It's Not Where You Start!

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite sayings:

"It is not where you start that matters. It is where you finish."

If you're a regular reader of this series, you know that one of my pet peeves is the use of those little lies that most people call excuses. If you listen for them, you'll hear them every day.

  • I can't do this because...

  • I can't get ahead because...

  • My family was...

  • My father was...

  • Society is...

  • People should...

  • The government should...

  • The president should...

  • My significant other should...

There is an endless supply of reasons that people use for their lives not being what they should be. Unfortunately, most of these reasons include avoiding responsibility for their own life experiences.

Here is a little secret: If you want to know why your life does not match your imagination, wishes, desires, and prayers, you need to look in the mirror. You have to stop making excuses!

For every excuse that you give me, I can give you a dozen or more examples of people who have overcome the same and worse. Yes, I can show you people who are happily married despite growing up in dysfunctional families; people who have made millions despite starting out with literally nothing; people who have become physically fit despite years of being overweight; people who have become well-respected members of their community even though they started out with two and a half strikes against them and a broken bat! I, personally, relate to all these scenarios!

There are several factors that came into most of these winner's lives that lead to their success; but, more than anything else, they refused to accept defeat or settle for anything less than the very best from themselves. These winners didn't look for a reason to fail or for someone to blame. They looked for a means to succeed and then did whatever it took to reach their goals. For some, it meant overcoming bigotry, sexism, or a poor start in life; but they never looked for a handout, just a hand up, and they made sure no one ever regretted giving them a chance.

People, life can be hard and you're never going to evolve into someone better if you're waiting for it to be fair. The fact is that life was never meant to be fair. Everybody--rich or poor, short or tall, from the privileged class or from the ghetto--has some form of cross to bear or obstacle to overcome. The difference between a winner and a loser is that one faces their challenges and the other uses them as an excuse.

It doesn't matter where you start, all that matters is where you finish.

My challenge for you this week:

Take a few minutes to examine your own personal excuses and then throw them out with the trash.

  1. Find a quiet place and reflect on your current life.

  2. What do you feel is missing and what do you want?

  3. What excuses do you give yourself for not being action-oriented toward achieving your desired life?

  4. Write down these excuses and write an opposing action that you will consistently take to defeat each excuse.

Thirty days of doing this exercise will break your addiction to living an excuse-filled life! As you do this, remember, obstacles are meant to be overcome and we are meant to grow stronger from the struggle. Overcoming the struggles becomes our testimony that the world is waiting to be inspired by!

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