“There are a thousand excuses for every failure but never a good reason.” – Mark Twain
IF YOU”RE FEELING a little emotionally fragile, you may want to read this one later.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
I have a confession to make…I’m sick and tired of people’s whining, complaining, rationalizing and justifying why their life is a succession of unfinished endeavors.
People who have lost and regained weight like a yoyo on steroids…people who start projects but never bring them to a finish…people with the highest intentions and who deliver the lowest of results…YET they’re still looking for a quick fix, an easy solution, a silver bullet.
As the creator of the 100 Day Challenge and someone who is constantly dealing with people who want to create positive change in their life (relationships, finances, career, health, appearance, attitude, lifestyle, etc.), I hear way too many excuses.
As a rule, I have more people tell me why they can’t change than why they can.
And while I acknowledge that we all have challenges, hurdles and obstacles to navigate and negotiate along our path…in my humble opinion, most reasons (for not doing something) are in fact, not reasons at all.
They are nothing more than sad, pathetic and cheap excuses.
REASONS VS. EXCUSES
So, what is the difference between a Reason and an Excuse?
According to the dictionary…there’s absolutely no differentiation. And that’s where the problem starts.
Both reason and excuse are defined as an explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
What do you say we put an end to that nonsense, right here…right now?
The fact is…there’s a HUGE difference between a reason and an excuse.
This one health related example perfectly illustrates the difference for everyone.
A reason for not going for a run is, “I have a broken leg.”
An excuse is, “I don’t have the time.”
It’s sad, yet so very true…far too many people have developed an unequaled gift for making excuses in every imaginable way possible… finances, career, hobbies, relationships, etc…
ALLOW ME TO BOTTOM LINE this for you…excuses are personality defects; the dirty ring around the collar of your performance which carry the distinct whiff of mediocrity.
The tragedy of the average person is that they have become dependent on the deception, false belief, and unfortunately ease of use associated with making excuses.
I know of no enemy more insidious or vicious than excuses. It’s an enemy that poses a clear and present danger to your future.
Precisely because there is no textbook definition that presents a clear distinction between the two…we are left with one option: EXAMINE THE RESULTS.
The difference between reasons and excuses lies in the results of each; the actions that follow, the repercussions and consequences as well as how an individual is affected by the events that cause each.
It’s what we do with each that determines the difference.
If you are the excuse making type…you have a strong tendency to view an excuse as the result of an uncontrollable event that you deem as an exoneration of your tasks, responsibilities or plans.
You see it as a legitimate justification for immunity of your sins…for revoking all that is expected of you.
A reason on the other hand is a stimulus that causes something to change or happen, giving you cause to reroute your actions and manage to stay in control of the results you wanted without turning it into an excuse.
Excuses and reasons on the surface share a similar strand of DNA, but what you do with each is what differentiates them.
Excuses are negative and irresponsible…while reasons are natural occurrences, and if acted upon they lead to responsible, results-driven behavior.
Here’s a very good rule of thumb…every reason must have a resulting action.
Now that’s a point worthy of repeating…every reason must have a resulting action.
The main function of a reason is not to justify, but to explain. Reason implies that fault is sincerely recognized and accepted….and that you take accountability for your actions.
An excuse exists to justify, blame or defend a fault…with the intent to absolve oneself of accountability. An excuse will NEVER be followed by positive, goal-directed or solution-oriented behavior.
Excuses bring productivity to a screeching halt. They waste time and murder potential. They are tools of cowards and weaklings…weapons of destruction that undermine ones reputation, credibility and future prospects. Do not associate with them. Ever.
One final thought and perhaps a warning…you can have results or excuses, not both.
Gary Ryan Blair