Rules for Intrepid Living
Rule #69: Beware the Reasonable Excuse.
I’ll be honest with all of you; I make a lot of excuses. I always have. My internal compass doesn’t naturally point to positivity or hard work, instead I have tried to cultivate those qualities. In doing this, I have learned to spot when I’m making excuses. But even I miss some, because they don’t always seem like excuses. That’s why we must always beware the reasonable excuse.
What’s a reasonable excuse? It’s an excuse that makes sense. It sounds like a good idea. You’ve no doubt thought some of them:
“I didn’t sleep well last night, so I shouldn’t train today.”
“The weather is bad, so it’s probably better to pass on my run, you know, for safety’s sake.”
“I had a hard day, so I’ve earned this whole carton of ice cream/pizza/6-pack.”
“I work hard all week, I deserve to do nothing this weekend.”
These all sound pretty reasonable, because they are reasonable.
The problem isn’t that they’re reasonable, it’s that they’re reasonable excuses.
A reasonable excuse is so dangerous because it seems sound and logical. There really are times when you shouldn’t train, and you definitely should reward your hard work. But ask yourself, are you actually so tired that you shouldn’t do any training? Is the weather really so bad that you can’t run or find a suitable alternative? How much ice cream does a bad day earn you? Is doing nothing all weekend the best way to recoup from a long work week?
If you want your life to change, you have to change your life. This means ditching your excuses and working on your goal even when you don’t want to. But you’re not in this alone; I have to fight off my excuses just like everybody else. We’re all in this together, kicking our excuses to the curb and doing just a little bit better each day.
Rules for Intrepid Living is a recurring post encouraging us all to lead more adventurous lives.