WHAT EXCUSE DO YOU HAVE? TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR A GENERATIONAL IMPACT
What is an Excuse?
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines “an excuse” as a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behavior. More than 90% of the excuse we make are not genuine but are invented to explain our failures; to neglect taking a particular kind of action, or simply as a means of negating responsibility. They are a means of placing the blame of an internal problem on an external behavior. Ask an average Nigerian youth why he is not successful and he will immediately find a way to blame the government. It is very easy to take the path of least resistance and make excuses, blaming somebody or something else for the outcome/result of our actions. We must however realize that, people who become great in life and greatly impact their generation are people who have realized that there is no excuse for failure. Even when they fail they take full responsibility for their failure and move on.
Reasons Why We Make Excuses
People make excuses for different reasons depending on what they are trying to avoid and not to take action for. Excuses come in different forms and we tend to make them in different ways, some of the common types of excuse we make and why we make them include;
There’s no time (A lack of desire or time-management skill)
There’s not enough money (Lack of strategy of ideas that could help you reach your financial objectives)
I don’t have an education (Lack of the desire to work harder than anyone else to achieve your desired goals and objectives)
I’m too old or young (Lack of understanding and or perspective to learn from your experiences and pay the price to become successful)
It’s not the right time (Lack of perspective, information and resources)
Other common types of excuse include, I have to plan thoroughly first; it won’t work; I can’t change, and so on. However, when we dig to the root of the reasons why people make excuses, the most common reason is because of fear. Fear is feeling we have when we do not know the outcome of something. To eliminate excuses from our lives we must first look at eliminating all the traces of fear in our lives. Some of the most common types of fear are
Fear of Failure
Fear of Embarrassment
Fear of Success
Fear of Change
Fear of Uncertainty
Fear of Responsibility
Fear of Making Mistakes
Perceived lack of confidence or resources
Fear traps and locks us away within our comfort zone. The feeling of fear usually comes when we lack understanding, information, resources, experience or perspective. If you lack all these things, you will naturally lack confidence, and as a result you will fail to take the action necessary to achieve your goals and objectives. Consequently you will tend to make excuses about your life and circumstances in order to help boost your self-worth. However, all you’re doing is creating the illusion of security. You’re simply masking the pain by taking a pain killer. The pain is still there, and will continue to persist until you finally overcome your fears.
Effect of Making Excuses
Fela Durotoye, a great motivational speaker once said that “because you can explain why you failed does not make your successful”. I have come to the realization that people are only interested in your results and not how you got the result. Benjamin Franklin once said that “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”. Excuses will prevent you from reaching your potential, but they will also hold you back from recognizing opportunities, talents and skills you might have, to help you overcome your problems. People who make excuses are bound to become failures sooner or later in life. According to George Washington, majority of failures come from the habit of making excuses.
Your self-esteem as a person is tired to the results you are able to produce in life, and people who take responsibility in life have a high level of confidence. If you keep on making excuses, you will definitely become a mediocre in life and people will not value or respect you because you have nothing to offer.
There is a common saying that “excuse is a lazy man’s language.” It is easy to find excuse because it is cheap and common but you must discipline yourself to be responsible and take the necessary action when you have to, to avoid putting yourself in positions where you’re compelled to make excuses.
Overcoming Excuse and Making a Generational Impact
I once watched a video clip on YouTube of a woman who had no hands yet she drove herself to work every day, she fed her baby, ate meals and did so many other things that some people would term impossible considering her situation. She was able to achieve all these things using her feet. It would have been easy and natural for her to make or come up with excuses, but she decided to be responsible and do what she had to do to live a normal life.
What would have happened if Abraham had found an excuse not to obey God and take Isaac to the land of Mo-r’iah to offer as a burnt offering? It could have been easy for Abraham to say to God, “why should I sacrifice the only son that you gave me” or he would have come up with a flimsy excuse to explain why he cannot sacrifice Isaac, but the bible records in Genesis 22:3 that “Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him”. He didn’t wait around to cook up excuses of why he cannot obey God, he obeyed God promptly. If we must impact our generation we must realize that we don’t have the luxury of time to make excuses. Remember, nobody wants to listen to why you failed, people are interested only in the results you produce.
To overcome your excuses you must first admit that you are making them in the first place. Change only truly comes when we realize that there is a need for change. Make a little survey of the common excuses you make on a daily basis and discipline yourself not to make them again regardless of the situation. Learn to be responsible for your failures and successes in life and practice this consistently until it becomes a habit.
Emmanuel A. Ahmadu.
WHAT EXCUSE DO YOU HAVE? BY OLAWADE DAVID B.
Nigeria’s population is said to have reached about 167 million people in 2012 (National Bureau of Statistics). The National Population Commission (NPoC, 2013) state about half of the population is made up of youth population grows, so does the unemployment rate. In fact, unemployed youth numbered about 11.1 million in 2012.
Oh! Many might have read the statistics above and consider to add it to their shelf of excuses for not making an impact. The rate at which youth complain and give excuses for their failure is increasing day by day. They put blame on the government, their background and the environment. We live in a generation where youths see reasons to fail than succeed.
As a growing up teenager some years ago, considering the environment I lived, it appears to many of us that succeeding in that harsh environment would be a mirage. This situation is also cumbered with less support from parent.
Before I made my decision of swimming against the tides, I observed that other youths and teenagers around are always giving excuses to make their failures appear pleasing. I hear them say; “youths can’t make it in this country”, “I am here on the street because my parents are not concern about me” and so on. Each time I try to consider this, something in me gave me answers like; “youths are making it here despite the circumstances”, ‘I should be more concern about my life than my parents’.
I see youths roaming the streets and bathing in immoralities. It’s amazing that it is those who are supposed to be busy due to their inabilities that are found misbehaving. They took their limitations as a yardstick to misbehave by giving in to smoking, alcoholism, prostitution, internet fraud, gambling and so on. They complain about the government, the big question is, ‘did the government offer anyone gambling, smoking and alcoholism’. They complain about the inability of their parents, the big question is; ‘how many parents taught their son or daughter; smoking, prostitution internet fraud and so on’.
The limitation of government, environment and parents should be a propelling force for young people to get busy and not misbehave. Youths should start thinking of what they can do to effect a change and how they can improve their lives.
WHAT ARE YOU BUSY AT?
In terms of age, younger youth struggle even more to find jobs: at least two thirds of unemployed youths are between 15 and 24 years of age. And, in terms of gender, available statistics show that a majority of unemployed youth are female.
My beloved friend “Emmanuel A. Ahmadu ”who is also contributing to this article enlightened me on getting busy some time ago. He said “only say you are busy when what you are doing at a given period of time is of higher priority to what you are supposed to do (paraphrased)”. Many make the statement “I am busy” when they are engaged with unreasonable and unnecessary activities.
Get busy at something reasonable. Invest in things and engagements that will change your life for better.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOU?
We might not be responsible for what is happening in us but we are definitely responsible for what is happening in us.
Circumstances around us due to parent, government and environment might throw a blow at us. The question is; “how do you react to it?”, “what runs through your mind?”, “are you pessimistic or optimistic about situations”, “are you seeing yourself succeeding or failing?”. It’s a choice you make from within; no one can make it for you. Begin to consider what you can do in those situations that will improve your life and set you on the track of excelling.
Stop catching toads in the ocean of life, there are bigger fishes to catch. Spread forth your net with determination and desperation, don’t settle for less.
For the love of Revival, Spiritual Re-awakening and Global Revolution.
Masterpiece Publishing House.