“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” — Nelson Mandela
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” — Steve Jobs
“Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” — John Lennon
Every success story we read about could have had a story line of fear or excuses instead. That’s because the road to achieving a goal inevitably includes uncertainty, obstacles and difficult questions. It’s easy to see only the end result and not fully understand the perseverance, grit and self-growth that was necessary along the way.
Before I established the Abbie DeLoach Foundation, I had numerous excuses for not doing it. I also found reasons not to create a journaling book about losing a child, titled “A Journey We Share.” (It’s not available for purchase yet.)
According to writer James Johnson, these are the top 10 excuses most people use for not following through with a goal, plan or idea:
- I don’t have time.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I’ll do it, but I really need to do this first.
- I’m just waiting for the right time.
- There’s too much going on right now.
- But I need to pay the bills.
- I would do it, but I don’t think my partner (or kids) will be OK with it.
- I haven’t had the right opportunity yet.
- I don’t know the right people.
- I’m not ready yet.
And here’s what my own excuses looked and sounded like:
- I grew up on the west side of Savannah, Georgia, where hard-working, salt-of-the-earth Americans woke up at 5 a.m. to the sounds of factory whistle blows and jets. I couldn’t have imagined forming a philanthropic organization.
- You graduated from what high school? (I questioned whether it was deemed reputable enough for me to succeed in the future.)
- I did not have the “right” formal degree, although I have two.
- Who would read anything I write on my blog or in a book?
- I do blue-collar work through the company I co-own. I have no experience building a foundation.
I just held “A Journey We Share” in my hand for the first time as an initial small shipment of books arrived. It is now in print because my goal was not about me, but how I could help other parents travel the lonely, dark road of grief after loss. Thinking about them helped me move past the self-doubting questions and perceived limitations I faced.
Life is not just about us. It’s about how we bring love, joy and success into our relationships with others. And that can help us move past whatever seems to be blocking or stopping us from doing what is on our hearts to do.
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