3 REGRETFUL LIES (AND EXCUSES) YOUR MIND LIKES TO TELL YOU
The human mind is wonderful. It’s also a good liar and an “excuse machine” that frequently tries to convince us NOT to take actions we know are good for us. This ultimately prevents many positive changes from taking place in our lives.
But why? Why does the mind lie to us and make irrational excuses?
Because the mind wants comfort, that’s why! It’s afraid of discomfort, pressure and change. The mind is used to its comfort zone, and anytime we try to stretch that zone too far, for too long, the mind tries desperately to get back to ground zero at any cost… including sacrificing our long-term health, happiness and success.
So let’s expose three of the mind’s most regretful lies and excuses once and for all – Marc and I have literally seen these specific lies and excuses plaguing hundreds of our course students over the past decade:
1. “They can do it, but that doesn’t apply to me because they have it better than me.” – Just because someone else can, doesn’t mean you can, right? You look for reasons they can do it but you can’t – maybe he’s an internet entrepreneur or freelance writer because he has no kids. Maybe she’s way fitter than I am, so she can run a marathon. Maybe she doesn’t have all the work and family obligations I have, or has a supportive spouse, or doesn’t have bad knees. OK, fine, it’s easy to find excuses: but look at all the other people who have considerable obstacles too who’ve done it. Marc and I have a family, and have dealt with significant loss in our lives, and still managed to succeed on many fronts. And just as we’ve turned things around for ourselves, we know hundreds of other people who’ve done the same. Through a decade of coaching our students, we’ve witnessed people reinventing themselves at all ages – 48-year-olds starting families, 57-year-olds graduating from college for the first time, 71-year-olds starting successful businesses, and so forth. And stories abound of people with disabilities or illnesses who overcame their obstacles to achieve great things. Your obstacles can be overcome.
2. “Life is meant to be easier and enjoyed more.” – Sure, I agree that life should be enjoyed (as many of us do) but the problem is that the idea that life should ALWAYS be easy and enjoyable is used to justify all kinds of lazy behavior. Might as well sit on the couch and scarf down those potato chips, because hey, life is meant to be enjoyed, right? Nope. You can do without junk food and still enjoy life. You can exercise and enjoy it. You can give up a lot of comfort in your life and not lose a thing. In fact, the path of least resistance is often the path of least reward. You need to do hard things. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business. There is no substitute for doing the work. So meditate on this every day: “I will do the work. It won’t be easy. It will be worth it!”
3. “I can do it later.” – Sure, you can always do it later… but your later self will feel the same exact way. Think about it: Why should your later self be more disciplined than your present self? In fact, because you’re allowing yourself to slack off now, you’re building a habit of procrastination and actually making it less likely that your later self will be more disciplined. So today, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen. Stop talking about what you have done or what you are going to do. Just do it and let your actions speak for themselves. Most great things in life don’t happen by chance, they happen by choice. You never know what’s possible until you risk finding out. In the end, there is only one thing that makes your dreams and goals completely impossible to achieve: Your lack of action today.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track.