Growing up, my father drilled an important phrase into my head. “There are two types of people in this world – those who find an excuse, and those who find a way.” He would always push me to strive for the latter, although I wasn’t always quick to comply.
As a young sprout, I remember every Saturday was set aside as clean up day. While I always looked forward to my Saturdays, it was simultaneously a day I dreaded. I’d have to wake up early to a long list of chores my father prepared the night before. It’s embarrassing to admit now, but I would throw fits and find excuse after excuse to forego vacuuming the stairs, cleaning the toilets, picking up the pine cones, etc.
Over time, my excuses became more elaborate and detailed, so much so that I spent more time and energy thinking of excuses than it would take to do the job. As a result, my entire Saturdays were wasted. My father quickly caught on to my pattern of excuse making and turned my weakness into a teaching opportunity. He repeatedly told me that if I found a way instead of an excuse, I would complete my chores early enough to have the rest of my Saturday to play.
I didn’t believe him at first and continued on in my stubborn ways until one weekend, I decided to put his advice to the test. I took the chore list and devised a plan to complete my chores before noon. I pushed through my bouts of tiredness, frustration, and laziness and did everything I could to keep myself on track. I was able to complete my chores before my intended noon goal.
My father was right all along. I learned then that finding a way is a much more effective and rewarding approach to life.
If we look at the qualities of a winner, they usually have many things in common – drive, commitment, grit, etc. They’re not afraid to take action and “find a way” in order to achieve their goals. We all have the qualities of a winner within us – it’s just something we have to choose.
Whatever tasks or obstacles we face in life, there will always be a thousand excuses to not do them. You’ll be too tired, have no time, lack understanding, etc. It’s ultimately up to us to decide what kind of person we want to be.
The thing that’s helped me the most is finding my “why,” or the reason behind my actions and efforts. When I was young, my why was to have a full Saturday of play. Although my why’s have changed over the years, the principle still remains the same – finding a why can help us become the person who finds a way.
This week’s Monday Mo was written by Meg Matsuura, Content Marketing Manager at Spot On Solutions.