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How To Make Excuses

December 23rd, 2008 by Kevin Ngo

I thought I’d change up the tone a bit and write about how to make excuses. Previously I wrote about setting and achieving goals. I thought it’d just make sense to now write about making excuses because it will come up.

We all make them from time to time. Some small, some big, some unimportant, some very important. This isn’t your typical “Why you shouldn’t make excuses” post. It’s really about how to make excuses. Wait, aren’t we NOT suppose to make excuses? Technically yes. But many of us do anyway. Since that’s the case, let’s take these excuses to the next level.

You might not call them excuses. You might call them reasons or justifications. What are excuses? Simply put, excuses are reasons for not doing something. They come out of a lack or perceived lack of resources.

I don’t have time. I’m too tired (not enough energy). I don’t have enough money. I’m too young. I’m too old. I don’t have the contacts. The economy is bad and I have negative relatives (not enough support). I’m not good enough, smart enough, tall enough, outgoing enough, attractive enough… you get the idea.

Anyone and everyone can come up with a handful of excuses as to why they can’t do something. The difference between whether you succeed or fail in achieving your goals is how you use those excuses. Whether you’re using them to get closer to your goals or further away from them, make them big. Yes, you read correctly, make them big even if it’s moving you away from your goals.

Look, if you’re going to make excuses anyway, if you’re going to limit yourself and put yourself down, you might as well go all out. Don’t half-ass it. If you’ve been half-assing your whole life, do yourself a favor and go full-assed on this so you can at least say you gave it your all in something.

If you’re always going to come up with excuses to why you can’t achieve your goals, then at least make them ridiculous so you can at least say what you had to face was huge and unique so people can understand why there was absolutely no way you could achieve any goal you have ever set or ever will set.

Examples of how to make excuses.

checkmarkNot only do I not have enough money to start my business, I owe so many people money that if I had the money to pay them back, the entire economy would actually turn around.

checkmarkNot only do I not know enough people for connections, not even Tom from Myspace would accept me as a friend.

checkmarkNot only can I not stop eating, I’m forced to install a machine that injects chocolate into my mouth through a tube nonstop 24/7. Otherwise I’ll die.

checkmarkNot only do I not have enough time, I have so much to do on any given day that I have to wear diapers just so I have spare time to eat.

checkmarkNot only am I too shy to actually do much in life, I actually experience those awkward silences with myself when I stand in front of a mirror. I mean, I just never know what to say to the guy.

checkmarkNot only can I not read, I’m looking at this list and wondering why there aren’t any pictures of the foods I want to order.

checkmarkNot only am I not lucky enough to succeed, if I got into the funeral business, people would actually stop dying.

You may say those excuses are just lies, way too exaggerated. Fine, then here’s a list on how to make excuses based on pure “facts“.

Examples of excuses based on “facts”.

checkmarkI’m not smart enough to succeed. There is no proof in the history of mankind of someone with no formal education or no ability to read or write ever becoming successful.

checkmarkI don’t have enough money to start a business. Everyone that has ever started a business of any kind already had money from the get go.

checkmarkI can’t go far in life because I grew up in dysfunctional family. Everyone that has gone far in life had come from a perfect family.

checkmarkI came from a poor background, I’ll never be wealthy. Every one of those wealthy people was born into wealthy families. None of them were self-made.

checkmarkLife seems to be against me, I have the worse luck. No one who has it as bad as me could possibly become successful, it’s impossible.

checkmarkI’m not attractive enough to attract anyone decent. Looks is everything to everyone.

checkmarkI can’t do what I’m passionate about because I’m stuck at a job I hate but need because it pays my bills. No one with a full time job ever had time on the side to follow their passion. Once you’re stuck with a job you need to survive, goodbye dreams.

checkmarkI’m too old to do much with my life. Everyone who’s done much with their life did it when they were young, strong, and beautiful.

checkmarkI never received the love I needed to have confidence in myself. Everyone who has succeeded was loved unconditionally and was never discouraged, ridiculed, or put down by anyone.

checkmarkI can’t live my dreams because of my race. No one in my race has amounted to anything. Not one.

checkmarkI can’t make money in this economy. Not a single honest person can do it.

I realize this list of how to make excuses is an exaggeration. The point is that anyone can come up with valid excuses not to do anything. Excuses are evidence that you don’t really want something bad enough or there’s not a tight enough deadline. Excuses are justifications to why you didn’t do, aren’t doing, or not going to do something.

Pick someone successful and see if you can come up with excuses on why they “could’ve” NOT been successful.

  • Barak Obama isn’t white.
  • Michael Jordan wasn’t good enough to make the team the first year he tried out.
  • Jim Carrey growing up was poor where at one point his family lived in a van.
  • Og Mandino was on the brink of suicide.
  • Oprah had a traumatizing childhood.
  • J.K. Rowling was on welfare.
  • Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.

And on and on… there are tons of these stories.

They could’ve easily written a post on how to make excuses with the circumstances they had. These individuals took something most people would use as justifications to be average and turned them into an incredible inner drive and used their “misfortune” to soar.

What excuses do you keep using?

Ask yourself if these people were in your situation, what would they do? Would they continue to make excuses or would they make their life the way they want regardless of the circumstances?

Here’s an idea. How about making excuses on why you can’t give up? Make a list of how to make excuses on why you can’t fail or why you can’t settle for less. If you’re going to make excuses, make them on the right things. Your lack of resources in this case would be things like your time being limited, so you have to make the most out of your life.

So feel free to make excuses, the bigger and more frequently, the better. Just make sure you’re excusing yourself into the life you truly want instead of excusing yourself out of it.

Until next time…


Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.

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  1. You make a great point but what about the other side of the story. The people on the recieving end of the excuses???????

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