“Don’t you dare take the lazy way.
It’s too easy to excuse yourself because of your ancestry.
Don’t let me catch you doing it!
Now — look close at me so you will remember.
Whatever you do, it will be you who do.”
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden
All too often we make excuses for the people we surround ourselves with. Doubt that?
Think about your 10 closest friends. Now find the one who is the least productive, the crybaby, the finger-pointer, the drama king or queen, the one who sucks the very life out of you. Now try in vain to rationalize, apologize, and excuse away why you keep going back to that person. More than likely, you justify to yourself the continued offensive or tiring conduct and personality of your friend (or family member).
When you create those delusional defenses, your own life becomes a little less magical.
In case you’re still wondering who the people are in your life who are standing in the way of your success, here are some of the things you’re likely to hear come out of their mouths.
Listen, with care, for these warning signs so that you can either help people out of their non-magical thinking (presuming, of course, they even want help) or stay well clear of their disempowering presence. (Just a quick note: the following excuses are warning signs when they are said “all” the time not just “some” of the time. Think of this as a quick start guide to identifying the people who exhaust—rather than nourish—you.)
1. I don’t understand why these things always happen to me.
Let’s get real. There are some people who are shit magnets. If something bad’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to them. The real challenge with these types is that they refuse to look for and correct the patterns of belief and actions that have tethered them to the little black cloud over their heads.
2. It’s not my fault.
Real magicians understand that one of the most powerful things they can do is accept responsibility for everything that happens to them. After all, if you’re the problem, then you’re also the solution. And that realization brings with it ultimate control. People who constantly claim “it’s not my fault” doom themselves to continued failure.
3. That’s impossible (or I can’t).
Richard Bach once wrote, “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” Successful magicians know that what appears impossible for others is always possible with sufficient desire, belief, intention, and action. When you surround yourself with people who consistently tell you that things can’t happen or particular goals are unrealistic, run like hell in the other direction. Magicians make it part of their DNA to do things no one else has done. And they don’t accept “no,” for an answer, which brings us to . . .
Do you have one or more polarity responders in your life. These are people who disagree with everything you say or do exactly the opposite of what is asked of them. They are the ones who can give you every reason why something can’t be done. Remember: “No” is just a suggestion for magicians—not a definition of reality.
5. But what will everyone else think?
This is actually a big challenge for most people—wanting to please everyone. In fact, you likely have people who deprive you of your magic because you’ve thought this. Rather than falling prey to this question or surrounding yourself with someone who’s always asking this, I challenge you to start living your life as a rebel: someone who isn’t afraid to show the great independence with which you were born.
6. That’s not my job (or That’s above my pay-grade).
The real successes you see around you have certain things in common. They are loyal. They are dependable. And they’re willing to go the extra mile! You can’t go the extra mile and say “that’s not my job.” They are mutually exclusive. At the very least, if it’s really not your job and you really aren’t allowed to take action for whatever reason because of company policies, then at the very least help orchestrate a solution if you can’t be the solution.
7. I know that already.
Successful magicians are always learning and taking in new information. They are like a cup that is continually emptied so that it can hold new stuff. People who are know-it-alls or who are closed-minded usually end up being rude, disrespectful and uninformed. As a successful magician, yourself, you can’t afford to encourage such ignorance because, once you condone it, you open the door for infecting yourself with the same trait.
8. I’m still working on it (or I’ll get to it later)
Successful magicians get stuff done. They don’t procrastinate. And they set what others see as unrealistic deadlines because they know those deadlines are how things get done powerfully, effectively, and efficiently. When you find someone who drags their feet getting things done you can be sure that they will likely drag you down with them.
ONE FINAL WORD OF WARNING – Non-magicians will argue fiercely that, by not being sympathetic to their plight in the world, you are . . . an asshole. You might want to look at my four-part series, “An Occasional A**hole’s Guide to Being a Decent Human Being” to help steer you though the fallout.
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