No More Excuses!

I once had a teacher who said, “Excuses are like armpits; everyone has them and they all stink.” Well thank goodness for deodorant, but what can be done about the excuses we all make?
People have all kinds of reasons for not taking action to improve their health and wellbeing. GreenAppleMany claim to be too tired, sick, busy, disadvantaged or weak to make the lifestyle changes they need to improve their health. Whatever the reason, instead of choosing to make an effort, people often make excuses and choose, by their inaction, to stay stuck in mediocrity.
Aren’t you inspired by individuals who overcome amazing obstacles to achieve greatness? History is full of individuals who surpassed their own limitations. The Greek poet Homer, the English poet John Milton, and the American historian William Prescott had good excuses—they were blind. Athenian Demosthenes, one of the greatest of all orators, had wonderful excuses—his lungs were weak, his voice was hoarse and unmusical, and he stuttered. The infamous German composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, continued to compose even after he became completely deaf. Each of these individuals had prime excuses for giving up- but they never used them!
To a large degree, our choices determine our destiny. Stop and ask yourself, “What excuses am I using that are keeping me from greatness?” I urge you to push forward and discipline yourself to achieve the worthy goals you want to obtain. Benjamin N. Woodson had a great thought on self-discipline:
“For my part, I have concluded that the quality which sets one man apart from another—the factor which lifts one man to every achievement to which he reasonably aspires, while the other is caught in the slough of mediocrity for all the years of his life—is not talent, nor formal education, nor luck, nor intellectual brilliance. But is rather, the successful man’s greater capacity for self-discipline.”
Recently, I witnessed an extraordinary demonstration of self-discipline from one of my pediatric clients. My client (and his mother) visited my office for weight management. He, like many overweight kids, was a victim of bullying and had very low self-confidence. A few short weeks later, I met with him again and was SO impressed by his success and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, despite the cruelty from his peers, and blatant lack of support shown by his siblings and father. Too many of us want success to be effortless, and even painless. However, any worthy goal is going to come with some resistance.
What’s getting in your way? The primary obstacle to success is excuse-making. I urge you to seek to be better than mediocre- overcome your excuses and seek excellence.

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