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Using If's: Are you good at making excuses?

Clint Maun, CSP

Arthur Rubinstein, the famed pianist, stated on his 84th birthday, "as long as we have what we have inside, the capacity to love, to work, to hear music, to see a flower, to look at the world as it is, nothing can stop us from being happy...but one thing you must take seriously. You must get rid of the ifs of life. Many people tell you, ‘I would be happy--if I had a certain job, of if I were better looking, or if a certain person would marry me.’ There isn’t any such thing. You must live your life unconditionally, without the ifs."

Rubinstein makes a powerful statement. Too many people are constantly finding reasons why they can’t be successful. In our consulting work, we’ve found entire organizations continuously involved in excuse making. A person who always makes excuses will eventually become involved in cover-ups of problems and end up with a very negative attitude. Living life in a conditional manner is not living life at all.

To be successful you must accept yourself first. Avoiding the ifs and excuses will lead to others helping you overcome any deficits. Successful people take recognized weaknesses and turn them into building blocks for success