I had a friend in college who would walk around spouting this one quote over and over again. He was a little extra in life, so initially I didn’t pay much attention to him. But eventually I started to listen and I realized what he was saying actually made a whole lot of sense. The quote, by Stephen Grayhm, goes something like this: “Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build monuments of nothingness.” It goes on to say, “Those who use them seldom amount to anything.” I don’t remember him reciting that last part, probably because it’s a bit far-fetched. We’ve all made excuses at one point or another.
I can’t go to the gym because it’s too cold outside.
I can’t go to school because I don’t have enough money.
I can’t quit this job and apply for another because I’m too tired after work.
I don’t have the right qualifications.
They might not like what I have to say or offer.
We’ve gotten so good at making excuses that oftentimes we don’t even recognize when our reasoning is valid and when we’ve made them up to hide our own fear or insecurities. While I won’t argue that people who make excuses will never amount to anything, I will say that we miss out on what God has for our lives when we rationalize our way out of opportunities.
Earlier this week, at my church’s New Year’s/Watch Night service my childhood pastor encouraged the whole congregation and especially me by saying that if God has shown you something, or revealed something to you, He will be there with you as you go about the business of achieving it.
He said, if you have a vision or dream to be somewhere, you have to believe that God, if you believe, and…the universe if you don’t, will provide the provision to see that dream through. If you look at any success stories, you’ll notice that there’s almost always a level of sacrifice and a period of struggle before these individuals got to where they dreamed of being.
So in 2013, if you’re not a fan of resolutions, start paying more attention to your own mental chatter. What are you saying to yourself? Are the reasons why you can’t do something, real legit hurdles or are they ways to keep yourself from admitting that you’re scared to step out there, put yourself out there or take the risk of investing in yourself.
Everything might not go perfectly, it might not always go smoothly but instead of making yet another excuse, start where you are, use what you’ve got, do what you can.