Dec 152014 0 Responses

What If Your Excuse Is Actually Your Advantage?

Everyone believes there is something holding them back. There is a disadvantage which is keeping them from accomplishing their goals. The prevailing thought is “if only…”

If only I…

  • had more time
  • would’ve started earlier
  • had a supportive spouse
  • didn’t have small kids
  • had a more flexible job
  • could do this full-time
  • had wealthier parents

This list is endless. We all assume our goals would be easier to accomplish if something in our lives were different. While it might be true that in many ways it would be easier to accomplish our dreams, we often miss the opportunity before us.

What if your excuse was actually your advantage? (See: Do the Work)

I often think it would be much easier to write if I didn’t have a day job. Imagine if I could spend all my time writing instead of doing the daily tasks of being a pastor. Phone calls, hospital visits, budgets, staff, and a multitude of other issues seem to take precedence over the next sentence or idea. I think if you removed those obstacles, my production could increase.

Yet notice a key assumption. I assume if I wasn’t having to spend my energy in other areas that I would naturally expend that energy on writing. What I fail recognize are the benefits the other demands create for my writing.

All these other things:

give me material

force discipline

demand choices

clear my mind

and most importantly, get me in the routine of production.

Without other demands and with writing being my only task, forcing myself to write would be far more difficult. It is much easier to write when I only know I have a short window and am on a tight deadline than having the freedom to write whenever I wish. Without fail, I produce more when only given an hour to write on a workday than I do on a cold day off when I have the freedom to write all day long. (See: Working 10 to 12)

What if my common excuse is actually my greatest advantage.

What’s true for me in writing is probably true for you about something.

Parents of children with special needs often see the demands of raising their children as the greatest detriment to their marriage. Yet what if it is their greatest opportunity. Caretaking for their child should force them to communicate, demand that they learn to work together, and create a great appreciation for one another in the shared experience.

It’s easy to think that more resources would make success easier, but often those with more resources do not have the drive or passion necessary to experience success. How many children grow up in affluence only to assume life should be handed to them? Others experience more of a struggle as a child and sometimes learn to work hard in order to achieve their goals.

A small organization can compare itself to a larger organization and see all the advantages which a larger organization has. They can believe if they were bigger they could do more things. What they don’t realize is that being small, they have a unique advantage to quickly adapt to a changing marketplace.

The difference between success and failure is not the ability to ignore challenges, but the willingness to embrace them. When we recognize the opportunities which our circumstances have given us not only can we confront the difficulties, but also we can find unique ways to leverage our situation for success. (See: You Always Have an Excuse)

It all begins when we stop making excuses.

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