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Dolores G Wix

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Do You Constantly Make Excuses?
by Dolores G Wix   

Last edited: Friday, September 05, 2003
Posted: Friday, September 05, 2003

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Find out what making excuses does to you and how you can stop making excuses today.

“If only I had been born rich!”

“If only I were thinner!”

“If only my boss liked me, I would get a promotion!”

Do any of those excuses sound familiar?  Perhaps

these and many other excuses have passed your lips.

If this is true , then making excuses needs to become

a thing of the past for you.  Why?  Brian Tracy,

author, professional speaker and seminar leader,

gives the answer in his excellent audio program

“The Psychology of Achievement.”  Mr. Tracy states,

“It is said that the tendency to make excuses for

our mistakes and failures in life is one of the

primary causes for failure as adults.”

Mr. Tracy goes on to explain that when we continuously

make excuses in trying to explain away our faults,

problems and deficiencies, this is one of the

critical factors that holds people back from

developing their full potential as human beings. 

Instead, we should be willing to accept full

responsibility for our lives and do something to

change them if we don’t like what we see.

But how do we accomplish that?  Let me illustrate

using real people and the three excuses found in

the opening of this article.

“If only I had been born rich!”

Since I’ve been quoting Brian Tracy, I’ll use his

life as an example.  But please realize that there

are thousands and thousands of other people out

there who could serve as examples as well.

Brian Tracy was not born rich.  In fact, he came

from a poor family.  Born in Canada, Mr. Tracy says

that his father did not have steady work and his

family never seemed to have enough money for anything

except the bare essentials.  For the first 10 years

of his life most of his clothes were from Goodwill

and St. Vincent de Paul.

Yet today, Brian Tracy is a multimillionaire.

Instead of making excuses for not being born rich,

Mr. Tracy spent years studying why some people were

more successful than others.  But he didn’t just

stop there.  He took what he learned about how

people became successful and applied the principles

into his own life.

Over the years, he has developed numerous self-

improvement products where he shares his knowledge

with others who want to be more successful.

“If only I were thinner.”

If you think success will only come to those who

are thin, then please think again.  In 1986, “The

Oprah Winfrey Show” was launched as a nationally

syndicated program.  Oprah’s show grossed $125

million, of which she received $30 million (and

that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what

she makes now!)

It was not until two years later, in 1988, that

Oprah lost 67 pounds after going on a medically

supervised liquid diet.

Of course, success means different things to different

people and making millions like Oprah may not be

what you’re aiming for.  The point is that being

fat or thin makes no difference in what you can

accomplish in life.

“If only my boss liked me, I would get a promotion!”

There is an experience I remember hearing (on one

of Brian Tracy’s other audio programs) about a

woman who was passed over for promotion.  The

company brought in someone from the outside, so

naturally she was upset and felt a great deal of

resentment.  However, a friend asked her if there

could possibly be a legitimate reason that she did

not get the promotion.  I’m sure it was hard for

her to face that possibility, but the woman made

some inquiries at the office and found out that

there was only one area in which she was weak.

She decided to work on improving in this area.

Several months later when things didn’t work out

with the person brought in from the outside, the

woman got the promotion.

"Man must cease attributing his problems to his

environment, and learn to exercise his will — his

personal responsibility."  — Albert Schweitzer

As you already know, making excuses is easy.

Accepting 100% responsibility for our own lives is

hard.  In “The Psychology of Achievement,” Mr.

Tracy states, “The chief hallmark of the fully

mature adult is the acceptance of total

responsibility for our own lives.  The great gap

between immaturity and maturity is this acceptance

of total responsibility and the acceptance of total

responsibility means that from then on in life we

have no more excuses.”

I cannot end this article without mentioning one

other person.  If anybody had excuses for not doing

something with their life, this woman did.  After

all, she couldn’t see, she couldn’t hear, and she

couldn’t speak.  That person was Helen Keller.

Born as a normal, healthy baby, Ms. Keller developed

an illness when she was two years old that made her

burn with fever.  The doctor told her parents that

she would not recover, but she did.  Unfortunately,

the fever destroyed her sight and hearing.  Since

young Helen couldn’t hear, she couldn’t learn to

talk.  Imagine how she must have felt, wanting to

communicate with the outside world, but not being

able.  Since she couldn’t see, young Helen became

baffled by her surroundings, which caused her to

become bad-tempered, unmanageable, hostile and

contrary.  A relative even suggested that the

child be put away.  But the girl’s mother

detected that her daughter had intelligence.

Then, on March 3, 1887, a woman named Anne Sullivan

came into young Helen’s life and changed it forever

by becoming her teacher.  With Anne Sullivan right

by her side every step of the way Helen Keller

eventually became the first deaf-blind woman to

graduate from Radcliffe College.  Later, she

traveled and gave lectures throughout the country

and overseas about the problems that deaf-blind

people face.  She also wrote articles and her

efforts were rewarded when legislatures began

establishing schools for the blind and the deaf.

This remarkable woman did not make any excuses!

If you’re ever feeling sorry for yourself (and we

all do from time to time), rent the movie “The

Miracle Worker” starring Anne Bancroft and Patty

Duke or read a biography about Helen Keller.

The next time you are tempted to make excuses for

not having the kind of life you want, please remember

that you will never reach your full potential as a

human being until you accept 100% responsibility

for your own life.

Copyright 2002 Dolores G. Wix

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