Before I begin this incredibly important article, I’d like to share some pretty
personal information with you. Roughly one year ago, I was homeless. After being kicked out of my families home (call it tough love); I house-hopped, broke into cars to sleep, and eventually took out a loan to move to Santa Barbara, CA with my angelic girlfriend.
Our apartment ended up being an especially negative environment. Desperately in need of money, I picked up the first retail job I could find, and fucking hated it. My boss was disrespectful and I rarely got off work on time. To give you an idea of how bad it was, I remember starting my hour long walk home at 2 am after being scheduled to work from 11 am to 4 pm on several separate occasions. I would arrive home at three in the morning to my coked out, aggressive roommate, who screamed at and threatened the household until odd hours of the night on a consistent basis.
Even through all of this extra work (I wasn’t paid overtime) I still wasn’t making enough to pay for both my rent and groceries, let alone the debt I had accrued, so I did what no human on this earth wants to do: I picked up a second job.
As a newly hired barista, I was waking up at 4:30 am to get to the coffee shop for my 5 am morning shift. I would work there until roughly 9 am, before heading to my retail job from 10 am to 8 pm. I would then go home to deal with my roommate, wake up at 4:30 am, go to my first job and just repeat the process.
Time passed, I quit my retail job. More time passed, me and my lady began looking at apartments in the area. After searching for two months we found a beautiful little studio. We applied, got accepted, and within a day we were all moved in. With winter upon us, and the new rent being almost double the old, it was time for me to get another second job.
I was hired by a fine dining restaurant at around the same time that my girlfriend took a trip to the Bay Area for a couple of months to visit her family. The fifteen minute drive to my first job turned into a two hour walk, my second job was an hour from that, and so on. Most mornings I was awake by 2:45 am. I’d close my studio door and begin my voyage into the pitch black night at 3:00 am precisely.
After walking two hours in the blistering cold I would work the 5 am- 1:30 pm shift at my first job, before grabbing a bite to eat and making the hour long treck to my second. Once there I would work from 3:00 pm through the evening. At around 9:30 pm I’d start walking home. An hour later I would arrive and make myself dinner. By the time I was done eating it would be 11:30 pm, and I’d spend thirty minutes to myself before passing out at midnight, exhausted.
By two forty-five I was up again, by three I was off into the icy morning, by five I was at work, and the cycle continued.
Two months later my girlfriend came home.
A month after my girlfriend came home I was debt free.
A month after I was debt free I quit my restaurant job.
The day I quit my restaurant job I built a website and started making money online.
Why, after years of struggling economically, did my financial situation improve?
I finally stopped making excuses and went through the bullshit.
Eliminate The Victim Mindset
The first step to getting rid of your excuses is eliminating your victim mentality. Stop feeling bad for yourself. As tough to hear as this is, the fact that you believe you deserve more than what you have isn’t helping you actually obtain what you want. Life isn’t fair, there are going to be a million obstacles in between you and your dreams. You’re going to have to overcome every single one of them in order to live the life you want.
You have a decision to make: You can either feel sorry for yourself and accept things the way they are, or you can figure out what you need to do, start doing it, and climb towards accomplishing whatever it is you want to have accomplished.
The Best Way Out Is Always Through
If you’re making excuses as to why you’re not doing things you should be doing, always remember that the best way out of a situation is through it. For instance, when it came to my debt, the best way to escape it was to get two jobs, work my ass off for four months, and tackle the problem head on.
When it comes to canceling plans with a friend, or talking to your boss about something you don’t really want to talk about, just do it. Dive into whatever it is you’re avoiding and get it out of the way.
When you arrive home after a long day of school and you have a stack of unfinished homework due tomorrow, instead of procrastinating, just start. Jump into it with a venom and when it’s all done you’ll feel so much better about both yourself and the situation.
Stop Making Excuses. Begin getting out of situations by going straight through them. Your problems aren’t going to improve until you do something to improve them. Tackle them head on and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
Stop Playing The Blame Game
My high school soccer team was legendary. We won something close to twelve consecutive league championships. One evening, we tied a particularly rough game we needed to win on a questionable penalty kick awarded to our opposition in the 88th minute. On our walk to the locker room after the game, our coach overheard one of my team mates complaining about the referees late call, and he took the moment to deliver a speech that has stuck with me ever since.
He said that we were a great team, full of great players, but that we still had a lot to learn before we became champions. The difference between great players and champions, he said, is that occasionally, when there are wild, extenuating circumstances, great players tie or lose. Champions overcome crazy, unfair circumstances all the time.
When the referee makes a terrible call that allows the other team to score in the 88th minute, great players tie. A Champion would never let the game be close enough for a referees 88th minute decision to influence the outcome. You see, the difference between great players and champions, is that great players make excuses. Champions always win.
You only live once, and you’re blessed with the opportunity to live your one life however you choose. You have the opportunity to fail completely, or to reach insane levels of success. Nobody cares that your Dad didn’t set you up for success. When you’re thirty, nobody cares that you didn’t get the right support system growing up. You’re the only person that gets to take control of the direction your life goes. Don’t make excuses for your lack of success. Don’t blame others for your failures. You have the power to take action and make the most out of your life. You can go out and take control of your social life, you can put in the time and get good with women, you can go to the gym and eat right, you can put in the work to take control of your life financially. You can do that. You have that power! You really do have the power to live out your dreams, you just have to stop making excuses to get there.
In the end, you’re either going to have excuses as to why things didn’t work out, or you’re going to be successful. What choice will you make, play the blame game or live the life of a champion?
Create A Plan, Stop Talking, And Take Action
Now that you’ve eliminated your victim mindset, you’re tackling your obstacles head on, and you’ve stopped playing the blame game, you need to create a plan that will take you to success. Pick a destination you want to head towards, and begin creating a strategy as to how you’re going to get there.
Once your plan is in place and you’re ready to rock and roll, stop talking about what you’re going to do. When I was broke, I would talk about all the things I was going to do to make money. In fact, I’d spend so much time talking about what I was going to do, that I never actually had time to get it done. Instead, take action and then talk about what you’ve already accomplished.
Gun To The Head Mentality
Commit to accomplishing your goals once. After you’ve made your commitment I want you to imagine that there is a man, holding a gun to your head, and if you don’t fulfill your commitment, he’s going to fucking kill you. If you slip up one time, that’s it, game over, you’re dead. That’s how seriously I want you to take this.
If someone put a gun to your head and told you that you had to
get an A on every single homework assignment, test, and quiz
for an entire school semester, would you have a 4.0 GPA when everything was said and done? I bet you would. People don’t push themselves to the limit. Stop making excuses and go all out to achieve your dreams. Push yourself to your limit.
Imagine how much you could accomplish if you applied this mentality to every single area of your life. Imagine how much more energy you’d put into everything you do and the rewards you would reap output wise from doing so.
Stop Making Excuses: Wrapping Things Up
Back when I was getting out of debt there were so many mornings that I woke up and had to force myself out of bed, dead tired, in physical pain from the previous weeks work, to begin my two hour walk. There were countless mornings in which I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Nobody stood over me to make sure I woke up on time. Nobody was there to see to it that once my alarm clock rang I actually got out of bed and made it out the door. I could have so easily skipped work and slept in:
Why didn’t I? I had a gun to the head mentality about getting out of debt. I knew that feeling bad for myself wasn’t going to help my situation. I also knew that I had to deal with my problem head on. I was sick of blaming my lack of success on other people. I had a plan, I took action in accordance with my plan, and stuck to it.
However, the most important thing that I did, far and away, was this: I stopped making excuses and found a way to overcome all of my obstacles. I became a champion.