No excuses.

This is a statement that bears repeating and staking your dreams to. And it’s not negative in any way although it has been used in such a fashion by people who yell at you and tear strips off of you, but they misunderstand the phrase. They have a mindset of winning at all costs, unethically if necessary, and with no consequences. 

But that’s not what no excuses means. It is a powerful statement. One that I’ve encountered before by Jocko Willink in Extreme Ownership. The idea is simple. No matter what happens, who happens or how often it happens, you gotta own your own shit. Not only that, but own all the other shit that goes along with that shit. Yes, that is a lot of shit, but think of the manure you’ll have to nurture and decelerate the growth you’ve been so patiently longing for?

We have a choice in life. We can see ourselves as a chess piece on a board, limited by the movements thrust upon it, or we can be the chess board itself. The chess board is better. When it rains, we can curse the sky and focus on the cold and damp air, or we can use this opportunity to hide indoors, to snuggle up to someone, or to slow down a little. When our life doesn’t go according to plan, perhaps great things will happen because the world is full of happy accidents.

We are a chess board. We need to own everything that happens in our life, even the stuff that we have zero control over. If my kids don’t pick up their dirty clothing, yes that is not my fault. I need to teach them and encourage them to do so in as many ways as humanly possible, but leaving those dirty clothes to just lay on the floor is as much their fault as it is my own. 

This is not an easy pill to swallow, but it is the only pill that has the power to change our outlook on life and the only one to empower us to keep going no matter what. And that’s what’s important. It is never the person who is most talented, or most motivated. It is not the person with the most amount of time or money. It is always the sucker with no excuses that keeps grinding it out until they get to where they want to be.

Take no prisoners and make no excuses.

Kick ass and take names.


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