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
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.