From early childhood, most of us have unconsciously adopted the undesirable trait of making excuses to rationalize non performance. It begins with us making excuses for our poor handwriting, our inability to meet deadlines or stick to our schedules, not doing homework etc. Later it manifests in us having various regrets be it in our academic performance, tardy work output, out inability to meet targets and deadlines and our constant rebuttal of any criticism directed at us. Unfortunately, in a highly competitive world, all that matters is results and no excuse is ever good enough for not meeting the expectations set. So achieving results is simply a matter of eliminating excuses.
Here are some tips to overcome our tendency to create excuses to rationalize non performance.
1 Have goals – The major difference between successful people and those who are not successful is the goal focused approach of the former set of people. When goals are set, one can direct one’s energies to focus on the goal. When the end objective is clear, we would always finds ways and means of overcoming all obstacles on the way. More importantly goals give a purpose, a direction and meaning to our life. A student who targets a certain rank or percentage in the exams knows that he/ she can attain it only if the studies are planned, prepared and diligently adhered too. Similarly, someone who has set his/ her eyes on a specific career choice would also then chart out the progress systematically, get appropriate inputs and suggestions and pursue the goal with passion.
2.Inbuilt motivation – A goal helps one to see the and aim for something specific. However, very often the goal is at a distance, the efforts required herculean, the obstacles along the way challenging and we are prone to give up and make excuses to justify our stand. Hence it is essential that we have some strong compelling motivation to keep us going even when our spirits are drooping, our physical energies failing and our mind wavering. A good motivation is the perfect antidote for our tendency to make excuses. Have you noticed that when one is eagerly looking forward to something pleasurable like going for a picnic, an holiday or even to see a movie we would find a way to overcome any obstacle that crops up for we are deeply to motivated to attain that goal.
3. Avoid giving in to temptation – Perhaps the single most common excuse comes from the fact that we succumb to the temptation to chase pleasurable alternatives rather than focus on the goal in front. Going for a friend’s birthday party or watching an interesting match on the day before a crucial exam or running errands that could have been postponed, to avoid studying are examples of giving in to temptations. A strong sense of priority, a firm resolve to remain detached from pleasurable alternatives, a deep desire to attain the goal set are essential to ensure that one doe not waver from the plans laid out. A very strong motivation like proving your mettle, surprising your critics, being with the best would surely be torch light that beams on the goal and guiding you towards it.
4. Relish achievements – Life would be both boring and stressed if we are only obsessed with attaining our goals. Every goal is actually a series of smaller goals being realized along the way. It is essential that we are aware of each of the sub goals and more importantly pause to enjoy and relish the attainment of these sub-goals. When we are able to relish the small achievements, they provide us added motivation, inspiration and energy to pursue our larger goals. If we take the case of academics, there would definitely be a subject or two that we do not enjoy as much as other subjects. The challenge then is to remain enthused to focus on those subjects so that the learning and subsequent results contribute significantly to one’s larger goal of academic excellence. It is important to enjoy the thrill of completing the set targets especially for those subjects that one finds tough or boring.
5. Don’t give up easily – Many a time, it is not the temptation of alternatives but the sheer pressure of the effort that would deflate our enthusiasm, sap our energy and depress us. Those low periods are the times when one is extremely vulnerable to throw in the towel and quit. Giving up is easy and the excuses will flow but the reality is that your goals remain unattained dreams. When the going gets tough, that is when one has look within for inspiration, motivation and positive action. Maybe a short break would help rejuvenate, perhaps the counsel of an elder or expert would bring fresh perspective or maybe you just have to change tracks and pursue the goal by traversing a different path; what is important is to continue not stop.
Remember that when excuses are gone results are got !
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