Give Up Your Excuses and Live!
We have bought into a lie. The lie tells us to "stay in school, get a degree, get a job, get a promotion, retire happy." And this is the exact source of our misery.
Most people are so busy surviving life that they forget to live.
And we tell ourselves all kinds of stories to keep us stuck in this narrative. After all isn't EVERYBODY doing the same thing?
Yes, you are right. The majority of people are doing exactly that. They have bought into the lie that your life will be wonderful if you just behave and follow the rules and expectations outlined for you.
I encourage you to take a look around. How do you see that working out for most people in our circle?
I used to be on this treadmill. Treadmill is a great description for this kind of life. You are real busy working real hard but going absolutely nowhere.
I call it "working in the wrong direction."
The problem is that seeing life through this narrative keeps us from seeing the possibilities right within our reach. And worse than that, we begin to make excuses for why we should stay on this path.
Just in case you missed the news flash, traditional jobs are disappearing at an alarming rate. The traditional educational model is slowly disappearing. And the full-time job is going away.
I don't throw out these facts to alarm you but rather to wake you up to today's reality. A silent revolution is happening while you are on the treadmill.
But convincing ourselves to step off of that treadmill can be tricky. At the end of the day, there are bills to pay.
In the meantime, I need you to work on the art of "no excuses." Shifting into this mode will get you off of the treadmill where you will find an exciting life beyond your current imagination.
Creating a "no excuses" zone gives your mind permission to imagine and wonder. And imagination and wonder is the fuel for your dreams.
Your imagination is where the magic happens, that is where a seed of success is sown and you reap the reward by keeping focused on your ultimate goal. ~Asad Meah, Awaken the Greatness Within
I wish that I could take back all of the years worth of excuses I made for not going for the life of my dreams. I stayed inside of my comfort zone telling myself "this is good enough." All the while I longed for something more that what I saw.
My pivotal moment came at a time in my life when I had the best excuse to stop dreaming. I had been diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis.
It all started during the holiday season of 2009. I was my usual kind of busy with family events, church events, and holiday shopping. And I was feeling exhausted. So exhausted that my close family started to notice.
My doctor had no answers for me. "Get some rest." Yeah, right. I kept going until my body stopped cooperating. I was sleeping more than usual. I couldn't sleep when I wanted to but would fall asleep when I didn't need to. I began to notice other strange symptoms: itchy eyes, itchy palms, and an off digestive system.
After a misdiagnosis by my doctor, I finally ended up in the emergency room with "an angry liver" as the attending physician described it. The next day, I was visited by a hepatologist who delivered the shocking news: I was 48 hours away from liver failure.
Autoimmune hepatitis is liver inflammation that occurs when your body's immune system turns against liver cells. The exact cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unclear, but genetic and environmental factors appear to interact over time in triggering the disease.
Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and eventually to liver failure. When diagnosed and treated early, however, autoimmune hepatitis often can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system.
A liver transplant may be an option when autoimmune hepatitis doesn't respond to drug treatments or when liver disease is advanced.
The road to recovery was long and I had much time to think. About life and about what really matters. And I made one conclusion: I had spent a lot of my life making excuses for not doing what I really wanted to do.
I am grateful that the medication did work. After ten months of slow and steady recovery, I decided to do something that I wanted to do before I became ill. I wanted to run a 5K.
For some, that may not seem like a big goal. But for an over the hill, overweight asthmatic, who had never been an athlete, it was a pretty big deal. I started with a walking program. In January 2011, I started my walking program.
I slowly transitioned from walking to running. I began to experience the freedom of becoming something that I never thought I could be - a runner.
Then tragedy struck. In April 2011, my Mother suddenly passed away. I was devastated.
But I kept on running. I tell people that running was my therapy. I would run and pray. And pray and run. And cry and run. And run and cry. And pray and cry. Sometimes doing all three at the same time.
I had the perfect excuse to quit. Why should I push myself so hard?
The key here is that I refused to give myself an out. Instead of my mother's death becoming a reason for me to quit, it became a reason for me to go on.
And in June 2011, I placed solidly in the middle of the pack in my age group for my first 5K.
