Progress and the issue of Excuse-fluenza.
How many people tell you what they would ‘love’ to do or ‘wish’ they could do and then quickly say but I can’t because…. Pay attention to this because the truth is we all do it. We have beautiful dreams that we quickly sabotage because we have a mental sneeze which covers our dream in our doubtful slime. This common mental ailment is Excuse-fluenza – it is the contagious mental disease of positive thought and the mental flu of progress. Now, before we go any further, I want to mention that this approach is not about ignoring reality and realistic situations. It is more about how we sabotage ourselves before we start. You may decide to be an astronaut and everyone will think you are a ‘space cadet’ and tell you why you can’t but you could experience being and astronaut by experiencing weightlessness in a simulation machine. The point is there are other ways of doing things and the dream can be landed in reality if you are open to alternatives. When I was in my early twenties I decided that I wanted to go around the world. I had no money to fund it and everyone told me that I had to work and save to do this trip. Well, that was one way, the classic way, but me being me was not going to be told no. I wrote down a list of all the places I dreamt of going and collected the pictures. A few years later I was offered a job as a photographer on an exclusive cruise ship that circumnavigated the globe. During my time on ships I circumnavigated the world eight times and went to Antarctica twice. I am glad that I did not listen to the voices of doubt. If anything I heard them and thought f* you – I WILL FIND A WAY!
While working on the ships I had the privilege to meet some very successful people. They all had a ‘can do’ attitude and certainly didn’t make excuses. Instead they looked for challenges and ways to succeed. One of my favourite moments was in Antarctica when I was stood on the bow of a ship with two very well know mountaineers who were studying various mountains and passes. These mountains had never been conquered and they were discussing the best way to ascend them. I asked them how they dealt with people who ‘told them they couldn’t’. They said they viewed them sympathetically because they realised they were telling them why ‘they’ couldn’t and that ultimately such attitudes led people to lead mediocre lives with no adventure. That was an insight for me because there are always doubters, there are always those who are jealous and in truth that is them – not you. Transform their doubt into fuel and use it to drive you to succeed!!! Hurrah!!!!
So the issue of success and the mental sneeze… Can we all be successful? I believe the answer is yes. According to all the negative messaging we receive – the answer is no. Well actually if we consider how we all define success then we can shift that perception. Success does not mean we all have to be celebrities or millionaires. Instead success is as wonderful as being a loving mother and nurturing a family. To another it might simply be becoming good at dancing. There are different levels of success and quite often the ideals we are fed destroy the success we are experiencing on a daily basis. I think one of the most under-valued successes is being a good friend. Instead we all chase financial ideals, being a celebrity or object ideals to demonstrate our success. Success can be in the person and who the person is. What is the point of achieving being a millionaire and being a selfish git? Financial success with a personality of an arse? Oh well done!!! Clap, clap! Although that individual may well be a huge success at being an arse!
So before going any further, if you wish to work on your success, write a vision of what success is for you? Is it paying off your mortgage? Becoming a world champion water-skier? Going for a jaunt around the world? Or becoming the best friend, mother, confident… When you know what it is that you want to achieve – write down all you mentally snotty reasons why you can’t. Apply the Excuse-fluenza and get it out of your system! Now it is time to realise that is your inner doubter. Next to each negative write two reasons why you can. That is your inner motivator. Now consider the classic ways to achieve it and now consider the alternatives… There are always ways and means, sometimes you simply have to be open to alternatives…
In the meantime, look at your excuses and ask yourself why you are stopping yourself.
I can’t do it because…
I can’t do it because I am too old, too fat, too tired, there is not enough time, I don’t have the money.
Now look at the people who are doing what you desire. I heard someone say they couldn’t start yoga because they were too old. I then mentioned that I had a 90 year old yoga teacher who started yoga in their sixties. The response was – but that is not the same. Actually it is! There are people doing the things you want to achieve who had the same issues. In terms of time – know this: we all have exactly the same hours in the day. Can you swap watching television to focusing on generating success?
As I said, this disease of Excuse-fluenza is an accepted state. We all buy into each other’s mental sneezes and infect each other. The only way you can cure it is by noticing the self-sabotaging thoughts and shifting your mental habits. Use that sneeze a momentum to achieve your success. Good luck!