There Are Reasons and There Are Excuses…But Actually Excuses

When you really think about it, most of the “reasons” we use to explain why we didn’t do something or why we didn’t succeed, are actually excuses.

The most common excuses I receive in comments and emails are: not enough time and not enough money.  But didn’t Einstein, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, etc. all have 24 hours in a day?  And haven’t there been millionaires start with no money to their name?

In my opinion a reason sounds like this…”I couldn’t pick up the spoon that fell on the floor because I have no hands.”  An excuse sounds like this…”I couldn’t pick up the spoon because I worked all day and my back is sore.”  The more I operate this blog the more I believe that the vast majority of us use excuses and not reasons.  I’m not judging, nor am I trying to give anyone a hard time, but let’s be honest or at least be honest with yourself. Lack of time means you don’t manage your time well enough.  I have yet to find one person that does not have the same amount of time in a day as every other person that has ever lived.

I think most people don’t want to admit that they don’t have, don’t achieve or don’t succeed because they don’t apply themselves to the fullest extent of their capabilities.  Of course this is not a general blanket I am throwing over the entire population as I understand there are some among us that have legit reasons that impede their ability to do certain things.

My wife grew up in communist Poland where the citizens were not allowed to have a lot of amenities or luxuries such as Levis or Coca Cola.  They were only able to get certain food items on certain days of the week and in a limited amount.  There are parts of the world today where people walk 5, 10, 20 miles to get a bucket of dirty water for their families to drink.  There are parts of the world that don’t have medical doctors much less the advantages of internet or mobile phones.  I had a blogger from a less-developed country email me and tell me privately that most of the articles he reads about the “struggles” of those living in the U.S. show a lack of appreciation on our part and make us sound like cry babies.  He also explained to me that he had 4 people from his village killed last year from lions and elephants.  And his wife is one of those that walks 10 miles round-trip to get water for the family.

We have it great compared to most of the world.  Most of us have it easy.   I saw a meme the other day of a guy playing the guitar with his feet due to being born with no arms, that read “Tell me again why you can’t…”    Most of the time when I write this type of harsh toned post people come back with their specific story and why they can’t do.  I get it; there are those with legit reasons.

Life is great in America.  The land of opportunity, which often is only appreciated by immigrants new to the States.  We have too many people who have become accustomed to the luxuries of living in the U.S.  Many have become lazy.

African man working in a field is cooled off by a friend

Chinese man with no arms rides his moped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenyan woman scoops drinking water for her family

With all the stories from around the world of people who go without the basics that we take for granted here in the U.S. I ask you to ask yourself why you cannot.  What is your reason?  What is the real reason that you don’t lose weight?  What is the real reason you work a job you hate?  What is the real reason you don’t have what you want?

Life for the most part is easy in the U.S.  Jobs are available.  Water is clean.  Food is clean. The government is stable.  Entrepreneurship is possible.  People in the U.S. can make their life whatever they want it to be.  But few want to put in the effort and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve.  But to make ourselves feel better about our lack of effort, we use excuses.  The excuse is a defense mechanism, a rationalization, designed to relieve us of the responsibility of our failures and/or shortcomings.

According to PsychCentral.com, rationalization is:

A defense mechanism involving the construction of a logical justification for seemingly illogical or unacceptable feelings or behaviors. Rationalization can be conscious or subconscious, and is one of Freud’s proposed defense mechanisms. This defensive manuever is often called “making excuses.

 

I understand this post comes across as accusatory.  And trust me when I say I lump myself in with this group of excuse makers.  When I compare my complaints and whining to the real struggles of those in less-fortunate countries, I am embarrassed.  I complain about my internet being too slow while I drink my morning coffee in the comfort of my new home with the thermostat set at a comfortable temperature just before I jump in my car and drive to the mall where I use my money to buy tons of things I probably don’t need.  My life is really awful.

I guess what I am trying to say is if you really want something you have all the opportunity in the world.  If you have no money, you can get money.  If you have no education, you can get educated.  If you need a job, you can get a job.  Whatever you need the opportunity abounds in the United States.

If you don’t have, then you simply are not applying yourself and taking advantage of true opportunity.  Don’t list your excuses, just fess up, be honest and admit the truth; you just don’t want it bad enough.

58 thoughts on “There Are Reasons and There Are Excuses…But Actually Excuses

  1. Well said! I have visited many countries where people have very little and they put us to shame for our lack of appreciation and gratitude. I can still remember a man housebound through illness in a flat in Sarajevo who radiated what I would call enlightenment. He had been through some terrible experiences, yet he had found peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Powerful post! Thank you for sharing!

    Excuses keep us stuck. Reasons give us pause.

    99% of us will give excuses as to “why” we didn’t achieve our dreams.

    1% will pause (valid reasons) just long enough to make it to all the way to our full potential aka top of the pyramid aka self-actualization.

