“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment,
and learn again to exercise his will and his personal responsibility.”
— Albert Schweitzer
This quote reminds me of when a little kid is caught doing something they shouldn’t and they immediately say, “I didn’t do it,” and the other extreme of Flip Wilson’s comment of, “the devil made me do it.” Or, maybe it was the circumstance that made me do it. . .my alarm clock didn’t go off, there was a wreck on the freeway, my car wouldn’t start, my cell phone died. It could have been anyone or anything, but us.
Somehow we think those excuses, real or imagined, will make it sound better and be a “good” excuse for not coming through with whatever we needed to do. Having been a manager since 1975, I have heard many hundreds of lame excuses for why someone didn’t come through. Since I have heard so many and have had knowledge of most being totally made up, I am skeptical when I hear one anytime now.
Of course, I have to admit, should I desire to be honest, that I have partaken in excuse making myself on many occasions. I’ll tell you a doosey that I’ve never told before, just to show you how lame I could be.
I was driving a 5-yard dump truck for a landscaping company I worked for and I was hired out to rock quarry company to do small deliveries for a period of time. I had a tendency to oversleep or shut the alarm off thinking I’ll close my eyes for just a minute and then an hour or two would pass. I was already on the bad side of the boss for being late before and here I was waking up late again.
I got ready, jumped in the truck and took off to my destination about 15 miles away. About two thirds of the way, I pulled over to the side of the road and put my emergency flashers on, then I got out, opened the hood and pulled out the coil wire from the distributor just enough to not make contact. Some motorist stopped by to help and decided to check the wires and wouldn’t you know, he found it! I got his name and went on my way. He was to be my really good backup to my story of the truck breaking down. I guess it worked, but it was really lame and when I look back 40 plus years at that, it is lamer still.
So, I’ve heard a lot and made some myself. My plan in today’s world is to accept responsibility for my actions and not make excuses. It is a challenge. Excuses work so well we think. It’s not me, it’s the economy. Business is off, it’s not my fault. The dog ate my homework.
I’m working on it–daily. I want to admit it’s my fault when I know deep down it is. I could have done something and I didn’t. I don’t see any value in blame, but I do see plenty of value in accepting responsibility for my actions–or even for my non-actions. If I had a chance, and I didn’t do it, I blew it. If I did it and I performed poorly, I accept responsibility either way.
Of course, sometimes it really isn’t our fault and that’s okay too. Now I just want to know that I gave it my best shot, win or lose and not blame anything or anyone. With this I really feel good. How about you?
I Accept Responsibility For Me!
Spread Some Joy Today–Listen To People Blaming Circumstances And See If You Hear Yourself. . .