop telling people your plans and goals.
No one needs to know that you’re saving money to start a business, or that you want to be the first in your family to graduate college, or that you want to be an NBA Lottery Pick. If they’re not actively involved in helping you reach said goal, they serving no purpose.
The only people who need to know what your goals are, are those who are actively engaged in helping you reach them. No one else needs to know anything. They’re spectators; leave them to do what they do best: Watch life from sidelines.
When You Do Give Your Word, Do What You Say You’d Do
If you do, at any time, decide to share your aims with anyone, eliminate your need for any excuse by making sure you do what you said you’d do.
In life, when you produce results, rarely will you be asked for a justification or explanation of those results. Results, as they say, speak for themselves. It’s only when you don’t do what you said, when you don’t honor your word, that anyone you made an announcement to will come asking what happened. You can preempt that line of questioning by simply following through on your talk — or, by not offering any talk to begin with.
Show them, don’t tell them.
None of us has much tolerance for hearing excuses. And giving anything that even sounds like an excuse makes me want to take a hot shower. Use what you’ve learned here to perish the possibility of excuses ever coming into your orbit.
Get your mind right with the Bulletproof Mindset Course.