No More Excuses
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Excuses. We all make them right? I'll do it tomorrow; I am too tired today; I don't have the qualifications etc. We make excuses and procrastinate. It's part of being human. The challenge or opportunity we have, is to beat those excuses. What if your some day is today? I am betting there is something you've always wanted to do, but are too afraid to do it. Trust me, I've been there. The fear of failure is a real thing. Because we can't fail if we don't try, right? But that very mindset can prevent us from achieving the greatness we're made for.
When you take the first step, you may fail. But you also might succeed. It becomes a question of how do you view failure in your life? Will you view it as a definite thing, or instead see it as part of the process? It's all about mindset.
If you take a look at history, all the greats failed. It took Thomas Edison 1,000 attempts before he successfully created the light bulb. Colonel Sander's recipe for KFC chicken was rejected 1,009 times before someone finally agreed to invest. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. Imagine a world without the light bulb, KFC chicken, and Disney. Point being, they failed, but they didn't give up. And that's what led to their success. There's a Japanese saying that goes "fall down 7 times, get up 8." In other words, get up more times then you fall down. Don't let failure hold you back. Accept it as part of the process, and keep pursuing that thing you're meant to do.
Because it's for you. What if you're the only one who can do it? And if you don't, no one else will. Because God gave it to you, knowing fully well what you can and can't handle. If you're feeling dissatisfied, it's because you were made for more. Being uncomfortable pushes us to go beyond what we know, and explore uncharted territory. To learn new things, to meet new people, and to take risks.
There's another saying that goes "unless you move, where you are is where you will always be." That idea or dream you have, won't take off unless you put it into action. And to be honest, that takes courage. Not only courage, it also requires discipline and consistency. We all fall off the horse from time to time, but the question is, will you get back on it? Will you keep putting in the work, even when you don't see immediate results or your first attempt fails? How badly do you want it?
It's a very simple analogy, but without seeds, there are no crops. If you don't plant a seed, nothing will grow. Or if you plant a seed, but don't water it, or give it sunlight, it will die.The same goes for your dreams. You have to do the work, and be consistent if you want to see progress. Any time you're doing something new for the first time, you might fail. But it's through that failure that you learn more. And if you're smart, you can adjust or iterate the approach for a different outcome. Like any experiment, there are variables right? If something isn't working, you can pivot and adjust the variables as needed. Otherwise you'll run into the definition of insanity.
Here's the good news though! If you keep pursuing it, eventually you will succeed. It's a matter of not giving up, and having faith. When you're doing something that's never been done before, there will be skeptics. And that's okay. When something hasn't been done before, of course it will be met with a heavy dose of doubt. That doesn't mean that it can't be done though, it just means it hasn't been done yet.
Do you really think we would be where we are today if no one ever dared to try something different from the status quo? Would things like smart devices, cryptocurrency, and the internet even exist? No, those things were created because someone had a vision and saw the potential to create something better. And then they made it happen.
So today I want to commit to writing more. I want to submit something every week to this blog. Even if it sucks. I'd rather post something I've written that sucks and then improve it, as opposed to not posting anything at all. And I encourage you to do the same. Whatever it is that you've been wanting to do, just do it. Don't make any more excuses. Write down your goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Back in 1979, the Harvard Business School conducted a study on their graduating class regarding writing down goals. Their research prompt was simple "have you set written goals and created a plan for their attainment?"
The responses from the soon-to-be-graduates determined that:
84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
Not surprisingly, 10 years later the respondents who had written goals were making more money compared to the 84% of the class who did not have any written goals. But here's where it gets interesting... The 3% of respondents who had written goals and had a concrete plan to achieve them, were actually making 10x the amount of money that the remaining 97% of respondents were making.
Point being, if you want to succeed, write down specific goals and then have a plan on how to achieve them. Using the SMART goals model can be super helpful in getting specific with your goals. Another strategy is to use Ivy Lee Method, which involves writing down the 6 main things you want to accomplish for the day and working through the list systematically from most to least important. If you like timed exercises, the Pomodoro Technique is great for beating procrastination. Named after the Italian word for tomato, this technique involves focusing on one specific task, setting a timer for 25 minutes, and working on that task uninterrupted until the timer goes off. Then you give yourself a break and repeat the same process. It's amazing how much you can accomplish with this simple technique.
When it comes to your dreams, why wait? Why not just go for it? The last thing you want is to look back in your life years later, and regret not pursuing your dream. It's time for someday to become today. Because we only have this one life. And we don't know the day nor the hour when the Lord will call us home. So let's make the most of today!There are lots of tools that can help you in setting your goals and achieving them. Be brave and take the first step.