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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Burn The Excuses

By George Chingarande

There can never be a testimony without a test, and the sterner the test the more compelling the testimony. The purpose of the tests of life is to separate the winners from the losers, and the pretenders from the serious contenders. However, the most interesting thing is that embedded in every test are two things that are mutually exclusive. These are opportunity and excuses. Of these two, the opportunity often calls with a soft gentle voice while excuses shout from the mountain top. The million dollar question is –which voice are you taking heed to everyday? Life will always present you with excuses to test your resolve and determination to succeed. You can choose to form an alliance with your excuses and undermine your chances of success; or you can choose to deal ruthlessly with your excuses.

Every Failure has an excuse to explain away his failures and to justify his continued residence in the state of failure. The common trait among all failures is that they all nurse some excuses. The common excuses are health excuses, background excuses, age excuses, intelligence excuses and financial excuses and the lack of luck.

It is common for people to blame their failures on some medical condition. Does the assumption and excuse that health reasons can prevent someone from becoming what he is determined to become stand unbiased interrogation? Let us examine the facts. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crippled in both legs by a polio attack in 1921, and yet in 1932 he became the American president. Furthermore, he went on to serve for a record four consecutive terms. Richard Branson is a known dyslexic and high school dropout and yet he is a self made billionaire. Was Beethoven, free from maladies? No. His symphonies are remembered more today than his battles with deafness. Likewise Helen Kelleher overcame monumental physical disabilities and established herself as a great author, teacher and motivator.

It is not the physical condition that hinders but the attitude towards the condition. There are people that are living with AIDS; there are also people that are dying of AIDS. The difference between the two groups is not the underlying virus but the attitude of the mind. One is determined to live, while the other is waiting to die. There are three things to do about your physical conditions. Firstly, if possible get it fixed. If it's curable scientifically or otherwise give it the best shot possible. Secondly, do not extol your condition as if it were something to be proud of. Stop talking and harping and whining about it. Continuously mourning about your condition causes stress and depression, and this only worsens the situation. Thirdly and most importantly, as long as you are alive LIVE. Do not behave or think as if you are already dead. You are not dead; you are alive so live your life to the full. Dream great dreams and pursue them, embrace great ideals and aim at them. Reach out for stardom and success, and above all act with a sense of urgency and purpose.

The second type of excuse is the background excuse. "I cannot amount to anything because I am from a less privileged background." This too is a common excuse among failures. It is not where or how you are born that determines what you achieve. It is what you yourself do with your life. The end of a matter is better than the beginning thereof. What determines the end is the series of steps taken in between the advent and the conclusion, and over these every man has influence. Then there is the age excuse. The young feel that they are too young. The mature complain that they are too old. Very few people feel that their ages are just right for success. How amazing! The important thing about life is not how old you are but how many years you have left. Be wise and use the time you have to diligently pursue an agenda that inspires you. Not age, but attitude determines the altitude.

The other common excuse that is expressed is intelligence related. People believe that they are intellectually challenged as a result they cannot make it in life. This is a lie that is often taken for a fact. To begin with most people underrate their I.Qs and overrate other people's IQs. Furthermore, it has been argued by the scientists that the average person uses only about ten percent of his brainpower. So where is the problem? Is it the lack of brainpower or is it the lack of application of that brainpower that people already possess? If people would diligently and confidently apply themselves, they would be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Your attitude towards your intelligence is more important than your actual IQ. If you believe you can, then you can. If you devalue yourself, and accept that you cannot, then you will not make it. Equally important is that your brainpower can be developed. If need be go back to school or college, but never use lack intelligence as an excuse.

Lack of luck is the gambler's fallacy. Life is not a gamble and should therefore never be left to chance. Life is like a piano; the note that you play determines the tune that you get. In all matters there are causes and there are effects. Yes, there are flukes but over a long time whatever a man sows that will he reap. Instead of hiding behind lack of luck, take control of the stirring wheel of your life and steer it in your desired direction. Let luck, if you believe in it, meet you on your way to the top. Do not wait for it to come and propel you. Do not even go looking for it, but create your own luck. After all luck is the timely intersection of preparation and opportunity. As for opportunities, if they are scarce then create your own everyday.

Burn the excuses!

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