We live in a world where making excuses is common place. I understand that sometimes there are legitimate excuses. Someone really is sick. Their car really did break down. Someone in the family really did die. That is not what I am talking about. Those are not excuses by the way; they are explanations that have truth.
Excuses are what people use when they just don’t want to do something. I think I have heard every excuse in the book when it comes to people buying life insurance. When I started in the industry, I was flying to different states to see people. Now you would think that when someone is flying in from out of state that people would remember the appointment that I had made with them within 48 hours of my trip, but I still had people forget that I was coming. Is that ridiculous or what?
Maybe it is human nature that we need to make excuses for bad behavior, but I think it goes beyond that. You expect children to make excuses. You don’t tolerate it the same way when an adult is acting like a child. It boils down to one word: responsibility.
If we are behaving responsibly, we are making our word our bond. We are intentional in doing what we say we are going to do, and we make it a priority to do what we know we need to do. We may not “feel” like it, but we can’t live on feelings. They are like the wind, constantly changing. Sometimes we have to do things that we just don’t want to do because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes we have to do it because we are an adult.
There was a joke about a couple that was sleeping. The alarm clock went off and the man sleepily hit the snooze button. His wife nudged him and said, “Honey, it is Sunday; time to get up for church.” “I don’t feel like going to church today,” he said. He turned over and went back to sleep. 10 minutes later the alarm clock went off again. Once again, his wife nudged him…this time a little harder. “Honey, it is Sunday. Time to get up and get ready for church!” He huffed, “I don’t WANT to go to church today! I am tired!” This time she hits him with a pillow. “You are the Pastor. You have to go to church today!” Pretty funny story, but sad when you think about how this is true for you and me. Have we not all made that excuse? If it was not church that we did not feel like going to, I know we have all made that excuse about not going to work.
Quit making excuses for things that you CAN control. If you are spending too much, stop it. If you need to lose weight, start exercising and control what you are eating. If you want a better relationship with someone, quit blaming them and you be the one to build a bridge. If you make an appointment with someone, keep it, and be on time. If you are going to work, work a full day. If you are lonely, you be the one to invite someone to go to a movie or out to dinner.
If we could all just start doing that….behaving responsibly, how much less stress would there be? How much easier would it be to drive on the highway? How much easier would it be to have lasting relationships and have jobs that were rewarding?
There are many things that we truly cannot control in this life, but there are many that we can control. Let’s agree to do our part on what we can do to make this a better world for everyone, including ourselves. No excuses.