The Habit of Making Excuses

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” ~ George Washington

The lasting measure of a man is established in the way he meets the difficulties in life. In my estimation, life’s challenges earn the appellation by virtue of the fact that they push the limits of present capability. When circumstances don’t ask more from you than you think you are capable or at least try your patience or push your limits, you don’t call them difficult, do you?

The best way to succeed in life is to eschew the nasty habit of making excuses. Every excuse you make represents a loss of energy that could have been expended in the effort to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishment.

You are strong enough, smart enough, talented enough, skilled enough, connected enough and sufficiently worthy of a successful outcome. The most successful managers in my company are those who are expert at helping others realize that simply being themselves – all they can be at any given point in time – is the perfect starting point. No excuses are necessary!

Rudyard Kipling once said: “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.” I am inclined to agree and I encourage you to refrain from being the person in the group whose most active participation centers on the elaboration of excuses. We’ve all been there. It’s not pretty. Instead, dare to represent the one percent who addresses the potential points of failure intelligently, efficiently and confidently and most importantly, without excuse.

10 thoughts on “The Habit of Making Excuses

  1. Pingback: Ken's Cushion » Are Excuses The New Empowerment?

  2. Estelle

    My husband always used to say to our children that it was easier to do something right than to make excuses for why it wasn’t done right. I forwarded your post to my sons and we all had a chuckle and a good memory of their father’s integrity. It’s good to share a thankfulness for the influences that made us better people.


  3. J.J.Mc

    We all will make mistakes, miss the mark etc. so, learning
    from our mistakes is key. Everyone wants to be given this largess
    when they are the one in error but giving it when we are the one
    who might feel the painful result of someone else’s mistake might
    start the ball rolling. Who knows maybe our friends might be less
    inclined to make excuses as they see we look at mistakes as an
    opportunity to improve. Excuses cloud the opportunity for forward
    movement, for everyone.


  4. Aimee

    I like the point that every excuse made could have instead been energy spent working constructively towards a solution. Energy hs to be expendedone way or another. Better to make it a gain than a loss. Making excuses is a loss worth cutting. Thanks for a great post!


  5. Colin

    I always thought that excuses were a way of trying to cover
    up a mistake that had been made. I am more interested to see where
    mistakes have been made (by myself and others) so I can learn from
    them and hopefully never repeat the same ones. I think excuses say
    that a person is more concerned with the appearance of what they
    have done rather than what has actually happened. You might be able
    to cover it up, but you’ll never feel right about it. If you make a
    mistake, learn from it and move on.


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