Are you an excuse maker?


Not that I am an authority on human behaviour, but I have always battled with one constant problem personally. That is, I often know what is the right thing to do or why I need to do certain things, but I never get to do it.

Like many of us, I am surrounded by well wishers, supporters, advisers, and caring people who are always there to tell me where I am going wrong (just in case I didn’t happen to realize it myself) and help guide me towards better decisions. But, like several other people, I at times do not do what I must and end up taking comfort in a well justified excuse that I work harder to come up with.   As opposed to putting my intellect and energy towards doing the right things, I put them to conjure up an excuse that I can somewhat justify in my mind.

But in reality and life, the doers are the ones who truly progress and move forward in life. They are the ones who make things happen for themselves and achieve more things in life that several excuse makers find hard to accept and give the credit for. For instance, if a family member comes upon some hard luck and is in need of some help in terms of monetary or emotional support. Often the family stands divided by the doers and excuse makers. The doers immediately offer to help. Some of these doers may be able to help due to their personal financial situation, and some may not be able to afford to help, yet, the doers offer whatever they can to help the family member in need. Some family member who have the doer mind set find ways to help the person in need regardless of their personal limitations or at least present their case with humility and offer whatever they can in terms of emotional support. They are either way, genuinely empathetic, supportive and understanding at the least. For these kinds of doers “Sorry, I can’t do..” is not an option.

But the Excuse makers with the family find ways not to offer this help. They often resort to either finding excuses, express their desperation, and even go further to seek other to empathise with their inability to contribute to the situation or offer help.  “Sorry I cant do” is their easiest way out of any such situation.  And they can justify it with what ever reasons they can dig up.

Now this is perhaps fine and a personal choice in a micro situation like this which is confined within a family. After all, it is the individual’s personal choice and opinion and doesn’t have any dire consequences by them not offering their help, especially when one has the option to save their energy, effort and emotions while they can hide behind the doers. Of course, they will be the first to come forward to offer their criticisms and point fingers when things go wrong. But their prerogative I suppose.

What if one hides behind excuses and doesn’t act upon vital or important things in life? What if the inaction of an excuse maker results in greater loss, dire social consequences, affect loves ones, or even personal progress?  Can negative results of in action by excuse makers be inconsequential to such individuals? Can they find another excuse to brush of their lack of efforts?

“I know everything, what I need to do and so do not offer me advice” is a wonderful position to be for an excuse maker. But for a doer this position is absolutely unacceptable. They are restless and energized towards working out a solution and making the change happen. Unlike the excuse makers digging deeper into their comfort zones, the doers embrace change by realizing that it is absolutely essential to progress and accomplish greater things for themselves and for the world they share.  Nothing stands between a doer and their efforts towards doing what is needed and right.  Some of these doers overcome some of the severest challenges to accomplish great things in life. I can list several such individuals, but here are just a few, image if these individuals chose to hide behind their excuses:

Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Helen Keller: Lost her sight and hearing due to a mysterious fever when she was only 18 months old. She overcame her deafness and blindness to become a strong, educated woman who spoke about, and promoted, women’s rights.

J. K. Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.

Abraham LincolnOne of the most amazing and often referred to. Former US president Abraham Lincoln, lost his fiancé, had a nervous breakdown, first went into politics at the age of 23 when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He was defeated in 8 elections. He once also opened a general store which failed after only a few months.

Soichiro HondaThe founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.

Charles DarwinHis father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.

Albert Einstein – He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.

One can soon identify the characteristics of doers with some thinking. The doers are the kinds of individuals who go beyond their self to do the right thing. They are the kinds of people who jump into troubled waters to save another individual, they go beyond their call of duty, they are people who find purpose in many things in life and set to fulfill them. They are driven by determination, resilience, and persistence which enables them to achieve several personal and external goals in life. Such people end up living a greater life with a list of achievements and a sense of fulfillment.

Whereas the excuse makers are too wrapped up within their ego, complex intentions, laziness and excuses where they only end up deeper in their comfort zones  and a life of disappointments and denials. They are often unhappy individuals because they are in constant battle with their conscience which points of the possibilities they have missed. They are also bitter people who find ways to point fingers and mistakes about almost everything around them. They end up being cynical and at times jealous of those who have achieved what they too could have.

When you can’t do something, at times, it may be because it is inconvenient for you to do it or it may be a difficult task, but it doesn’t mean it is impossible. For a doer the need of task or the objective takes precedence over his or her convenience. For a doer it is like : I have to breath to stay alive, it is difficult for me to breadth, but I have to breadth to keep myself alive. For them it is not an option not to do what they have to do. They will not give up and die. They will persevere, device solutions, and overcome difficulty and do what they have to do. The Excuse maker may give up and die, but the doer will often prevail.

Weather it is getting healthier, losing weight, taking up a course to get a better job, being kind to others, be more understanding or getting a better job, working harder towards success at work, or taking up a greater social cause it is the doers who sand a chance to achieving them. An excuse maker will always find a way to not do what they often are fully well aware that they should.

So, in the words of Johnny Depp from Once upon a time in Mexico, “are you a Mexican or a Mexican’t?”. It is certainly a question we ought to ask ourselves often.  If you know what is the right thing to do and what you can or must do, the only thing that stops you from doing it is your honest intention, not your excuses. Life is much better and fulfilling being a doer than an excuse maker. The blame i=of inaction and the situation you are in often rests square on your own shoulders. Because, with some careful and honest introspection, you will often see that the consequences of the events were due to your inaction or poor choices.

Regardless of how you see yourself, the world sees you and forms an opinion about you as either a doer an excuse maker.  There are more things in life that you Can than you Can’t. The difference is in your intentions and actions.