There are currently a little over 7 billion people in our world today. Keeping this vast number in mind, there exist 10 times that many excuses as to why we humans don’t measure to our true potential.
Every day we hear, as well as say things ourselves, such as, “I would go to the gym or eat healthier but …,” or, “I could get good grades, or fulfill my church calling if it weren’t for …”
It is a sad reality that these, along with other attempts to excuse our failures, have become commonplace thinking in our society and among people everywhere.
The majority, if not all, of this self-defeating thinking stems from placing the blame for our lack of achievement on our circumstances or other external factors. This plague cannot be permitted to spread. Fortunately, there is a cure available to anyone willing to accept it.
Eric Thomas, a former American football player, competed as a cornerback for nine seasons in the NFL. Thomas is now a motivational speaker and is best known for his “Truth” online video that went viral a few years ago.
In the video, Thomas reveals his secret to success through the story of a young man who wanted to make a lot of money.
One day, the young man went to see an old guru who was very successful. He said to the old man that he wanted to be on his same level of success. The guru told the young man to meet him at the beach early the next morning.
In the morning, the young man arrived at the beach at 4 a.m. ready to go. The guru looked directly at the young man and said, “How bad do you want to be successful?” The young man replied, “real bad.” The guru proceeded to take a step into the ocean and said, “Then follow me. I’m going into the water.”
The young man, dressed in a suit, stood in disbelief, wondering how this crazy old man had become so successful.
Finally, the young man walked out until he was about waist deep in the water. He yelled to the old man, who was farther out in the ocean, saying, “I didn’t come here to be a lifeguard. I want to make money. You got me out here swimming!”
The guru called back to the young man, telling him to come a little farther. The young man waded out to the guru until they were both to their chests in the water.
Suddenly, the old man grabbed the young man and pushed his head under the water. The guru continued to hold the young man down underwater until finally raising him just before the young man was about to pass out.
The guru looked into the young man’s bewildered eyes and said, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
I love this story because it effectively illustrates the idea that we are successful to the degree we want to be.
This doesn’t mean trials won’t come and there won’t ever be hard times. Of course there will be. This being said, you always have control of some aspect in your life, however miniscule that thing may appear to be.
Examples of controllable factors include how we use our time, our personal standards, our attitude and our level of happiness. These things all revolve around our choices and nothing else, no matter how many trivial excuses we try to use.
This is the cure for mediocrity and self-deception: conquer the falsehoods we create and strive for success, regardless of anything but ourselves.