Replace Excuses with the Extra Mile
Most people don’t accomplish the goals they have in life because of their own self imposed limitations.
Yep, we're just going to jump right in.
Wondering what’s holding you back? It’s probably you.
Most people don’t realize they’re setting limitations on themselves. They go through life with limiting beliefs, or they develop destructive attitudes, and it absolutely kills their ability to succeed. But they don’t realize that they’re the problem.
Here’s a much needed reminder for most of you: you can grow your life at whatever pace you want! But you need to reset some things in your head so you can get out of the cloud that you didn’t realize you were under.
Over the next 6 weeks, we’re going to talk about some things you need to reset in your mind. I’m calling the series Reset and Replace. There are some WRONG beliefs and attitudes that need replacing with RIGHT ones. To start us off, let’s tackle one of the most common problems in today’s world with what seems like an unlikely solution:
Replace Excuses with the Extra Mile
I once heard that excuses are like armpits: everyone has two and they both stink. Throughout my time in business, I’ve heard every excuse in the book. This person doesn’t have enough money, that person doesn’t have enough time. This person is too young, that person is too old. This person doesn’t have the right personality, that person has too many kids. And that’s barely scratching the surface.
Did you know that the majority of people that have a money problem practically refuse to go after a solution because they don’t have enough money? How mental is that?
So whatever excuse you’ve made for yourself for not moving on...that’s how you sound too.
And here’s the thing: with every excuse I’ve heard, I can point to someone who had that exact same circumstance, could have made that exact excuse, but still chose to win anyway. That’s why I don't buy your excuses.
Excuses are nothing more than self justification. When something less than stellar happens in your life, you feel self justified for what can take you out of the game. “If this happens, surely people will understand,” you say to yourself. But if you’re going to be successful in life, your capacity to deal with the stuff that happens to you HAS to get bigger. You need a higher threshold for what can take you out.
For example, are you the type of person who reschedules for something like rain? For some people, if the weather doesn't cooperate with their plans, they cancel their plans. So, in essence, that means the rain took you out. Are you ok with that?
I know a lot of people who have a lot of kids. We’re talking couples with 4 kids, even 6 kids. But they still have goals and dreams. And you know what, they still go after those goals, because they want it with everything they’ve got. And, like I’ve talked about before, they use their kids as a reason to go after their goals, not an excuse not to. They refuse to let a toddler or a teenager take them out of the game. Would you let your kids take you out?
When you think about it like that, small things start to look very small, don’t they? Wondering what is going to completely take you out of the game will keep things in perspective for you. When you’re about to make an excuse, ask yourself, “is this big enough to take me out?” - and remember that the size of the man is determined by the size of what stops him.
I’ve often found the people who COULD make excuses but DON’T are the ones who actually accomplish what they’re after. It’s because they have a real sense of urgency. They don’t have time to wait around or come up with excuses, they have too much going on in life. It’s not going to be easy, but success was never supposed to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would have been successful already.
There’s always something that you’ve built up in your head about why you’re not moving on. That’s one of those limiting beliefs I’m talking about. You think you can’t move on because you don’t have enough of something, be it time, money, prospects, know-how, whatever. But in all honesty, you just have to structure your life to deal well with the cards you’ve been dealt.
You just need to figure it out. Figure out how to manage your calendar, your finances, whatever is stopping you from moving on like you want to. Whatever your next hurdle is, figure it out. Because your breakthrough is on the other side of your excuses.
So how do you get to the other side of your excuses? You guessed it! By going the extra mile. You take what is required to succeed, and you do a little bit more.
Average is called average because most people are there. If you don't want to be average, by definition, you have to do more. So if you don't find yourself doing things that seem extra, you are on the highway to mediocrity, friends. So when it comes to the extra mile, here’s a good place to start: do things that seem weird to the normals, but they make sense to successful people.
Because if you have big dreams, going the extra mile isn’t crazy. It’s just betting on yourself. And if you’re going to be successful, at some point you’re going to need to bet on yourself, even if other people don’t see why. ESPECIALLY if other people don’t see why...because they probably won’t.
If you’re making excuses, you’re looking for every reason something can’t work, but if you’re going the extra mile, you’re looking for every reason it CAN. This is the extra mile mentality: “if it’s a possibility, how can I make it work?”
The extra mile is also about going above and beyond what’s expected. Not just in regards to what other people expect from you, but with what you expect from yourself. If excuses reveal your capacity, going the extra mile will increase your capacity. Let me explain:
I’ve been back at the gym lately. I know what my “normal” looks like when it comes to benching - both weight and reps. That’s what I generally expect from myself. I started with 3 sets of 5-6 reps, and I slowly built to 7-8 reps.
One day, I was feeling awesome. On my last set, once I got to 8, I just kept going. Let’s see if I can do 1 more, let’s see if I can do 1 more. I ended up doing 15 reps. Now, settling for 7-8 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense any more. Going above and beyond helped me reset in my head the level I was capable of playing at. I increased my capacity.
When you’re feeling good about something, stretch further than you’ve ever gone. Consistency and steady growth is good on a daily basis. But the second you feel like you can do more, don’t settle for incremental increase - increase like crazy! Stretch yourself and do as much as you can, not just some predetermined limit that you’ve come up with for yourself as a “good day”. Then, when you inevitably fall back to something more comfortable, it’s still better than it was before. It resets you to a new normal.
If you do more than you think you can, your excuses disappear pretty fast. If you go above and beyond, regardless of what you have going on in life, you prove to both yourself and the people around you that excuses are worthless, and responsibility is the only thing that matters.
I want to revisit one statement from earlier: if you have big dreams, going the extra mile isn’t crazy. It’s just betting on yourself. So if you’re not going the extra mile, are your dreams not big enough? Are they not worth it? Or do you just not believe in yourself?
Life will pull you in every direction as long as you allow it to. But while life is demanding more of you, I think you need to demand more from your life. Stop embracing average, and start embracing excellence. Stop making excuses, and start going the extra mile. Because you can control the pace that your life develops. It just takes a little reset.
See you next week for another vital mindset replacement!