Just recently a great number of people set goals, New Year’s resolutions, for 2020. Unfortunately, statistically speaking, by the time you read this most will have already given up on them. Sure I understand that things get in the way, and sometimes we set a “goal” that isn’t really a priority. At times things that are real priorities get in the way. Personally, I want to take piano lessons again, but it’s not a priority in comparison to so many other things going on in my life. That being said, I find that all too often people are instead simply eager to find reasons why something can’t be done (or at least why they can’t do it.)
I have found that my success in any endeavor is directly related to how many excuses I will allow myself to make. Lots of excuses always equals nothing accomplished.
I think people too easily come up with excuses why they can’t accomplish things. Some will rationalize they didn’t really want it to begin with. Others will point out why it’s somehow easier for someone else (and therefore that person didn’t have to work too hard to get where they are). And you know what? Some of that might be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that anything worth doing is going to be challenging. If you want to accomplish something, you are going to run into obstacles. And if your first reaction to obstacles is to make excuses, you’re never really going to accomplish much.
Don’t get me wrong, you can accomplish things and still not be happy. But if you’ve found something you passionately want to do, GET TO WORK. Once you get to work, WHEN you find obstacles, don’t make excuses for why it can’t be done. Ask yourself HOW can it be done, find a way, and do it.
At times when talking with students at Brown, Red, or Red/Black belt, I’ll explain there are two types of pain. The pain of change, and the pain of disappointment. I explain that preparing for black belt is arduous, it’s uncomfortable, it takes work, it’s painful. But the pain of disappointment at failing a black belt test is just as real.
I think excuses are used to salve those two pains. We don’t want the pain of change, and yet we don’t want the pain of disappointment. So, people quit and make excuses. That way they don’t have to experience the pain of change, and yet they avoid their disappointment saying things like “I’m just taking a break, I can come back later and test for black belt” or “I didn’t really want a black belt anyway.” Fortunately, at the academy, it’s quite rare. Hopefully such excuses are rare for you too.