For the past few months I have spent every night working on my new business idea while listening to motivational videos on YouTube. I find that they give me the determination to keep pushing till 11:00pm/12:00am and then being able to do it all again the next day.
One of my favourite motivational speakers is Dr. Eric Thomas, who often uses the quote ‘Don’t sleep when you’re tired, sleep when you’re done’.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this quote, especially late at night sitting in front of a computer screen. I’ve come to realise he’s not referring only to tiredness, he’s referring to all excuses.
Excuses are used to get out of your commitments. You’ve taken the time to commit to a certain activity. Then, at the last minute you’ve decided you can’t do it because you’re too tired, it’s your best friend’s birthday or whatever you’ve decided is an acceptable excuse. Well that excuse means you’re now behind on your goals.
I’m all too familiar with this.
Particularly in 2016, I put off saving money. It’s something I knew I should have been doing but instead I thought of excuses every weekend to justify going out with friends and spending it all. It got to the point where a simple ‘I’ll start next week’ was enough to give me comfort in my decision. Then, eventually, it started to hit and the consequences of using excuses started to creep through. Bills piled up and I would make a habit of not buying things I needed so I had more money for the weekends. Something had to change.
I believe that there is always someone working as hard as you, the only difference? They don’t use excuses, they just do it. One of my favourite excuses was ‘but everyone else is doing it’. Well it turns out they’re not. I started to hear stories about people my age buying houses, cars, or going on holidays while I was stuck with nothing to show for my excuses but forgotten weekends and negative bank accounts.
This year, excuses are out.
You need to get rid of them. Every time you find yourself making up an excuse it’s time to act on whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. Excuses do nothing but put you behind.
I started to think to myself ‘how can I expect to get ahead in life if I put in the same as everyone else?’. I can’t. It doesn’t make any sense. If myself and someone else are working full time, then coming home and relaxing, am I going to get ahead? Of course not! You have to come home, put in the extra effort, work on an idea, give up your weekends, give up parties, stop binge watching TV shows if you ever want to get somewhere in life.
I’m amazed at people who complain about never getting to where they want to be.
The reason why they don’t get anywhere is because they spend nights after work watching movies or spending the whole weekend hung over, but decided to put in a little effort late Sunday afternoon between TV shows while complaining that tomorrow is Monday.
Excuses only hurt yourself. The world doesn’t care if you’re tired or sick, it won’t stop because you need a break. It keeps going and so does everyone else. If you’ve decided to stay in bed the whole day for whatever reason, you’re now a day behind and everyone else who’s putting in the effort is now ahead of you, it’s that simple.
Being able to push when it gets hard is one of the greatest qualities you’ll ever learn. It’s also really hard to master. I’m no where near perfecting it but I’m getting better and so can you if you keep at it.
The way I improved was I focused on the small things first – making your bed, commit to all university lectures, waking up a 6:00am every morning. Then I worked at the bigger things – giving up weekends to work towards my goals, giving up nights after work, parties. Anything that distracted me from my burning desire, I’ve worked to give up.
A method I use is every Sunday I create a list of things I have committed to and everything I want to get done. I then print it out and put it somewhere I am constantly reminded of it. As the week passes, I tick off the things I have completed. When I get to the end of the week I make sure every single thing has been completed regardless of circumstances. If they’re not all done, I’ll stay up until they are.
You get a little bit of satisfaction when you cross items off and feel achieved when it comes to the end of the week and everything is crossed off.
By Jesse Kerema
If you would like to get ahead of the crowd click here