What’s Your Excuse?

by  Mike Henry  |  Self Leadership
What’s Your Excuse?

I don’t have enough time. We’re too busy. I’ll call you in a few weeks. I keep meaning to get over that way. We were rushed.

I don’t have enough money. It’s not in the budget. We can’t afford it. It costs too much.

I’m too tired. I overslept. After work, I just get sidetracked. I’m out of shape.

I don’t like to go to the gym in the morning, but I’d rather go in the evenings. In the evenings, the gym’s too crowded.

We Do What We Want Every Time

And every time I write about this, people argue with me. If you spent an hour on Facebook today, it was more important to you than anything else. Or at least you treated Facebook like it was the most important thing.

I can waste a lot of time watching TV. It’s not the most important thing to me. In fact, I dislike so much of what’s on that I watch reruns and old movies I’ve memorized. I really would like to write more. I really would like to spend more time with friends. I really would like to work out more, eat less and read more. I really would like to make a difference.

We Do What We Want Every Time

Well, maybe not every time. Are you waiting for someone to put you in charge of something? Have you ever wished you could get promoted so you could lead? Have you ever thought your excuse for not fixing a problem was because it wasn’t yours to fix?

  • They won’t listen to me.
  • They won’t let me do anything.
  • Who am I?
  • The people in charge should?
  • They should…
  • Someone should…

We each have the power to change. We can always do something.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
~ Edward Everett Hale

We each have the ability to take our turn. We each have a chance to use our time to make our space in the world a better place. In that moment, we lead. We don’t need permission. We make our own space. We take our own chance. In the moments between when you start and before success or failure is determined, in that time, we’re leading. We’re a leader.

Something’s bugging you. What bugs you the most? What causes you the most animation, the most grief, the most disappointment? What one thing can you talk about? What must you do? Do it. You can do something.

Do One Thing

There, wasn’t that easy? What’s next? Do another. Get in the habit. Do the next thing. One step every day. What can you do? Do it?

You don’t need permission to make the world better. Decide today to beat the TV and the pull of the world, the resistance, and fix something.

Make something better. Pay for someone else’s meal. Pick up some trash. Write that thank you note. Start your blog or your book. Or if you’ve started one, get back to work on it. Finish your opus. Do your work.

We need you. Now get to work.

Note, don’t take any offense. This is a note to myself. Any application or references to you are merely coincidental.


What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Page Cole  |  26 May 2015  |  Reply

People… me… we do… we do what we want.

The problem for me is not that I have to do stuff I don’t want to do.

It’s that I waste chunks of my life doing stuff that doesn’t matter.

Thanks for shining a light on lazy choices and the foolishness of giving the real stuff of living my leftovers.

I’m done with that.

Mike Henry  |  26 May 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Page. I agree. I want to spend more of my time doing the things that are most important to me. Moving the right direction. Mike…

Penny Clark  |  26 May 2015  |  Reply

My problem is that I am the hamster on the wheel….running like crazy but getting no where. I go from starting this to starting that and ending up doing the other……my mind has a million projects to do…..or think about doing. Yep…I am just a small little hamster…..

Mike Henry  |  29 May 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Penny. I hope you refuse to let yourself end there. I try to remember my most important work so I can spend my best time on it. Hang in there…

Paul LaRue  |  27 May 2015  |  Reply

A great reminder for us, Mike. Doing a few of the most important things is better than doing many of the insignificant things.

A great post for us to recalibrate our focus!

Mike Henry  |  29 May 2015  |  Reply

Thanks for the comment Paul. I’m trying to ask the question, “Why am I doing this?” more and more. Mike…

Max  |  27 May 2015  |  Reply

Thank you for this post Mike! I appreciate your message and the consistency in your purpose. I appreciate you.

Mike Henry  |  29 May 2015  |  Reply

Thanks back Max! Great to hear from you. I appreciate you and the comment, too. Mike…

John Smith  |  27 May 2015  |  Reply

HI, MIke:

1) I hate when you spend the first part of your excellent leadership thinking describing me.

2) I hate even more when you drive the point low across the net right into my court.

3) I hate most when the best comment I can summon is “Yeah, I know … and I’ll try to focus on the right stuff”.

This is a message I have heard before … many times … and yet the need to remind me to spend my time more effectively will continue. We are humans, after all:)

Thanks for possibly the most useful suggestion I could hear this week. Your wisdom is expressed clearly and with warmth.


Mike Henry  |  29 May 2015  |  Reply

Thanks for the honest comment, John. Many of us are going through the same phases and thought processes. I appreciate your encouragement. Thanks again. Mike…

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