Action Catalyst Blog

Triumph Over Excuses

None of us like to think that we make excuses, but we do.

One of my business partners, Dustin Hillis, defines excuses in this way: “Any reason you didn’t do what you said you do.”

I love that definition because it’s transparent, powerful, and most important of all, it’s inescapable.

It’s inescapable from accountability.

There’s no way to dodge it.

There’s no way to get around it.

There’s no way to bypass it.

There’s no way to circumvent it.

If you said you would do it and you didn’t get it done, then it’s on you.

And whatever your reason is for why it didn’t get done is your excuse.

It’s easy to hold others to that standard but we don’t like to hold ourselves to that standard.

When someone else didn’t get it done, it’s because they had some lame excuse.

But when we didn’t get it done it’s because…

“I didn’t have time.”

“I decided I didn’t really want to.”

“I need to wait until there is a better time.”

Or, the number one excuse of all is blaming others for failure.

Blaming others is a natural outlet because none of us like to admit when we’re making an excuse.

But what if instead of looking for a justifiable reason, a rational explanation, or an acceptable excuse, we instead just spent that energy looking for a solution?

That’s what winners do. They find a way instead of an excuse.

To use Dustin’s definition, finding a way means “doing what you said you would do, no matter what.”

Finding a way means you double down on your effort to achieve the target despite the odds.

Finding a way means you get creative about organizing resources to make it work.

Finding a way means you refocus your energy into problem solving and solution finding instead of into excuse-making.

Most of all, finding a way means owning your results yourself.

It means making a decision that you are in charge, you are accountable, and you will not be stopped.

Finding a way means remaining determined to figure it out because failure is not an option for you and excuses are unacceptable.

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