Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

Excuses Are Getting You Nowhere


Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t do bullsh*t. I’ve never been good at being a yes man. Doing that gentle nod of the head to acknowledge the pile of absolute horsesh*t coming out of a friend’s mouth. I just can’t do it. I am not capable. I’ve been calling people out on their sh*t since birth.

Seriously, I was probably “having a talk” with my mom about smoking in baby gibberish. I’ve done it at work. I’ve done it in relationships. I’ve done it to myself. I’ve done it online. And at the heart of it all is the fact that I hate listening to excuses. It’s such a waste of my time. And yours.

You messed up. Now you want to waste all of our time by coming up with an excuse to justify your mess? Grow up. Stop acting like a child who can’t accept losing. You fail all the time. You lose all the time. We all know it. You know it too. Your excuses are getting you nowhere. It’s time to start owning that.

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

It’s Never Your Fault

Is everyone else always to blame for your failures? The test was unfair. The instructor was biased. Forget the fact that you didn’t study enough. Or that you are a crappy test taker. And not actually one quarter as smart as you think you are. We know, it’s never your fault.

You need a light bulb moment. We. All. Know. We all know that your excuses are just that — excuses. None of us are even buying them. We are just placating you so you will stop talking. Stop telling us about all the reasons you couldn’t make it to the job appointment on time. The job that you desperately need, but can’t be bothered to make sure you are early for. We are onto you.

If it’s never your fault, it’s pretty much always your fault. Because your life is a fantasy. One where you are the hero all the time. But for who? If you are always busy making excuses, who can you possibly be the hero for? Heroes don’t make excuses. They get the job done. They do what they have to do and they don’t expect a medal for it. That’s why they get one.

You aren’t a hero. Not even of your own bullsh*t story. Because heroes don’t have to explain themselves nineteen times a day. And if nothing is ever your fault, it just means we are listening to you tell us how it’s our fault a lot of the time. But we are all tired of it. Even grandma is. She just won’t tell you because she is so over you too.

Lying To Yourself Won’t Get You Somewhere In Life

If you spend your time lying to yourself, you aren’t going to succeed. You may have temporary success, but it will come crashing down all around you. Because you can’t build accomplishments on a foundation of lies. They won’t hold up. Neither will you. There’s a Robert Mueller coming for you too. You just don’t know it yet.

Even if you think you don’t bullsh*t yourself, try something. Ask yourself right now, “What am I lying to myself about?”

We are all lying to ourselves about something. Maybe we are scared. Maybe we don’t have the tools to process it. Maybe we are just a narcissistic a**hole. But we all do it. Because it’s hard to face failure. And every day is full of some failure. Because if it’s not, you aren’t trying at life hard enough.

Do you drink too much, but tell yourself it’s under control? Do you treat your partner terribly and blame everything on them? Do you get angry all the time, but blame your kids for “bothering” you? It’s not them. It’s you. Stop lying to yourself about who you are.

You aren’t perfect. Some days you are absolute sh*t. But maybe some days you aren’t. Maybe some days you are good. On those days, you probably aren’t lying to yourself about who you are. Because you can’t truly feel good about yourself, way down inside, when your persona is fake.

The most successful people in the world got there because they leaned in to being themselves. And certainly, the happiest people in the world got there because they are comfortable with who they are.

Find out who you are again so we can trust you.

“A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.” — Aesop

Owning Your Failures

It feels good to take responsibility. Even when you sh*t the bed. Because people will know they can trust you. When you stand up and tell those closest to you that you messed up, you earn their trust. The more you shy away from that, the more you will lose their trust when your fabrications all come to light.

Don’t do the thing that they do in every movie. Where the main character knows they should tell someone this one little secret. It wouldn’t even be a big deal. But they chicken out. And then the secret grows as the depth of the relationships grows. And then it becomes a really big deal. And then it’s revealed and all hell breaks loose. Over something that could have been dismissed when it really was the right time to disclose it.

Take ownership of your narrative before it blows up. It’s the only way to truly have any sense of control over your own life. If you are always wondering when the shoe will drop, that’s not living. Take off the shoe and throw it on the table today. Accept the consequences or disappointment and get on with your life instead of hiding from it.

It takes a big person to say, “It was all my fault.”

Do you want to be the type of person who takes responsibility or the one who pushes the blame? Which one will get you where you want to go? It’s pretty simple. People who are able to take responsibility for their failures are seen as responsible. They may have to earn back trust, but they will have that opportunity. Because honesty always deserves something. If nothing else, a small amount of respect for owning it.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

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