Excuse the Excuses
We are inundated with reasons to give excuses on a daily basis. You could be late for work and need a "good reason" to tell the boss. You could need to take the day off for a personal reason that won't cut it and need something "better" to tell. You may even miss a deadline and need a great reason to lessen the blow for you. Regardless of the scenario, we've all been there feeling as if we needed to say something other than the truth because we felt like the truth wasn't good enough.
We are conditioned at an early age that excuses won't cut it in life, however we position benefits and consequences based on the efficacy of those excuses/reasons/responses. Yes the double standard is alive and well as society says 'don't give me an excuse', but then sets up the stage for some of the wildest excuses ever. How did we get here?
The Matter of Truth
Let's be clear, the truth only hurts when you don't want to hear the truth, or don't want to tell the truth. Truths are simply a definition of what is, which can dispel what is not. Truth is comprised of an honest retelling of the story. Unfortunately story telling is comprised of perception, and therein lies the twist of the truth - like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The truth is always in front of us, but it is our ability to see it for what it is first that becomes the first obstacle.
Hopes, Dreams, and Fears Shade The Truth
We want to see a particular truth no matter the topic. That desire is based on our own set of experiences. This means you are therefore looking for a particular truth, not realizing you are subconsciously placing blinders on what may be right in front of you. We are human and our human experiences are designed to help us navigate through life. Those experiences however serve as a mechanism that become an obstacles to our understanding of the truth.
If you do not understand the truth, you cannot accept the truth
Deep into our brain is our limbic system which serves as the emotional repository in our brain. This is the area that all information from the senses passes through and decisions are made about what is and what isn't. The more adept we are at our own experiences and emotions, the more likely we are to understand what is and what isn't. Think of the limbiic system like a library. Those with their lives in disarray - those books are on the floor, uncategorized and misunderstood. People who have put the work in to understanding their life, have a great library system by which they are able to more quickly and efficiently to understand new information. The short answer here
Truth takes work
Truths and Excuses
Human beings tell excuses because the truth is not understood by them personally, or they fear that others will not accept the truth as they see it. The unfortunate game ensues of telling others what you believe they want to hear. Once the excuse is inserted into the universe, everything else about the conversation, communication, etc is a reaction and not connected to a solid foundation. Sounds like a colossal waste of everyone's time right? And yet excuses at school, work, and our personal lives fly off the shelves like a hot ticket item on release day.
We must be bigger than the illusions we create
No matter the reason for the failure, the truth ends the calamity and everyone can then work from a place of awareness. We must be more than the illusions of our excuses if we expect to make progress in life. Some people have freely given excuses for so long that it becomes an unfortunate habit that has grave consequences. Ever see someone blurt out an excuse without thought? I've seen it and wondered why did they just do that? Why did they offer up something unreal to really fix a problem?
Fake cannot fix real
That's an old saying that I'm borrowing from my great grandmother. The moment people want to progress in life is the moment they leave those excuses behind. No one at your job is preventing you from excelling more than you - we've got to take control of the problem which gives us the ability to correct it. Continually pushing off the problem with excuses, also excuses you from taking part in the solution.
Excuses are a bandaid fix AND a long-term disaster
I love the principles of Sun Tzu because they remind me of a fundamental concept - there are battles and there is the war. You are playing through the battles to win the war. Each time you have an opportunity to insert the truth and choose the nefarious excuse, you have lost that battle. Everything that comes from the excuse, misguided truth, alternative facts (or however you want to color what is not the truth), becomes an unnecessary battle fought for the wrong reasons. Ever see someone battling to hold onto their excuses? I've even seen people get indignant about their excuses stating, "how can you prove I'm being dishonest?" How faulty is that battle?
People will go to battle on the fact that you can't disprove the excuse that everyone knows to be false. And the battles can be epic! I've seen employees and even employers sue the other all connected to this faulty premise - an excuse. What a total waste of time and resources. Wouldn't the truth sans the excuse have been a shorter path to the next levels of life?
In management we say that people don't fail, processes do. I grappled with that for years, but I do accept that theory. We've set up a societal norm that makes it okay to give excuses when you find yourself in a jam, or jammed up in your head. That's a process that is failing all of us. Excuses get us further away from making real progress in our lives. Can you imagine the positive changes that happen in your life when you stop making and defending excuses and begin addressing the problems that are preventing your success? There are great possibilities ahead when the excuses are left behind. How will you grow from excuses today?