You can have results or you can have excuses, not Both!!
Outside of family time I spend around half my time helping charities & pro-bono advisory and the other half in business/investing.
Whether I am speaking to people in dire personal circumstances with terrible backgrounds & problems, or individuals/businesses trying to manage & grow their incomes/businesses, I often hear a string of reasons that they believe justify and explain the reason for their challenges. Interestingly and in comparison, over the last decade, for every excuse I have heard I have also heard someone say that the same or similar challenge is what made them stronger, or why they became so successful to overcome it.
It seems in many ways that, rather than take responsibility for the problems and looking for a positive way to remedy them, many people take the easier path and make themselves feel better (temporarily) by looking for excuses or blaming markets, competitors, their employees, their customers, Government, their challenged upbringing etc etc…. in fact, they often blame everything but themselves – a bit like someone dying of lung cancer but still smoking whilst blaming the tobacco companies for making the products.
Whether I am working with teenagers from challenging backgrounds, addicts or businesses in trouble, and/or not growing as fast as they could/should, I find that their real enemy/problems lies in the space between their own ears – their own thoughts, attitude, self-talk and lack of personal responsibility is often their biggest barrier to success or a solution to their problems. For so many people ‘worrying’ is their default rather than planning and visualising a positive outcome… which reminds me of a good quote to ponder about worrying:
“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want”
The people and companies that are succeeding, growing and inspiring have all the same challenges and obstacles to overcome, the key difference is that they take personal responsibility and decide to be solution oriented and action focussed.
The above paragraphs will annoy those who are moaners or excuse makers, and resonate with those that are achieving success despite their challenges, and I make no apologies for being so black & white in what I say.
I feel qualified to take such a strong position because I have been on both sides of the Excuse/Results seesaw (many times) in the last 3 decades and know that it is always a perspective and attitude that makes the difference, and your attitude or perspective can be changed in an instance. It’s just a decision away, but I never truly appreciated that until I started doing my 3M’s each day.
Over the last 3 decades I have attended numerous courses by world leading organisations and global companies on Strategic planning, People development, Behavioural Profiling, Self-development, Wealth creation, Physical Mastery, Meditation/Mindfulness, etc etc… ….the list is endless, but a common thread through them all would be that you get what you focus on and/or plan for with passion, and that most change starts with a decision.
It used to annoy and frustrate me that some many teachers, trainers and Mentors would say:
But as I get older and experience more success (and failure) I have realised that it is an absolute truth.You are just a decision away from achieving everything you ever wanted.
Make a decision, make a plan, take action, and follow it with passion, and you will have what you want.Your success is your choice, and/or your failure is your fault, choose success!.
I leave you this week with a quote from Gandhi that is so wise, and a lesson that if you could master would change your outcomes exponentially:
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.”