We all love excuses. We get used to finding excuses to help us get out of uncomfortable situations, meaning we don’t even think twice before saying ‘I can’t’. Sometimes we make excuses without even realizing they’re excuses! This mental block sets in our brain, completely denying the possibility of actually being able to do this ‘dream/passion’. We all know what the typical ones are: ‘I have no time’ ‘I have no money’ ‘I’m too tired’. In the book ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’, David Schwartz explains four main excuses and how to cure them. When you finally realise that the reason stopping you from doing ‘the thing’ is simply a mental block called an excuse, you will find ways to achieve it.
This one is a big one because using the excuse of a bad health evokes empathy and pity from the other, further encouraging health excuses. Schwartz describes a man who diagnoses himself with a bad heart. ‘Oh I would love to get started on that, but I have a bad heart, I really have to be careful and take it slowly.’ This man was so worried about his health his every day was focused on it. He told everyone he could do nothing because of his bad heart. If find yourself in this situation, here are cures proposed in the book:
- Don’t talk about your health. It bores you and other people. It makes your life revolve around your health, which really means not living a complete life.
- Be grateful for the health you have. When I had my eyesight problems, I was extremely worried, stressed and annoyed that ‘this had to happen to me’. But then I met people who were actually blind, and I realised that I had to be grateful for what I had.
You hear this one every day. ‘I’m not smart enough’ ‘Only clever people could do that’. Smart is not what is important, interest and enthusiasm is. You could have an extremely high IQ and still end up nowhere in this world. Because the thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than the intelligence. That’s why plenty of top students in high school end up in low paying jobs. Schools don’t teach how to put your knowledge and intelligence to use, so being smart doesn’t do anything if you don’t know how to use it.
- Remember that attitudes are more important than intelligence. Someone with a positive and can-do attitude and a lower IQ will go much further than someone with a higher IQ and negative attitude.
- Concentrate on your assets. How you can use your qualities to bring out the best in you. Remember, the ability to think is of much greater value than just having the thoughts.
The age excuse goes two ways. ‘I’m too old to do that’ ‘I’m too young for this’. Many middle aged adults will complain they are too old to do what they really want to, whether it’s exercise, hobbies, quitting their jobs, having children, etc. And the too young will say they’re too young to start a business, to be a team leader, to have a pasion, and the list goes on. Shwartz remarks a very important thing. Our human productive (earning money) life ranges from around 20 to maybe 70 years old (rough estimate). So if you are 40 and say you are too old to start learning a language, realise that you still have 30 more years to learn this language. It’s never too late.
Another one is luck. I got so angry when a friend of mine once said I was ‘lucky’ to get an A. No! I worked hard and I studied hard to get that A. People who feel constantly defeated and blame everything on luck will never get anywhere. Where there is an effect there is a cause. There is no such thing as overnight success. Behind those glory days are months and years of hard work, not luck. Try analyzing how people become successful, understand the step they made, the attitude they had. Don’t rely on luck to get anywhere.
It can be hard to stop finding excuses when we have conditioned our brain to automatically say ‘There’s no money’ every time we think ‘I want to go on holiday to Argentina.’ But as you practice removing those excuses and bringing on a positive attitude, you will find yourself in a plane on the way to Argentina. Don’t let a bad heart stop you, practice thinking, do the things you’ve always wanted to do and never let ‘bad luck’ get in your way. With that, you’re set to conquer the world!