Between the drama with my son, dealing with my cousin’s finances (including a billion late bills because he never bothered to pay them), and somehow fitting in time for my own life, I’ve been super stressed this week. As some of you know, when I get frustrated, I tend to get all ranty. So I’ll just tell you like it is.
I’m not special. Neither is anyone else. We all have crappy days or weeks, we all get stressed, and sometimes we all have more than we can handle. It can be very therapeutic to whine to your friends, but eventually, you only have two choices. You can keep whining until your friends don’t want to talk to you anymore. Or you can do something about it.
I’m so tired of excuses. Everyone has them, including me. Now some people have reasons – for example, you can’t run a marathon if you don’t have any legs. That’s a reason. But saying “I can’t run a marathon because [insert just about any other explanation other than not having legs]” is just crap.
I am capable of running a marathon. But I choose not to. Because I’m lazy and out of shape and I smoke so much I’d probably fall over in the first three minutes. That’s the difference, though. I will never say I CAN’T. I’ll just say I choose not to or I won’t.
Stop saying, “I don’t have time.”
I’m horrible about this. For some reason, I’ve got it in my head that I spend my days doing super important things that cannot be interrupted by other things. Yet I never miss an episode of The Walking Dead. I never go an entire day without checking my email, Twitter, or Facebook. Hell would freeze over before I would miss FINCON12 in September.
We make time for the things we want to do most. Let me repeat: We make time for the things we want to do most.
If you aren’t accomplishing something, it’s because it’s not as important as something else. Period. Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” tell the truth. “I had other things to do that I decided were more important.”
Obviously if you work 24 hours a day and never do anything else, you are exempt. But then again, you wouldn’t be reading this post because that’s time you don’t have.
Stop saying, “I don’t know how.”
We live in a society where we can literally find out ANYTHING we want to know. Want someone’s phone number and address? You might have to pay, but you can get it. Want to learn how to toilet train your cat? There are YouTube tutorials. Want to build a bookshelf? Go to ehow.com and knock yourself out.
Google is your friend, folks. If googling doesn’t lead you to an answer, you need to improve your google fu. (It’s like kung fu, only geekier.) I cannot think of a single question that Google cannot answer.
Too many people want someone else to do their work for them. Or they just want to whine “I don’t know how” and not do things at all. I’m tired of it. Shut your mouth and freaking ASK SOMEONE. Or read a book. Or google it. It’s really not that complicated. Otherwise, be honest and say, “I am not willing to learn how.” Then pay someone else to do it for you, because that’s what happens when you won’t learn to do things yourself.
If your IQ is below 70… Well, no, that’s not an excuse either, because Forrest Gump never said he didn’t know how to do something. Okay. If your IQ is so low that you cannot feed yourself, or if you are a vegetable, you are allowed to say you don’t know how. But again, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now, so I’m not talking to you.
Stop saying, “I can’t take the risk.”
A friend of mine wants to audition for one of the TV singing competitions; I’m not sure which one. He talks about it constantly, and he really does have an amazing singing voice. But he gets hung up on what ifs. What if he doesn’t make it? What if his voice cracks? What if there’s a snowstorm and he wrecks his car and damages his larynx, rendering him unable to speak or sing ever again?
My question for him is always, what if you DO make it? And what really happens if you fail? I’m pretty sure no one kills you or takes your birthday away. But how will you ever know if you sit around worrying that something may not work out?
Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means you take action despite being afraid.
I’m not advising anyone to leap without a parachute. Don’t blindly run after opportunities to the detriment of everything else in your life. For instance, I would never audition for a singing competition because I know I can’t sing. That said, if you know you have a talent or passion for something (which means at least 3 people outside your family have told you so, because friends and relatives lie), give it a shot!
If you fail, at least the question is answered. The chapter is finished. Time to move on.
Instead of saying, “I can’t take the risk,” say, “I’m too scared to take the risk.” And work through your fears. Otherwise shut up about it or hire a therapist, because after awhile people just think you’re fishing for compliments.
What’s Your Excuse?
All of us put things off or avoid taking action at times. I could make a list of all the things I’m avoiding right now, and I could give you a reason for every one of them. But anything I said would be an excuse.
The fact is, there is nothing on my to-do list that is impossible. There are things that are undesirable. There are things that are difficult. And there are definitely things that are boring. However, no matter how much I complain, none of those tasks are going to disappear.
You can whine and stress out, or you can take action. Those are your choices. Anything else is crap.
What are you avoiding right now, whether in your financial life or elsewhere? What excuses do you use to justify procrastinating, and what are the REAL reasons you aren’t taking action?