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Excuses, Good Friends, Great Lessons

Posted Jul 18 2009 12:00am

Last week I watched Dr. Wayne Dyer’s PBS special on his latest book . I realized that as far as I’ve come, I still use excuses that defeat me. I couldn’t deny it any longer after Dyer listed the most common excuses, a few of which are:

I’m too tired.

I don’t have enough energy.

It will be difficult.

I can’t afford it.

I was fooling myself, thinking if I didn’t whine while saying phrases like these, it didn’t count as making excuses! Wrong!

Dr. Wayne Dyer reminded the audience that in life all things are possible. Now take a minute to think of a goal you have and focus on the excuse for why you are not accomplishing it. Next, ask yourself the seven questions Dyer designed to help you break free from excuses (not included here). I will share the bare bones from this seven-step concept, which is similar to “The Work” created by Dyer’s good friend Byron Katie. Essentially, take any goal you have, think of the excuse(s) you are applying to it and determine if the excuse is absolutely true. Then think of the opposite of your excuse and ask yourself if that is absolutely true. Inevitably, neither scenario is absolutely true. So then, Dyer asks, why, given the choice between the two, would you believe the negative version, considering all things are possible?!

For example, you may believe a goal will be difficult to accomplish. But that’s not absolutely true, nor is the opposite scenario absolutely certain, which is that your goal will be easy. If both are equally uncertain, and we know that in life all things are possible, Dyer asks, why would you choose to believe the difficult version? Believing your goal will be difficult will make you sit down on your couch and put the whole thing off! Thinking the goal will be accomplished with ease, on the other hand, will lead you to work towards your vision day by day. Excuses invite procrastination; believing all things are possible invites productivity and accomplishment. Believing all things are possible also invites life’s little synchronicities. That’s when things really get exciting.

The day after I watched the special, I saw a friend of mine who told me how she struggles to floss her teeth on a daily basis, which makes her feel bad about herself. One day she realized that since she was also inconsistent about flossing her kids’ teeth, she was going to make them suffer to maintain the habit as adults as well.  So that was it—she determined she had to tackle this. No more excuses! She said to herself, from this day forward, we are going to be a family that flosses every single night. And she made it happen. Even on those nights when her kids got themselves ready for bed and brushed their teeth but forgot to floss, she had them go back and floss and re-brush their teeth. In addition, she put a toothbrush for herself into their bathroom so she could supervise and help them floss their teeth, while also taking care of her own teeth and setting a good example. She said it took about three weeks for the habit to really stick but now it’s set in stone. She feels really good about what she is doing for her family. And she should!

The day after talking  to my flossing friend, I spoke to another good friend who just moved her family of six across several states, start to finish, in three weeks. What I mean by start to finish is that she and her husband decided to move, and while her husband went ahead to begin work in the new state, she found a renter for their current house, shopped around for a new house in the new state, called moving companies for estimates, packed up the entire house, turned off utilities, turned on new utilities, scheduled carpet cleaners for the new home, scheduled a company to install a safety gate around their new pool and loaded four kids and herself on a plane to meet her husband in their new city. Did I mention she did all this single-handed in three weeks? There are two parts about this story that I love and admire. The first part is that my friend did all of this without complaining, making excuses, or being a martyr. She knew the work that needed to be done and she knew it didn’t help anybody to whine, complain or procrastinate. Love that! The other part of the story which makes me admire my friend so much, is that she had a great babysitter where she used to live and she brought her with her for a couple of weeks to the new city. Her babysitter is keeping her four children safe and entertained while she unpacks and turns their new house into a comfortable home (she will even be painting a couple of rooms!). I love it that she anticipated the help she would need.  This is the action of a woman who knows how to get things done while also practicing good self-care!

I really enjoyed Wayne Dyer’s special. I simplified his Excuses Paradigm quite a bit; more information can be found in his book, on the PBS special, or on his website, where you can download affirmations for eighteen of the most common excuses we all make. The affirmation for the excuse “It will be difficult” is “I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.” These affirmations are really helpful. I encourage you to take the time to check them out. Start applying them to your goals today!

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I went to an art store in San Diego this weekend for my Artist Date. It was fabulous!  On my way, I saw these messages on the plates of two different cars:



Nice, aren’t they?! Thanks to Megan at It’s All About Joy!, for making me ever-vigilant in my quest for signs!!

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