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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Say No To Excuses

"Excuses are like assholes, Taylor, everybody got one."

Sgt. O’Neill, also known as John C. McGinley, said in the popular 80s film Platoon. I couldn’t agree more with this and to be perfectly honest I have gotten to a point in my life where excuses don’t cut it anymore. I have heard them all and believe me I have told a fair share myself. I was pretty darn good at them too. But they get old and one day it hits you: 

Excuses are empty statements. They are explanations that attempt to justify a shortcoming. As much as you believe your excuse, at the end of the day, it is just an excuse. Here is the problem with excuses. After a while, you start to believe your own excuses, then you are left in a position in which you feel helpless because you “believe” that all your problems derive from these external factors. You claim and honestly feel like you can’t achieve success because “the world is against you.”  When in reality, you have all the power to change the direction of your life, you just have to learn to accept this power and take advantage of it.  

Let me throw a little cliche your way: You can do anything you set your mind to. Bet you never heard that one before huh? The reason successful people are successful is because they don’t make excuses, they make moves. They don’t put themselves in situations where they would have to explain a fault because they are too busy doing what they said they were going to do in the first place. 

I challenge you to stop excusing yourself for things you “shoulda woulda coulda” done. Don’t waste your breath and other people’s time. Starting today, no more excuses.

Here are some common excuses you should stop using starting today:

Lets be honest. You weren’t late because of traffic or lack of parking because we all know (especially in Los Angeles), if there is somewhere important you need to be, you will take those factors into consideration and give yourself ample time for arrival. If you have an important meeting that you do not want to be late to, make sure to leave twice as early so that you will find parking and arrive in a timely manner. You are not Moses and traffic is not the Red Sea, it will not part in your favor.The sooner you realize that the world is not on your side, the better you will be.  

Another common one is using your professors as an excuse for poor grades. I am graduating college in May and have definitely had a fair share of professors ranging from absolutely terrible to positively inspiring. Every time I enter a class I understand that there are completely different expectations from professor to professor. Your professors are not going to adjust to your preferences; therefore, you must adjust to your surroundings. Take the time to understand the syllabus, work load, and responsibilities in order to get the grade you want. Study extra hard, participate excessively, and go to office hours. As bad as your professor is, I doubt he/she would have a job, if he/she failed every student in the class. So, be one of the few students that gets the decent grade. 

When you blame external factors for your problems, you create a crutch that is detrimental to your success. Stop blaming your parents, your teachers, your friends, your lack of money and admit to yourself when you have failed. I am as prideful as they come so I understand the difficulty with admitting to failure. When I am pulling all-nighters trying to finish a paper due at 8 am, it is easy to blame my teacher for assigning too much homework, or work for keeping me too long, but that won’t get my paper done.There are so problems (sickness, natural disasters, accidents) we can’t control, why not take control of what we can? 

Having trouble saying NO to excuses? Read articles for more inspiration: 

Alexandria Rousset 


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