This blog post is part of the Personal Experiments. These experiments are 30 day challenges to adopt new habits (instead of just reading about them).
Problem – Making Excuses
Most of the life’s valuable things are hard. Building a career, having good health, finding a good partner, and raising a family. Upon self-reflection, I realized that I was often complaining or making excuses about hard things.
Solution – Take ownership
Take extreme ownership (and no excuses) approach to your building your life.
In the beginning it was difficult as making excuses is often socially acceptable – “I don’t have time to go to the gym. I don’t like Mondays. I hate commuting or my job etc.”. Overtime, I got better by avoiding such conversations and surrounding myself with people with similar mindset.
Here are the three lessons I learned from conditioning myself to make less excuses about hard things.
- Excuses indicate that you need to change something – If you find yourself in situation where you are making excuses it is likely that you need to change the situation (job, partner, or professional project) or about yourself (mindset, confidence etc)
- Excuses make you avoid learning the real problem – “I am not going to start a business because the economy is not doing well” is likely an excuse for not having confidence in your business venture. Whenever you make an excuse, ask yourself, is this truly the reason or an easy way out for me?
- Excuses make you focus on what could go wrong – Humans are wired to avoid failure but in todays world, there is more rewards for taking (calculated) risks than the world of yesterday (in which taking a risk could mean getting eaten by another predator).