Failures have excuses…Successes have stories

The unfortunate truth is that some of us start making excuses long before the failure is complete…


The excuse:  “We were in trouble right from the start.  We started in the dark and two of our headlamps wouldn’t work.  It started raining as we approached the halfway mark.  The mud really slowed us down.  Then, Jeremy slipped and fell and muddied up all his gear.  We knew we couldn’t make it to the summit and back before sunset, so we decided to turn back.”

The story: “That hike was epic!  We started in the dark.  We had to share John’s headlamp because ours stopped working for some reason.  When the sun finally came up, it started raining.  Hard.  The mud made for slow going.  When Jeremy fell in that massive mud puddle, we just cracked up, wondering what else this hike would throw at us.  It took about ten minutes to get him cleaned up.  Once the storm passed, we had to double-time it to make it to the summit before dark.  We got there with plenty of time to spare.  It was awesome!”

The excuse:  “There was no way we could have made the goal.  The economy turned sour on us in the second quarter.  Some bozo from IT botched the server install, and it took nearly two months to get everything configured properly.  That didn’t leave enough time for the developers to deliver on schedule.  All in all, it’s amazing we’re still in business.”

The story:  “Can you believe it?  We were pulling all-nighters for weeks because some bozo from IT botched our server install.  But, we made the release date.  Customers loved it, and we hit our sales target.  Nobody thought that could happen in this economy.”

Have you ever noticed that failures have excuses, and successes have stories?

The unfortunate truth is that some of us start making excuses long before the failure is complete.  We run into a hurdle, lose our belief in the goal, or simply lose hope that we can achieve success.

So, we get busy preparing excuses.

Our failure must be justified.  First to ourselves, and then to everyone else.  It’s even better if we can find allies to help us create better excuses.  Excuse making often replaces the work that just might deliver success.

Are successes perfect?  Far from it.

Success rarely comes without adversity.  Success usually requires new tactics, mid-course corrections, and tons of hard work.  Overcoming the odds, leaping over the hurdles, finding creative solutions…these give power to the stories we tell about our success.

Imagine a world where adversity strengthens our success stories, rather than bolstering the excuses we make for our failures.

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.”  -Author Unknown

p/c:, Samuel Clara

Author: Bob Dailey

Born and raised in Southern California. Graduated from (and met my future wife at) Cal Poly Pomona, in 1988. Married to Janet for almost 35 years. Father of two: Julianne and Jennifer. Grandfather of 7. Held many positions in small, medium, and large companies. Trail runner, competitive stair climber, backpacker, camper, off-roader, world traveler, sometimes writer.

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