The non-superman non-excuse


No one likes excuses…besides their creator

Often times when someone did their tasks incorrectly and it was pointed out to them, the person would blame it on their tools or environment. It could be pretty frustrating when you are working with people like that and their work/attitudes directly impact how you do.

When that happens, instead of just saying “That’s just an excuse!” and create an emotional response (these RARELY solve your problems and they’ve managed to bring you down to their level of negativity), I find it useful to ask, “I understand that. But is it humanly possible for a normal person to do this correctly, even with these obstacles?” If their response is “No! That’s not possible for anyone to do it!”, then either you should probably drop what your team is doing, or find someone else to work with.

But the chances are their responses will be “Yes.”

Making people understand is better than making people feel guilty

I then followup with, “Then is it possible for to you do it correctly, even with these obstacles?” At this point, most people would say yes too and understand that it’s ultimately up to them to overcome these problems and it’s pointless focusing on the obstacles and excuses. It’s humanly possible for non-geniuses to do it. You can do it too.

The non-excuse is on you

While we realize this is a good way to shut people up and stop them from complaining, it’s also a good idea to apply it to ourselves. When we face obstacles and failures in our lives, instead of focusing why we couldn’t do it, we should again think, “is this humanly possible for a normal person?” And if the answer is yes, stop the complaining and just get it done.

Being cautious can be useful for in life. But being negative creates value for no one.

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