Do you ever catch yourself making excuses? Do you know you make excuses? I don’t have time; I’m not sure; I can’t change, I don’t know how; I am too old to do this; this won’t work; this is not my cup of tea…etc etc.
You're okay if you geniunely are not interested but most often these kind of excuses are something we give ourselves for our own personal goals. Here's an example.
For 2017 one of my goals was to create videos. Now before this became my goal I thought long and hard about what I can talk about and how the messaging will be etc etc. But it took me almost 11 months to covert that decision into action.
The goal was entirely my decision. Nobody had forced me. Nobody put a gun on my head. It was my decision to create videos. But why didn’t I go ahead?
Looking back I realised my WHY to create videos was not big enough. And excuses are how I justified it.
Benjamin Franklin said - He that is good for making excuses, is seldom good for anything else.
Because, excuses are reasons you invent to defend your behaviour or the lack of it. They are the reasons you invent for not taking any actions, for negating responsibility.
And because we make excuses, we often end up not doing things that we actually want to do.
We can get so caught up in making excuses that when they become habital it can lead to creation of mental blocks, becoming judgemental, increased pessimism, paranoia, jealousy and the most difficult of them all - regret.
I never wanted any regret in my life ever so I decided to understand why was it becoming difficult to move ahead with my self set goal. I looked towards understanding the science behind my actions which is to hack into my brain. Here’s what I discovered.
Apparently unless you align your goal to your core value, something you deeply believe in, it cannot become a possibility. Even if you make it possible, you will eventually loose focus and interest in it. This was a revelation to me.
I then asked myself what are my core values - my top value is helping people. My second top value is becoming a better person.
Since values drive actions, if I can align my goal to my value, in this case, create videos to help people and also better myself, my goal can become a reality. This was new and exciting information to me.
Once I understood my values hierarchy and changed my perception, it became easy to take action. I had taken a decision to go for it and within a week, I shot, edited and published my first video
So the point I’m trying to make is if I can’t link what I’m doing to the highest value, then I won’t do it. It is an absolute truth.
If you’re caught up in similar buzz in your head, ask yourself this question - What do I really want but have not been able to take the first step to get it? Do these align with my core values.
Here my assumption is that you’re already aware of what are your top values are. Try to see if it fits your top values. You may have to modify the sentence /phrase etc for the sake of fitting into it.
Know that if it is important to you, I mean really important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find excuses. The choice is yours.
To watch a video version of this article please click here