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Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

September 21st, 2017 2 comments

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

“Stop Making Excuses,” is a phrase we often hear from our parents, our teachers, and even our employers. Making excuses is akin to be called lazy — a slacker — a loser. Making excuses isn’t the problem though. Failing to think deeply about why we are making the excuse is what is really required,

Yes, we all make excuses for a wide variety of reasons, myself included, but the worst part is that there is often a valid reason for the excuse. We might be missing an important skill. We might be missing the basic desire to do something. We might be fearful that we cannot do the task at hand. Typically, it isn’t the excuse that is the true reason we aren’t doing something, but rather something deeper. Something hidden. Something scarier. Something that keeps  you awake at night.

As bad as it might seem to others, we often dislike ourselves for making excuses, too. We know we aren’t doing the right thing, but it can be difficult to do the right thing, so we make the excuse so we can move on.

If you have recently offered an excuse for something, take some time to deeply think about why you made the excuse. Is there some smaller part of the issue that you can tease out and solve that might allow you to avoid the excuse in the future? Can you break the situation down into manageable chunks that you can address one at a time? If you are like me, you might surprise yourself with how many excuses you can avoid by taking them piece by piece and issue by issue.

First, do you have a good reason for learning new skills? Do you enjoy doing that kind of work? Sometimes it is the case that you simply aren’t interested in pursuing a particular area of work. If you aren’t, there is little that can persuade you to learn that new skill, much less become accomplished. Even if it might bring you better jobs or a higher income, you have to honest about where your interests lie.

If you decide you do want to learn new skills, how can you learn them? Can you go to school or training center? Maybe. Your next hurdle might be that you can’t afford to pay for school. Ok, that is indeed a reality for a lot of people. If you can’t pay for school, can you learn the skills you need online? Can you teach yourself from books? Can you ask someone knowledgeable to show you for free? Can you take out a loan – will it be worth that financial burden to obtain this skill?

The important part of breaking down any excuse is not to let one particular problem stop you. If you hit a roadblock, think about ways of circumventing that particular, smaller, issue. Attack each of the small issues in turn and see how far you can get. I think you will be surprised at how far you can progress through any excuse if you want to.

Of course, that is the real issue with any excuse. Do you really want to progress beyond the excuse, or is it simply easier, quicker, less stressful to use a blanket excuse and move on? I think for most of us — and most of our excuses, — we would feel better about ourselves if we made fewer excuses. It would have so many benefits in our lives, but it requires hard thinking to do this, and too many of us give up rather than face the hard work ahead. It is a constant challenge for all of us to see what we want and need from the future and how we can get there and not take the easy path out and make the excuse.

What is one excuse you have fallen back on lately? Can you break it down into smaller parts and slowly chip away at it? Do you even want to? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Noted: These 7 Books Are Necessary Reading for All Creatives – Product Hunt

February 27th, 2017 Comments off
I’ve read nearly all of these and highly recommend them. I need to read Bird by Bird again and also check out Big Magic and Creative Confidence, which are new to me. — Douglas
 
 
 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


An interesting link found among my daily reading

 

What I’m Reading…Accidental Creative

February 8th, 2012 Comments off

I have listened to Todd Henry’s podcast, The Accidental Creative, for years, so it only made sense to pick up his book from the library.

From Amazon.com…

Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.

It isn’t enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today’s marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements:

* Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind. * Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow. * Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource. * Stimuli: Structure the right “inputs” to maximize creative output. * Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency. This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible.

Link: The Accidental Creative: How to be brilliant at a moment’s notice by Todd Henry

 

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