EMALE AGE GROUP: 40 - 44 Place No. Name Age City,st Time ===== ==== ==================== === =================== ========== 1 1740 Barbara Ensign 42 Chattanooga TN 24:48.02 2 1324 Susan Miller 43 Chattanooga TN 25:31.06 3 1617 Veronica Zukowsky 40 White GA 26:51.12 4 1510 Leslie Wortman 42 Hixson TN 29:23.93 5 1044 Kristiina Braden 41 Hixson TN 30:24.59 6 1031 Christie Birdwell 43 Sparta TN 30:43.85 7 1052 Christal Brown 42 Soddy Daisy TN 31:03.38 8 1530 Jacqueline Smith 40 Hixson TN 31:22.52 9 1219 Angela Holloway 40 Chattanooga TN 31:43.66 10 1463 Annette Thomas 44 Cleveland TN 32:26.23 11 1647 Katie Warwick 43 Chattanooga TN 32:55.04 12 1148 Sarah Finch 42 Epworth GA 33:14.49 13 1657 Barbara Winer 40 Tampa FL 34:00.04 14 1462 Karen Templeton 43 Ooltewah TN 34:00.52 15 1357 Melissa Palus 40 Ooltewah TN 37:09.08 16 1378 Yolanda Putman 40 Chattanooga TN 37:39.72 17 1069 Lorie Calbaugh 42 Soddy Daisy TN 37:58.36 18 1021 Athena E Barta 42 Rossville GA 38:20.53 19 1232 Kisook Jancewicz 43 Hixson TN 38:20.61 20 1340 Rebecca Mott 43 Chattanooga TN 38:25.54 21 1156 Stacey Fraker 43 Signal Mountain TN 40:17.58 22 1303 Dreama D Martin 40 Soddy Daisy TN 40:18.87 23 1249 Andriene Jones 42 Chattanooga TN 41:10.06 24 1313 Gina McDaniel 41 Harrison TN 41:23.43 25 1061 Denise Burchard 40 Chattanooga TN 43:24.66 26 1602 Candace Featherstone 41 Chattanooga TN 43:26.45 27 1350 Laura Owen 43 Fort Payne AL 43:57.12 28 1366 Ginger Phillips 41 Rossville GA 43:59.91 29 1485 April Vroom 42 Hixson TN 44:27.29 30 1071 Belinda M Campbell 41 Charleston TN 44:28.81 31 1109 Michelle Davenport 40 Ooltewah TN 44:46.98 32 1199 Christie Harden 41 Ringgold GA 45:54.32 33 1569 Shannon Mobley 41 Chattanooga TN 46:06.10 34 1464 Denise Thomason 41 Flintstone GA 48:04.87 35 1404 Dee Rowland 41 Harrison TN 50:15.13 36 1188 Tammy Greene 41 Ooltewah TN 51:39.70 37 1486 Karen Wagner 41 Dunlap TN 51:41.12 38 1187 Sheri Greene 43 Dunlap TN 53:57.56 39 1204 Khrischell Harrison 41 Chattanooga TN 55:41.70 40 1353 Shauna Page 40 Jasper TN 56:17.52 41 1252 Sherry L. Kalonich 41 Dunlap TN 58:16.14 42 1508 Jennifer Wooten 42 Harrison TN 1:01:10.95 43 1652 Barbara Grant 41 Rossville GA 1:02:09.76 44 1029 Shirley D Bennett 44 Rossville GA 1:16:51.87
Life happens. It always does. But life is not about what happens to you. Life is about what you do when life happens to you.
And I decided that my life was bigger than my disease. And bigger than death.
And most of all, life was bigger than all of the excuses that I made while trying to "play small" inside of my comfortable ways.
When I preach to you about the power of freedom, it is from this place of pain in my life.
I understand what it is like to feel your heart crushed and have your body broken - and to keep moving through it.
The power is in your mind, your faith, and your will to go on.
“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
I do not hold myself up to have suffered more than others. I count my suffering mild in comparison with some. The point is not in the degree of suffering that we encounter. The point is our attitude towards that suffering.
Will we use the suffering of life to keep us from living it?
In the life of the recently departed Stephen Hawking, we see the truth of what I am saying shine.
The 76-year-old was confined to a wheelchair by a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a neurological disease that impacts movement. He communicated via a speech synthesizer. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS at 21. ~ Mary Bowman, USA Today
Although I disagree with Stephen about the afterlife, I do agree with the way that he lived his life: boldly and fearlessly facing day after day with a zeal to do what he was meant to do.
In his story, I find the inspiration to give up my small excuses. If a man who was told "you only have two years to live" and who took on a disease that make most people faint with fear and lived beyond what they said he could, who am I to give up and play small about things that matter less.
And who are you to play small about the things that really matter?
I wish that I could say that I don't give myself any excuses. The truth is that I am still learning and growing beyond where I ever thought I could be. The truth is that I have to motivate myself everyday to stretch, to grow, and to move through my fears. I force myself to imagine and wonder.
And in the midst of imagining and wondering, I find my way to what really matters to me and the world around me.
If you are tired of going around in circles, it is time for you to pause and take inventory of why.
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. ~Michael Chitwood, Winning Principles for Success-N-Life
Join me in this fearless journey of giving up excuses. Decide now that you refuse to give yourself an "out" on your dreams. Light the fire of hope in your soul, grab some courage, and let's go!
A bigger life is waiting for you.
One of the best things that I have ever done was hire a coach. In fact, I have hired several coaches over the last decade. Each time, my coach helps me press the up button to take my life to a new level. Get my free guide to discover how you can do the same.