reduce your chance of failure
Failure is often the result of continual excuses that justify procrastination and produce inaction, while success is the culmination of personal responsibility, attributes developed, mentality changed, and continual effort exuded.
Excuses only accuse ourselves, reveal our weaknesses, and demonstrate our unwillingness to put forth action. In fact, believing we are incapable of greatness or that our dreams are impossible is merely a cover-up, an excuse, for avoiding personal responsibility, confronting our fears and critics, and retracting from the work success requires. Rudyard Kipling said it best when he penned: we have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.
Eliminating excuses, however, is futile unless we likewise develop the necessary attributes, acquire the essential mentality, and maintain the required action that our goals, dreams, and successes demand. Development and continual implementation of such characteristics is essential. Below is listed only 10 of the many concepts, attributes, and actions that help us not only eliminate excuses from our lives but also inspire us to become great and accomplish any goal, dream, or personal success in life.
1) Bottom of the Ladder: Recognize that the vast majority of those individuals who have become great or accomplished success also started at the bottom. They too were just regular people who likewise had fears and doubts, others probably criticized them, and despite their talent or potential – they certainly had the desire, belief, work ethic, and persistence to become and accomplish what they have.
2) ‘I Wish I Would Have’: Failure usually does not result from a lack of ability or brains, it results from inaction and unwillingness to attempt. Desiring security, being content with good, listening to fears, and not seizing opportunities are the crutches of mediocrity and the excuses for failure. The ability to take risks is far more important than necessity of gaining knowledge or experience. Never fall victim to expressing the unfortunate phrase ‘I wish I would have,’ and commit now to always take action. Wise was John Whittier when he poetically wrote: for of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these – ‘it might have been.’ And remember, that opportunities always come before you are prepared, and leave before you realize it.
3) Born for Success, Failure by Choice: Your potential is superior to circumstance. We cannot allow the dominant culture and ease of mediocrity to replace the work necessary for success in anything. We are born with and can develop all the necessary knowledge and attributes required to realize success, and anyone can (if they are willing) exert the effort success demands. The difficulty arises when that effort must be maintained in the midst of fears, criticism from others, potential set-backs, and the constant desire to give up and just be average.
Failure is a result of choice, success is a result of effort.
4) Fake It ‘Till You Make It: Every day you must repeat in your mind: I don’t know what I am doing, but I will keep doing it. This is not to suggest that conscious ignorance, lack of knowledge, or meaningless effort will eventually somehow produce success; rather, it is to suggest that taking risks, having faith, and putting forth action entail learning as you go.
5) No Time, Knowledge, Money, or Any Other Excuse: If you don’t have time, you must prioritize and make time. If you lack the knowledge, you can obtain it. If you think you need money to make money, you are sadly mistaken. If you think you are too young and inexperienced, realize that age and time never make taking risks and overcoming fear any easier. If you believe you are too old or it’s too late, lack of courage and giving up is your problem – not age. What other excuses do you give and believe that limit your potential and delay your effort? Whatever they may be – commit today to never again think, believe, express, or live any excuse that procrastinates the action required to realize your goals and dreams.
6) Attitude is a Choice, Not an Outcome of Circumstance: We literally have the power to not only determine our attitude, but our very destiny. Each one of our thoughts, feelings, and reactions are choices we must dictate, not just react to or be dictated by. Victor Frankl masterfully taught how between stimulus and response is a space of time where we have the power to choose; and it is that choice – the choice of mastering our thoughts, controlling our feelings, taking personal responsibility, and choosing to be positive – that determines our happiness and success. Regardless of whether or not we can change our circumstances – we can change ourselves and our attitude.
7) Turn Off the TV: The most commonly used excuse as to why people fail to obtain their goals and dreams in life is that they had no time because they were too busy with the other tasks and priorities of life. Watching 20+ hours of TV each week is neither a task nor a priority, and certainly is a leading contributor to idleness, lack of knowledge, inability to take risks, and every other reason why people fail. And yet, the TV is but one of the modern devices that steal the valuable time that could be used to reach our dreams. Included with the TV should be: DVD’s, internet surfing, iPods, magazines, CD’s, theatre’s, etc. These items and activities in and of themselves are not bad necessarily, they are just a major reason why our potential is never realized!
8) Planning, Early to Rise, & Burn the Midnight Oil: In connection with the thoughts expressed above, the inability to plan our time effectively, prioritize our time appropriately, and make time consistently is perhaps the leading reason as to why excuses are made and failures result. Being organized, having a to-do list, and setting and striving towards goals – as simplistic as it seems – is the foundational formula for success in anything. And yet ironically, one of the attributes and secrets of most successful people is that they are willing to get up earlier and work harder and longer than everyone else. This does not mean they don’t make time for other important priorities or people, or even work excessively for years and years; rather, they are willing to put forth extra effort for a period of time to eventually create more time later – this time is often referred to as ‘time freedom’ and ‘financial independence.’
9) Never Worry What Others Say or Think: Our unlimited potential is often blinded by our curable inferiority complex. We literally can become and accomplish anything; but so often, we worry about what others think, lack confidence in ourselves, and wrongfully assume that circumstances or other individuals dictate whether or not our goals and dreams are possible. Never forget that if your self-esteem is low, knowledge is lacking, or ability is missing, that you can overcome, learn, and develop whatever is necessary to achieve success – it is up to YOU.
10) Repetition is Power: Each of the concepts, attributes, and actions discussed above are extremely important; but, the implementation of these principles must be a consistent effort, not a one-time attempt. Failure is thus not the result of an unproductive attempt, it is the result of failing to attempt again. And perhaps the greatest secret and attribute necessary to accomplish any success is not one’s desire, belief, courage, or even knowledge – but their effort, persistence, learning from failure, and a resolve to never quit. Excuses are made by those who have not learned and implemented these truths.