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The Day I Made an Excuse That Almost Got Me into Trouble

 The Day I Made An Excuse That Almost Failed was one of my favorite self-help books. Author Jennifer Schneider has us reliving the big "C" - crisis, critical thinking, creativity and calm under pressure. It's a great book for any time we feel like we just can't do anything right and our brains are on fire. I especially like it when the pressure is on and all we can think of is "Why am I doing this to myself?" or "What do I have to lose?"

This story begins with Jennifer's admission that she almost lost her job. Her boss, who also was very close to her, had suggested she take a leave without pay in order to stabilize her career. This is when Jennifer really started looking for that "plan B," since she had no idea what else she could do. But she had been meaning to start a home-based business for years, and she was almost resigned to never leaving her job.

As she was packing to leave, a co-worker said to her, "You almost got fired. What happened?" Jennifer was taken by surprise and didn't know how to respond. So she told the story:

A few days later, her boss called to offer her a promotion instead. Instead of accepting the promotion, she left the company and enrolled in an online business course. She earned her first thousand dollars in two weeks and felt so much better about herself. She didn't understand why her previous excuses had not prevented her from going back to work.

I've been where you're at. You've convinced yourself that things are beyond your control. You convince yourself that you can't fix them. You tell yourself that you'll just end up resigning because of your pride. And the worst part is...you CAN fix it!

The day i made an excuse that almost got me fired, I realized that I had been fooling myself. There are things beyond my control. There is no reason to ever allow myself to become a victim of success. I learned that I CAN control my future and happiness, instead of just hoping that things will go my way.

If you're going to succeed with whatever it is you're doing, you have to make sure that you stop making excuses. The ones that don't work anymore become your excuses, because they feel like the right thing to do at the time. But what if you could determine which ones worked and then use them as plans for the future? You wouldn't be stuck in a rut, would you?

So today, when you feel yourself making an excuse, take a second and ask yourself if that excuse could be used to become more successful. If so, great! Use it. I did!

The best use of an excuse is when you're planning to achieve something. If you've done that, you can use your excuse to get more done. And what could be more important than achieving more? It means getting more done while having fun. And that's what I've found is most important.

And when you're planning to accomplish something, if you've already made an excuse in your head, forget about it. It won't help you. It's like swimming with a dangerous shark, swimming where you don't want to be.

Instead, focus on today. What could you do right now to improve your life? You might realize that you can't accomplish everything you want to, but that's okay. The important thing is that you're doing something. Something that brings you joy, allows you to meet your goals, and leaves you feeling good about who you are. That's the way I feel every day after I make an excuse for not doing something I really want to do.

I've told you before that we're humans, not robots. That means that we make and respond to excuses. So I ask you: Have you ever used an excuse in your life that nearly got you into trouble? Have you ever taken an excuse, looked at it real hard, and thought to yourself that "this can't be the end" or "this is too good to be true?" Then you followed through on that thought, and you found out exactly why it almost got you into trouble