What's Your Excuse?
For the last 13 days I've been glued to the TV, watching the 2008 Olympics.
Last week Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte won a Bronze medal in the Men's 400-meter Individual Medley. What no one knew at the time was that he did so while fighting a wicked stomach virus.
When he was interviewed after the race, he never said a word about being sick. He didn't apologize for the swim and he didn't make any excuses for it. It was what it was, and he came in 3rd place.
Two months ago an actor contacted me about coaching together. We set up an introductory session and when the day came for us to speak, he never showed up for the call. I tried calling him three times, to no avail.
The next day he sent me an email, with a long explanation (i.e. a bunch of excuses) as to why he missed the call, and begged me for another opportunity to speak with me. I sent him an email back with a few consultation time slots to choose from, and four weeks later, I have yet to hear back from him.
The other day I was on a call with a woman who is a talented performer in her own right. When we started talking about missed audition opportunities that had recently come her way, she, too, had a bunch of excuses as to why she wasn't pursuing her career.
You see, that's exactly what these two actors offered me: Excuses. And, the problem with excuses is that the only person they affect is the one making them.
Last night I watched the Women's 10-meter Platform Diving semi-finals. Personally I'm rooting for Laura Wilkinson, the Olympic Gold Medalist in the 2000 games. After 3 rounds of dives, Laura was in 14th place, with 2 rounds of diving remaining (the first 12 places qualify to dive in the finals). Her coach said that she has a tricep injury that's keeping her from performing at her best right now.
Once the semi-finals were over, Laura (who is currently in 6th place) was interviewed on TV and asked if the tricep injury was affecting her performance the way her coach said it was. Her answer was "No." She went on to say that her 6th place finish wasn't about her injury - it was about what was going on in her head, implying a lack of confidence that she was dealing with at that moment in time.
That's being honest. She could have used her injury as an excuse, but she didn't. She spoke the truth and today she will get back on that 10-meter platform and do her best.
So what about you? Are living in integrity? Or, are you too busy making up excuses to realize that the only person you're hurting is yourself?
The good news is that at this very moment you can choose to change.
Editor: Manohar Khushalani
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