Choose Excuses or Reasons

One of the ways that the human ego protects itself is by rationalizing, by making excuses that absolve you of responsibility for your poor performance.

You didn’t reach your sales goal? Your brain provides the excuse. It was the economy, the government, your territory, or your competitor’s price.

You mishandled an important conversation by being unduly harsh or obstinate? Your brain rationalizes away your bad behavior by reminding you that nothing you said was untrue, and the person you were speaking with really needed to hear what you said.

You skipped your morning workout? Well, you were really tired, it’s just one workout, and you can make it up tomorrow.

The one force that overcomes excuses is reasons. With strong enough reasons, your excuses weaken and lose their hold.

The people who reach their goals are resourceful and determined enough to find a way because their reasons are stronger than their excuses. For some of them, the reason might be their very survival. For others, the reason might have been their identity; they can’t imagine not being a person who achieves their goals. The reason and motivation may be their own, but it is there, and it propels them ever forward.

The people who handle difficult conversations well do so because their reasons for honoring the relationship and the individual are stronger than their need to vent their anger. It may not be easy, but they don’t make excuses or rationalize their bad behavior.

The people who are at the gym or on the asphalt have powerful reasons for being there, like their health, their energy, and their vitality. They know that their excuses won’t provide for them what their reasons provide.

Your mind will let you find excuses or it will let you find reasons. Which you choose is 100% in your control, and the choice you make rules your results, for good or for ill.

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