All excuses are valid but they don’t get results. No matter what we choose to attempt in our lives there will always be things in our way. Some systemic and some personal. All of the things that stand in our way make it harder to reach our goals. These stumbling blocks are often the excuse people use for why something wasn’t done or can’t be done. Each and every one of these excuses are valid.
Shit happens. Sometimes a loved one dies, or your car won’t start or the system that you’re trying to rise in the ranks of hates you because of your sex, skin color, religion or freckles or whatever. No matter the specific details of the things you must over come in order to reach your goals the excuses you have are valid. There truly are an infinite supply of “good reasons” to have failed or not attempted something.
So my excuses are valid. Now what? No really. What do I do now?
Personally, I want to become a musician. Like full time. But my mom looked me in my face when I was a kid and asked me what I wanted to do in college and I said music. She looked me in my eye laughed in my face and said “you aren’t good enough you’ll never get anywhere don’t waste your time.” That shattered me. This is the reason to this day I’m not a musician. Understandably so. Those are harsh words to hear for anyone. Especially a sensitive adolescent. But now what? I still want to be a musician. . I play music all the time but never seriously.
My excuse if valid but it doesn’t get me results. This leaves me with a question. Do I want to feel vindicated for the rest of my life because my mom said something harsh to me that stopped me from my goals or do I want to actually get results and be a musician
I’ve focused on all kinds of stuff in my life instead of music. Hell, I’m writing these blogs that no-one will read for the sole purpose of working the principle “done is better than perfect” into my bones. That way when I do switch over to music, I will at least have that as a baseline to work from. Hopefully that will make it a bit easier for me.
Its hard to make it as a musician. Its hard to make it without the support of your family. But I have never really had the support of my family. Not when I needed it. Shunned for being gay rebuked for being too much and too loud I didn’t speak to my mother for almost 10 years and its been longer since my father and I have talked. I’m pleased to say that my mother and I are now friends. But that doesn’t remove the pain I still feel when I remember that day.
Something interesting happens when I tell people this story. They always feel so bad for me. They tell me how awful it was that my mother would say such a thing. And for a minute I feel relief from the pain of the story. But I’m a grown ass man and this story happened almost 20 years ago now. So what in the hell am I doing living in that excuse? My mother isn’t God anymore.
If I want to be a musician the only person who can make that happen is me. The danger is other people’s validation of my excuses makes me feel like I have a good enough reason to give up. But then time goes by and guess what I still want to be a musician. and guess what I’m still not pursuing it out of fear. So then the pressure builds enough that I feel it strongly again I’m reminded how badly I want to be a musician and I tell someone that story again and it gives me just enough validation to feel justified in giving up… again.
I’m tired of giving up. I’m tired of all these damn uphill battles too. But I’m more tired of not reaching my potential. I have accomplished so many things in my life when I put my mind to them. Yet, I don’t put my mind on being a musician I put my mind on the excuse. There in lies the danger.
Living on the liberal west coast I have (another valid excuse) an uphill battle with this too. Liberals in large part are concerned with attempting to provide equal access to things like wealth, health and opportunity. The goal to essentially eliminate as many systemic roadblocks (excuses) as they can. As a unit Liberals have been responsible for correcting the imbalances caused by all the different hierarchies and institutions in a region. Things like black, gay, trans, women’s and immigrants’ rights. So liberals like me focus on the excuses, not to avoid the work of overcoming it, but to hopefully prevent future peoples unequal access to necessary tools.
This means a lot of time thinking about the excuses. What caused them? how long have they been around? What can be done to eliminate this excuse not for me but for future generations? This is also exactly why liberals get far less accomplished in the same amount of time than do their conservative counterparts. Doing the right thing is usually harder than doing the next thing.
That in a nutshell is my problem.
I’ve been a proud flag waving liberal activist for so long that I was spending all my energy hoping to ensure more fairness for those that come behind me. I’m not sure how successful I was in this venture. I suppose only time can tell me that. But now as I am switching gears to accomplishing the goals of my own, I find it impossible to think the way I was thinking as an activist and have the results that I want.
So, I’m back to all excuses are valid. But they don’t get results. What are you not doing in your life that you know you ought to? What excuses do you have that justify your inaction? Do you believe they’re valid? If you take the time to let the reality that they ARE valid sink in… If you let that reality sink in and still hold on to your desire to accomplish your goals you just might be rewarded with a clarity of “damn, when I accomplish this I’m gonna be MORE proud of myself than I have ever been because I accomplished something that seemed impossible.”
What excuses are holding you back from the thing you desire most? Take the time today to spend 20 minutes alone contemplating this. You might not want to be a musician. You might want to write a play, or lose weight or just stand up for yourself at work. What excuses are in your way? And what are you gonna do about it? All the excuses in the world are valid. But they don’t get results.
Do you want results? Or do you want excuses?