Excuses, excuses

It is easy to slip into the habit of making excuses. Do you know if you are making unnecessary excuses? If you are, what do you do about it?

I’ve been talking about things I don’t like lately. Let’s talk about something I do like. I thoroughly enjoy the blog Rands In Repose. I read an article the other day called The Leaper that reminded me of my Mom, and how often people use excuses. From his entry:

The Leaper’s skill lay in his ability to detect bullshit. Being bright, a former engineer, and familiar with the problem space, he could tell when he was being spun. He knew when he was hearing less than the truth. Generally he was understanding when he sampled ambiguity, but there was one sure way to get him to leap: answer a question with an excuse.

The Leaper attacked excuses as a personal affront. He wouldn’t let anyone leave the room until it was painfully clear that the excuse card had been played, that it was unacceptable, and that the proper steps were taken to make sure it would never happen again.

The article is a good read. It is an honest entry on how often he uses excuses and why he used them. This made me wonder…

How often do we realize we are receiving excuses?

When someone says, “they are swamped” many times is that the truth? They are busy juggling things and missed doing something; don’t have the time to do something, etc. That does not change the fact that “something” isn’t getting done. When you receive an excuse what makes you madder? The fact you are getting an excuse or something not being done when it should be? Of course, there are people who say they are swamped when they aren’t. They are procrastinating on doing what is supposed to be done.

I’m not above making excuses

I may as well bring this up because I know some of my readers will be thinking about it. World of Warcraft. Not running instances/raids. I know, excuse after excuse. Here’s the real blunt deal:

  • I don’t like being told how to play a game I am paying for. That happens a lot in WoW. “You’re playing a BM Hunter? They don’t deal out maximum DPS and shouldn’t because they are so easy to play…”, “Death Knights are overpowered! Whine whine whine!” “Feral Druids as DPS? No my dear…”. I hate that but unfortunately, that is what happens.
  • I really don’t like running an instance praying for my gear to drop and if it does, I might not get it. Add to that the gear is needed to progress. Very time-consuming.
  • I love PVP but I don’t want to play in arenas to do it. Battlegrounds were cool until they killed them with arenas (and they admit they screwed up with arenas).
  • I missed my friends. That was what made the game fun. I made some friends in game but it wasn’t the same as my homies (the dynamics change because I don’t mind not getting gear because it isn’t about gear anymore).

I made every excuse in the book not to run them because I felt guilty not doing what everyone else was doing. I never adapted to what was fun to me…running a business within WoW. I might not have the best gear but I would have had fun maxing out my bank account and buying everything in game. If I log back in, I’ll explore that.

Anyway, instead of just admitting it and moving on I tried to do something I didn’t want to do and made excuses. Which I am sure all you very smart people saw through.

Ironically, in business I am the opposite. I don’t make excuses and I don’t put myself in a position for someone to call me out on an excuse (hence I don’t make them). I prefer someone just give me the real deal. I prefer to be mad for a minute than lied to. Excuses backfire in the long run.

How to improve on the excuse front

In business excuses are damaging. When something goes wrong or someone messes up the first (instinctual) response is to excuse yourself from blame or justify why it happened. Instead, just be honest. The truth will eventually come out anyway. Say something of value, turn things around. Instead of making excuses I should have said, “Without my peeps, instances aren’t my thing. This is what I do…” and leave it at that. Look how many maxed out bank accounts I could have had by now?

Read The Leaper. Then stop making excuses.

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