    I hope to make it there one day! I hope you do too! 🌟💫

    BTW: Posts like yours keep me honest (out of self-denial & excuses).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get emails weekly from people that use excuse after excuse while living in the U.S. They don’t realize they are the reason they don’t achieve their goals.

      Like

      • Which is exactly why the first session of counseling begins with weeding out the “excuse validation expectations” of clients vs. actual willingness to make the hard choices required of transformational change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I imagine weeding out excuses could be a long process! I don’t know the statistics but I would be interested in studying excuses more. They seem to be deeply rooted in human behavior.

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      • Speaking as someone just getting into the area of counseling/psychology/human behavior, I am so excited AND I find human behavior simply riveting. I have been reading tons of info online and I find the mind as interesting as ancient history. It is amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am also very much into the study of human behaviour, and if I don’t understand why someone does what they do, then I find out or try to look from their perspective.

    With regards to your post though, and although I live in South Africa and not US, I agree… most make excuses and not reasons.

    I know you said that there are legitimate reasons sometimes, but I have known those who have legitimate reasons for not being able to do something, but they find a way anyway. Strangely, they rely less on reasons for not doing something than we do on excuses for why we can’t. If you really want something, then do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this. I know I’m guilty of many excuses. The complaining about slow internet actually made me smile because I complain about that a lot. I appreciate this little dose of reality. I think we all need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We are a country of crybabies aren’t we? I have a good life, and I’m very grateful. I express my gratitude by helping others. I’m the only one of my circle of friends who does volunteer work. Others are just too busy I guess (or selfish). I just hope that if I’m ever in need, there will be a kind person like myself to help me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You bring up a great point about volunteering. So few people volunteer and it is selfishness. Everybody is busy. Everybody has obligations. Everybody works a lot. But only those that make volunteering a priority do it. The rest simply focus on their own lives and no one else. imho

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I lived for a few years in Westwood California.

    I loved to bike to Venice Beach which I did almost every day. I’d gotten chat friendly with a guy who was a thalidomide baby. He was born without legs. He got around a skateboard that he moved with his arms.

    One day I watched as hoisted himself off his board. He switched on a boom box and started to squirm to a song by Public Enemy. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “If I’d had legs I’d of been a dancer. Ain’t no reason I can’t dance without ’em!”

    I thought, right!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is the gist of the post. I get so many people giving so many excuses. I can’t lose weight because of xyz. I can’t pay down my debt because I don’t make enough money. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. You don’t because you don’t try hard enough or understand true sacrifice. Plain and simple. Why is it that those that have a legitimate built in reason don’t ever use it as an excuse?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It takes twice the effort to transcend a handicap. There were many skills that I didn’t have when I first became too ill to work at a regular job. I had never had a camera, never taken pictures, knew nothing about photo-processing and was genuinely terrified of using social media.

        We can’t let our fears and the opinions of other people stop us from making lives worth living.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I was the same about blogging. I knew nothing about it. But I needed something to keep my mind challenged for the days that MS limited me. And I have used this blog to challenge me into reading a ton more and have used it to focus my life.

        Liked by 2 people

      • We may blog for similar reasons.

        I loved my career and getting sick hit me hard.

        I spent a couple of years feeling lost but eventually I started to find new ways to channel my energy.

        Think of Steven Stephen Hawking. He did best work after he became seriously disabled.

        That said, I also know that I had access to many resources despite the adverse circumstances of my childhood.

        Most of those resources are gone due to funding cuts.

        I think everyone should have the opportunities from which I benefit.

        This is why I use my skills to advocate.

        Had there been no public schools and free access to community colleges in my youth I would not have the skill to write these words.

        My hope is that the voice on my blog will become part of a chorus of voices demanding a return to economic justice in the United States.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on A Life Less Ordinary and commented:
    A great blog post about realising the opportunities we have and why we don’t go after what we want. Many of us make excuses for staying in an unhappy state and stop ourselves from actively pursuing changes in our lives that can promote happiness and get us to where we want to be. It’s all about focusing on the opportunities we have rather than the lack 🙂

    Like

  8. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #24 | A Momma's View

  9. So true. I was just having an argument with my sis coz she was complaining about how hard it is to raise a 3 y/o daughter by herself and she has no time for herself. And I told her, why can’t you just be grateful? Both of us are single moms but I live here n the US not enjoying the same luxuries she has. She has a stay at home nanny, maids, a driver and a support system (coz she moved back to my parent’s home). I don’t have any of those. I have no family here, could barely make ends meet when my kids were little so I had to have 2-3 jobs and I don’t know how I found time to sleep then but I was young so i didn’t need much (I guess).
    I told her it’s not a competition. I just needed her to calm down… breathe… appreciate and be grateful for her blessings. Sometimes we forget until we’re presented a different perspective.

    Like

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