What Happens When You Have Your First Excuse?

Have you ever experienced this situation before?

  • You are laying on your bed preparing to sleep, and then you said to yourself: “Just a few minutes, not more than that”. What happens next is you are on the phone for hours.
  • You are in a social event and your friends ask you to join him for a drink. It’s hard for you to say no, so you said “Just one mug of beer”. Then you have your second mug, third mug and end up drunk.
  • You are on a strict diet plan. You saw a bowl of cookies in the living room, fresh from the oven. You said to yourself: “Just one piece”. Then you have your second piece, third piece and maybe the whole bowl of cookies.

We have all been in that situation before and there are many other similar situations. This is what happens actually – once you have your first excuses or breach of rules, you will have more of them coming.
There was a story that the elderly loves to tell us – a story about a child that steals.
The little kid was seven years old when he first stole something. He stole a needle, and his mother didn’t think it was a big deal. It was just a needle after all, and hence she didn’t say or do anything about it. After that incident, the kid has started his stealing journey. He shoplifted and broke into people’s house. One day, he was caught with a heavy crime and sent to jail for life-time sentence. When his mum visited him in the jail, he cried and said: “If you were to be strict on me when I first stole that needle, I wouldn’t have ended up here”.

As Will Rogers have said: “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”. If we were to ignore the slightest temptations and excuses that surfaces, it will eventually halt our progress of going to places that we want to go.

When you have your first excuse, your excuses will build up

We talked about determination a lot but the fact is not many people can actually be determined. Have you wonder why?
An international best seller author, Haruki Murakami runs on a daily basis since year 1982. How on earth does he achieve that? Most people who set their goals to be running everyday will bump into situation like “It’s raining, I’ll run tomorrow; Not in the mood, not running today; It’s a busy day, I’ll skip today…”
He said he’s not a great runner, but he’s a strong runner. Does he ever have the thought of “not running for a day”? He has also interviewed an Olympic runner Toshihiko Seko and asked him “Does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today?” The answer that both gave was “Yes, of course”. However, every morning, he laced up his running shoes and set off without hesitation.

“First there came the action of running, and accompanying it there was this entity known as me. I run; therefore I am.” – Haruki Murakami, the running novelist

When we allow ourselves to have that first excuse, we are letting go of determination. It’s hard to keep the determination going, it really is. It’s natural that we want to do what’s comfortable and avoid the pain, and hence we will find excuses to allow ourselves to be in a comfortable state.
Although being determined to do something is hard, let us not allow ourselves to have that “first excuse”, because once you gave up once, it’s easier to give up the next time.

It’s the beginning of 2019, why don’t you set a small goal for yourself? It can be wake up at 6am every day, meditate for 20 minutes, read for 30 minutes or anything that you wish to achieve for a long time. It can also be a simple one like wake up and smile at yourself at the mirror, hug your family and spending more time with your family.
Every bit of effort in keeping the determination will shape yourself to be a better you.

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