A new kind of self-fulfilling prophecy…

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”

George Washington Carver

How do you define failure? There are two types in my mind. First, attempting something and not being successful at whatever you attempted. Second, not being successful because you never actually attempt anything.

The difference is the first one can be overcome as long as you don’t buy into excuses or “reasons” of why one can’t or won’t be successful in the future. If you do buy into the excuses or reasons, you will be limiting future successes.

The second type of failure is far more insidious and damaging. Those traits become a self-fulfilling prophecy that you have to guard against if you want to avoid a life of mediocrity and unrealized potential.

No excuses. No reasons. No justification. No denial of accountability or ownership. To be successful, you must overcome and deny any and all excuses. When you do this you can also create a self-fulfilling prophecy…

The solution is what matters…

“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.”

George Washington Carver

If you are making excuses it is a failure of leadership.  Period.  If you are looking to assign fault, you are making an excuse.  You have already failed.

I’ve heard folks say, “I’m not making excuses, I just want to make sure you understand the reasons why this happened.”  I firmly believe that the only difference between  ‘excuses’ and ‘reasons’ is the action plan needed to drive change.  Reasons without action are just another name for an excuse and excuses don’t come with actions. 

The problem with excuses and “reasons” is that the effort is spent focused on the problem and all the reasons why something didn’t work.  This doesn’t add value in any way.  Now I am not saying it isn’t important to understand root cause and effect, but understanding is only important if you are then focused on doing something about it!

I recently read something really profound that puts this in perfect perspective.

“Focus only on the solution to the problem – never on the problem itself.”  

If you are solution oriented, you can’t be making excuses.  If you are ‘problem oriented’ then excuse-making and failure will be your best friends.  If you are looking for a reason something happened to take action, great.  But make sure that ACTION is what you are focused on creating, never excuses…  

Excuses = Failure…

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