Monday, February 22, 2016

The Art of Making Excuses: How We Cheat Ourselves Out of Pursuing Our Dreams

It's Inspiration Monday

In this section I'm talking about what inspires me in the hopes of inspiring you a little to reach for the dream. Or just get through the most hated day of the week.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I LOVE TED Talks. I love listening to all those wonderful and inventive (and sometimes very funny) people who talk about overcoming obstacles and making their dream come true. So, you'll be seeing a lot of TED here.

One of the wittiest, funniest and most direct talks was given by Larry Smith, an economist, who told the audience, in detail, why they would fail to have a great career. He explained the logic behind the excuses people use to avoid going after the thing they want. Just take a look, you'll love the intensity and wit with which he speaks:


When it came to making excuses about not pursuing the dream, I was guilty as heck. It seemed like I was stuck in the not-so-comfortable comfort zone, where I felt something was missing from my life, but I couldn't be bothered to go out of my way to reach for it. The real kicker? I used to get so frustrated with my friend who was doing the same.


One of the most common excuses we give ourselves when faced with the option to chase the dream. I really want to start my own company ... But what if it doesn't pan out? I'll have wasted all my money and I'll be broke and ... Now, I'm not saying that it can't happen. But why give up before you've even tried? And, if you're to scared to take on the big goals right away, just start small. Try that recipe you've always wanted. Write a story. Small successes will give you the boost and the courage to take on big challenges.


I have to admit. This was, and still is, one of my biggest fears. Every time I think about trying something I get paralyzed by the fear that somewhere, someone will see my work and think: "What a joke!" (this blog being no exception).

But here's what I realized after looking more deeply into the work of successful people and how others react at them: There's always going to be haters. There's always going to be someone to laugh at you or mock you or tell you you suck ... But guess what! To counter those voices, there will also always be people who will think you're awesome. Draw your inspiration from those and don't listen to haters. Never be scared of constructive criticism but ignore those who criticize just because. They're probably just jelly, anyway.


"Do you really think it's appropriate to take children and use them as a human shield?"

Smith urges you to ask yourself that question every time you wish to do something, but you're put off by not wanting to be a bad person. And it doesn't necessarily have to be children. It can be your boyfriend who needs you, your unemployed friend who you think would feel bad if you were more successful than her, or anyone else.

Each and every time you stop yourself from achieving your goals because of other people, you're screwing yourself over. You're not responsible for other people's feelings and their decisions and you shouldn't feel bad about you so they can feel better about themselves.

Then, there are people who will try to make you stop chasing your dream by saying that you're somehow hurting them. Be it your boyfriend who doesn't want you to audition for a movie because "other guys will be after you then" or your parents who are trying to stop you from taking a vacation in a foreign country because "you're only doing it because you want us to worry, how can you be like that?"

I've been down that road before and being told that you're a bad daughter or friend because you want to do what you want to do, sucks. But here's the thing: It says way more about the person saying it than it does about you. And that kind of people shouldn't have any say in what you do with your life.


In the end, you really have to remember one thing: I'ts better to try and fail than to not try at all.

I hope this read (and TED Talk) filled you with the inspiration to go out and make that dream come true! Stop with the excuses, set your life goals and just do it. Because, if you won't, no one will do it for you.

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