A friend posted a question on Facebook “If money or time were no consideration I would…”
I didn’t have to think about it at all because I learned long ago that time and money are two of the most common excuses for not doing or committing to something.
“I don’t have the money” is the most common excuse. Oh yes, you do have the money — it’s somewhere and you will find it or earn it if you are committed to whatever it is that requires that money.
If you have the opportunity to change your life and you are committed to changing your life, you will find a way. That’s what commitment is all about.
I found a way myself when the opportunity to write a book with Jay Conrad Levinson arose. Becoming an author was never in my bucket list but when the opportunity arose, a part of me said “You’ve got to do this. You have to find the money to become certified and to take time off to write the book.” I was still reeling from the downturn in my business and the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars from three failed software attempts. However, I made it work — I cashed retirement funds and I used frequent flier points and I was at his home about 2 weeks later. Becoming an author changed my life.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m not advocating for reckless spending. If you say “I don’t have the money for those ridiculously expensive shoes that I’ll wear once because they will kill my feet.” that’s smart but the real reason you choose not to buy those shoes is because you don’t want or need them. You may not have the money but don’t make it about the money. If you change your excuse to say “These shoes aren’t for me”, then you aren’t making an excuse, you are making a statement. Choose your words wisely.
The second excuse is “I don’t have the time”. Again, I’ve used this one many times. “I don’t have time to go to the gym.” “I don’t have time to volunteer.” “I don’t have time to head home and make a healthy lunch before my afternoon appointments.” The reality is I have time — and you do too. If you don’t want to do something be honest with yourself and instead say “I don’t want to go to the gym.” “I don’t want to volunteer.” “I prefer to have fries and a burger at the fast food restaurant.” The decision doesn’t change but the story you are telling yourself and the message you are sending does.
The last excuse is energy. “I don’t have the energy to do that.” This excuse is a bit different but it’s still an excuse. We tend to take on too much. We don’t set strong boundaries for ourselves or for others. We have demanding jobs which suck us dry at times. We don’t take care of our health. We make money and time excuses for eating properly and working out.
Instead if we made a conscious effort to understand what our ideal lifestyle looks like, what our ideal day looks like, we will start to make decisions to lead us there. We’ll set boundaries. We’ll turn off the TV and go to the gym or make a healthy meal or go to bed. We’ll stop doing things which drain us. We’ll start doing things which give us energy and fulfill us. We’ll switch the excuse to be a statement. “That doesn’t interest me.” or “I’ve chosen to focus on this instead.” are powerful statements rather than excuses.
Choose your words wisely. Don’t make excuses. Make empowered statements instead.