”If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” Author unknown
A common and frequent part of my day job is to listen to why-not. By this I mean the time spent listening to clients explaining to me why they didn’t do the things they had committed to do at a previous session.
The explanations are always sincere. The most common reason offered is, of course, a lack of time. My clients lead busy lives and time for them, as for many of us, is at a premium.
Many of my clients are parents and I always ask them to think back to the days when their children were very young, perhaps even before they could walk. And I ask how often the children were not fed because, with all the demands being placed on them, there was just nowhere in their busy schedules to find time to feed their children.
My question, I know, is preposterous and yet the answer is always the same, never.
I ask this question not to be a smartass but rather to point out the primary reason why we so often fail to live up to the commitments we make to ourselves and others.
The reason the kids are always fed is because feeding children is of utmost importance. Nothing will ever stand in the way of a parent making time to feed their kids.
And yet the number one reason we offer for not living up to our commitments is a lack of time.
And when that excuse is not appropriate, we are extremely adept at inventing others.
I am not preaching. I am not the person who invented excuses, but I have, through much practice, perfected them. I am as guilty as my clients in committing the soul-destroying offense of creating excuses.
From time to time we all set goals for ourselves. These goals may well pertain to different areas of our lives, but their successful completion always requires us to stay the course until we succeed.
And yet the available data on successful completion of goals is rather disheartening, in fact, few of us successfully achieve the goals we set for ourselves. While there are many reasons that explain why we don’t, there is one that stands out above all others.
It is this: we don’t finish what we start.
We join a health club and make a strong commitment to use its facilities three times per week.
The first week is an exciting one and we eagerly attend the gym. Sometimes our enthusiasm lasts beyond this week and for several more.
And then we stop going or perhaps we go twice in one week and just once the following week before stopping completely.
What was important to us when we first started is no longer important; we humans are gifted when it comes to rationalizing as we easily form a justification for not continuing.
It may be time, workload, that niggling pain in our lower back, a headache that just won’t quit or a cat that needs to be brushed, but the moment it is no longer important to us we inevitably have a handy excuse at the ready.
And when we don’t finish what we start, we have to come back and start again, and again, and again.
Which is why The Habit of Making It Important it is not optional if we are serious about creating new results.
The Habit of Making It Important, when deeply ingrained within us, will assist greatly to keep important things important, while reducing our dependence on excuses.
The Habit of Making It Important is what insured your children were always fed. If you reconnect with it, your soul will never go hungry again.
Sounds like the best eating regimen to me.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.