Monday, July 7, 2014

Excuses


“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

J. Michael Straczynski


He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

Benjamin Franklin


I’m not in the mood to write at the moment, but a goal is a goal, and not being in the mood is not a valid reason for avoiding my work.  So I will sit here and write and before long the mood will come.  That’s how it always works.  “Give me the fire and then I’ll add the wood,” is the fallacious argument that avoiders their work use.  (Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret) 
I have to build my own fire.  The fire, my motivation, inspiration, or desire, only burns after I add the wood, the work, not before.   My Muse doesn’t come if I’m not working.  Yes, sometimes she will give me something at other times, but she expects me to act on that as quickly as possible.   I can’t imagine how many good ideas have been lost for lack of initiative. 
Here’s another excuse I can use to avoid my work:  I have a lot on my mind.  At the moment, that happens to be true.  I’m very preoccupied with and worried about personal concerns.  In fact, my troubles make me want to scream, run away, throw something, or… I don’t know what.  Here too, however, is why I need to do my work.  It will take away my troubles.  I don’t mean literally, though that’s possible.   More accurately, they will put my troubles in the proper perspective, like putting a paper in the right file or an old photograph in a photo album.  My mind will get clearer and calmer and I will soon realize that my troubles will be resolved somehow. 
I could say that I’m physically tired.  I’ve gone 50/50 on this.  Sometimes when I’m tired, I stop writing and take a short nap.  Breaks are allowed.  Other times I power through the fatigue.  When I’m done, my fatigue has mysteriously disappeared.  Either way works.  But eventually I have to finish.  A nap is a delay, not an end.
Busyness is also a good excuse.  In fact, I do have a few things to do today.  In fact, there are a couple of things I should have already completed.  If I get them done now, I won’t have to worry about them later.  The only problem with that argument is that writing two more blogs today is on my to-do list.  So I might as well get this done.  Otherwise, it will be one more thing I’m behind on or won’t get done. 
I imagine there are more excuses, perhaps dozens.  And they’re all valid. They all have a grain of truth.  But the complete truth is that I have made the commitment to my Muse and I intend to keep it. 
Excuses give me a reason to not do my work.  They also give me time to play online games, watch TV, read comic books, or just do nothing at all.   Here, however, are some things they can’t give me:
·      Self esteem
·      Completed work
·      Time with my Muse
·      My house on the beach
Purpose requires commitment, even when I don’t feel like it.  Especially when I don’t feel like it.   That’s a key to success.  This is why I’ve been able to do more writing in the last six months than I’ve done in my whole life.  I just followed my rule:  Get Started and Keep Going…even when I have some good excuses.