The excuse killer

to be or not to be

The desert

My dad raised me in an interesting way. He didn’t have a ton of rules. He allowed me to choose what I believed in, religiously or politically. He explained that I was responsible for my life at age 10. He was still responsible TO me, but I responsible FOR me – my actions, behaviors and ultimate results.

I explained to a friend that it was like growing up in a desert. A wide open sea of dunes, endless sand, and my own compass. I could go in any direction I pleased. Sure, there would be consequences, but I was responsible. No one else.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t have structure. Even a desert has structure, but it felt like I had a blank slate, so to speak, to create whatever I wanted. As I grew into adulthood, I realized this was an advantage for me.

I didn’t know it at the time, but he was prepping my mind to think without limits.

One day, I asked myself if there was something holding me back from getting anything I wanted. I found nothing.

Here’s how my conversation went…

What’s stopping you?

Fear? Nope. You have courage to deal with that.

Doubt? Uncertainty? With a little planning and faith, you can smash old limits.

Not smart enough? Don’t worry, it’s an action oriented universe – intellect won’t make or break you.

Ignorance or inexperience? You can always learn something new to deal with ignorance. You can practice something old and get better and better, to deal with inexperience.

Mistakes and failure? You can learn from those, too. Mistakes are either lessons in how to NOT do something or they can lead to innovation, like post-it notes.

Lack of money? Can you produce quality ideas and do great work? Money always follows good ideas, great effort, and practical solutions to everyday problems.

Physical challenges? You can think about people like Stephen Hawking, Helen Keller, and Stevie Wonder amongst the millions who are handicapped to varying degrees.

How about your background? The area you grew up in? Too many examples to list here of people overcoming their environment, psychological background, and negative conditioning, but I love Booker T. Washington’s story.

Your past? Sure, many people will look at your track record and judge you, but not everybody. Will that stop you from getting what you want? Your decision.

Laziness? Bad attitude? Addiction? Nope. If other people never overcame their own bad habits and vices, then I’d agree with you. I have friends, family, and colleagues that have successfully dealt with their stuff.

I know, I know. You’re the exception. I thought I was, too.

Is most of life out of your control? Yup, but what do you have a shot at getting under your control?

Me.

You

So what’s stopping you from being your best, having what you want, and living your ideal life? Unless you’re physically restrained, caged, or dominated by others, then there’s nothing holding you back.

Nothing, but you.

Can fear stop you? No, so stop blaming fear.

Thoughtless phrases like, “I’m sabotaging myself” or “I fear success” allow you to avoid taking responsibility. It’s easy to place the blame on something abstract and untouchable, but what those phrases are really saying is, “I don’t have a strong enough purpose.”

“We have met the enemy, and he is US.”

-Pogo

Reasons

If you’re lazy, not excited about life, feel stuck, afraid or whatever else you think is holding you back, then there’s one key ingredient you’re missing that can help you overcome all that.

Purpose.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

without purpose nothing exists.

I’ll say it another way. In order for something to happen in the world, in order to have a physical result or outcome, purpose must drive its creation.

What is purpose? Purpose is simply asking the question, “why?”, and “why?” produces reasons. Those reasons either inspire you to action or leave you bored and demotivated.

There’s just something special about “why?” – it gets to the depth of your motivations quickly. When you ask “why?”, the reasons that drive you, the reasons that inspire or motivate you must come to the surface.

Purpose is powerful and revealing. If you think you’re stuck, then ask why. You may discover from your reasons that you simply don’t care enough to see something through.

Remember, nothing can stop you. Nothing’s holding you back. You just don’t have a good enough reason to act.

Start with “why?”, and behold a new YOU.

Lessons

There really is only one lesson:

Nothing can stop you, but you.

Stop blaming the economy.

Stop blaming your boss, your job, your colleague or whomever.

Stop blaming your husband, your girlfriend, your lover, your mistress, your kids, your pets, and your family. Just stop.

Stop blaming nonsensical things like “self-sabotage” or “fear of success”. They don’t exist.

Stop blaming the past, past lives and karmic debts. Your present YOU is the issue. What are you going to do about it NOW?

Stop blaming politics, government, the state, police, judges, authority, schools, or religious institutions.

Stop blaming god or the devil. You have free will, a free mind, a choice to be (or not to be).

Instead…

Take responsibility for all of it. Yes. ALL of it.

What will you do to create a better [fill in the blank]?

You have a choice. To be? Or not to be?

To blame others, situations, or the past? Or to take responsibility for your life.

To love? Or to fear?

To really live? Or to pretend you’re excited about life.

To be courageous? Or to be the coward?

To betray oneself? Or to remain true to you?

You decide.

Paul

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