Welcome to your Friday Field Notes – a short episode delivered each week designed to help you think critically about what it means to be a man.
My goal is to help you become a better leader in your family, your business, and your community.
If you’re interested in getting involved in more discussions like this and want to take charge of your life, I encouage you to check out our elite mastermind, The Iron Council.
This week, I talk about why and you you can crush your excuses.
Transcript, Crushing Excuses
Men, what is going on? Welcome to your Friday Field Notes. I am Ryan Michler and I am the founder of Order of Man. If you’re new to the show today, keep in mind, this is just a quick show we do each and every Friday. Our full-length show is released each Tuesday where I interview the strongest, smartest, toughest, baddest, most successful men on the planet.
So make sure you subscribe to the show so you miss none of those. I promise they’ll be well worth your time!
So, if you’ve listened to me for any amount of time, you know that I’m a guy who gets right to the heart of the matter. I’m not into wasting a bunch of time. Or charming you with a bunch of fluff that has no relevancy in the discussions we’re having. I value your time and I value my time. That said, let’s just jump right into the topic of today: Excuses.
This is a tough discussion for me to have because frankly they piss me off. When my kids or employees give me excuses I get fired up. There is absolutely no reason to come up with excuses in your life.
You either did the job OR you didn’t do the job. Nobody cares why or how you did or didn’t do it. They just care whether or not you got it done.
Now, it’s easy for us to recognize when others make excuses but do we recognize it in ourselves. Probably not. The reality is, is that we’ve been coming up with excuses our entire lives and, because we come up with so many excuses, we don’t even recognize that we’re doing it any more.
When you were a kids you came up with all the reasons in the world why you didn’t get you chores done.
When you got a little older you told the teacher why you didn’t get your homework done.
When you got into your career you told your boss why you didn’t hit the deadline for that project.
Maybe now, you don’t have anyone to report to. So, instead of sharing your excuses with others, you share them with yourself. Why you didn’t get the promotion. Why your marriage is falling apart. Why your out of shape. Why you went bankrupt.
Excuses really aren’t the problem though. The problem is the underlying threat of the excuse you’re making. When you tell others or yourself why you didn’t succeed, typically you’re blaming someone else or something else – something completely outside your control. My boss doesn’t like me. The economy is bad. My wife doesn’t appreciate me. I’m too busy. On and on and on.
Because if, for example you’re going through a divorce, and your excuse is my wife didn’t care about me, great – how does that serve you.
Now, on the other hand, if you said you’re going through a divorce because you’re an asshole. Great – now we actually have something to work with. We need to help you be less of an ass. That’s within your control.
But that’s not really what happens, right? You wouldn’t call yourself out like that, would you. Let me tell you something – the most successful people on the planet do just that. They take the blame. They take the fall and they learn from those failures.
Look, here’s the deal. I want you to be powerful. Powerful in your relationships, powerful in your career, powerful with your money, and physically, mentally, and emotionally powerful.
But each time you make excuses based on what someone else did or some outside factor, you whittle away at that power. You become weak.
We all know that weenie in the office. He’s conniving. He’s sniveling. What do you think that about the person? The reason you think that is because he makes excuses for his poor performance. It’s not the poor performance that ticks you off – it’s the lack of ability to OWN that performance.
Don’t be that guy!
First: recognize that your excuses have expiration dates. You can only sulk on your misfortune for so long before it’s time to put your big-boy pants on and drive on.
Most of you know I grew up without a father-figure in my home. I didn’t have a role model. I won’t get into it here (if you want to know more about my story, go listen to past episodes of my podcast), but it would have been easy for me to be a piece of crap. And, everyone would have said, “Oh, I feel bad for Ryan. He didn’t ever have a dad.”
Lame. I cannot fall back on that anymore. I am a grown man with my own life. I’ve been through trials. I’ve had life lessons. I’ve learned some things. And, my life is MY OWN!
Second: Eliminate the need to explain every single thing you did throughout the day – good and bad. When you feel it necessary to explain everything, you’re more likely to make excuses. Remember, NOBODY CARES why or how you did something – they just care about whether or not you did it.
When I went to Army Basic Training in 2000, me and my buddies from high school got very used to the phrase, “no excuses.” When we messed up in training, we would tell our drill sergeants, “no excuses.” When they guy next to us would then proceed to make his excuse, he would get smoked (which is a term for getting your ass kicked through pushups, situps, and pull-ups until you puked).
We would catch these drill sergeants so off guard because they were so used to privates giving them a reason for their failures. After we would say, “no excuses” the drill sergeants would look at us and say, “fine, do it better next time.” Got it.
Third: Stop looking at other people. Why do we care so much about what other people do? I fall into this trap too. I get it. But, we need to STOP.
Looking at what other people do or don’t do is a recipe for disaster. First, you’re going to get caught in the comparison trap (not a good place to be) or you’re going to start throwing people under the bus.
My oldest will come rat his brother out every once in a while for something he did. You know what – it pisses everyone off. Me, his mother, his brother. Nobody likes a snitch.
Here’s an idea: let others worry about their stuff and you worry about yours. Done, end of discussion.
When you start getting into that blame game, no one is going to work with you and you won’t get whatever you need to done. Besides, can you really control what they do? No, you can only control yourself. They’ll make their own bed.
This is a lesson we teach our kids but we don’t even adhere to it ourselves!
Alright guys, there you go. I could go on about this all day but I told you it would be a short show.
Bottom line: own everything that happens in your life. It may not be your fault but it doesn’t matter. Focus on what you can control: yourself and quit making excuses as to why something you said would happen didn’t.
It’s the only way to reclaim your power and be the man you’re working to become.
Now, if you want to learn more about how to do this and take control of your life, keep listening to the podcasts and consider joining our elite mastermind, The Iron Council. This is a group of men (myself included) who will hold your feet to the fire. We don’t let you make excuses. We ask you to identify your goals, then we help you accomplish them. That simple.
You can learn more about that at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.
But, until then, eliminate excuses, own your choices, accept consequences, and be a man!