The worst part of making excuses isn’t the missed opportunities. It isn’t the guilt you might feel afterwards for lying to yourself. It’s not the money they will cost you, the relationships they will end, or the broken dreams. The worst part of making excuses, the hidden danger, is that you eventually start to believe them.
The longer you make excuses, the more you actually start to believe them. The longer you tell any lie, the most likely it is that someday you will no longer tell it as a lie, but as the truth.
You no longer cringe when you realize that what you are saying is false. The conviction you once felt disappears. The lie becomes the truth. The excuse becomes reality.
Before we go any further, let me be clear on the definition of “critic.”
A critic is not someone who brings up legitimate concerns or occasionally points out flaws in your logic. A critic is not someone who tells a 300-pound man who hasn’t exercised since the Clinton administration that he should lose some weight and get on a training plan before running a marathon. There is a big difference between a realistic friend and a critic.
I started reading the news again. It’s an awful habit indeed.
Before the habit
Let me take you back to four years ago. I had just shunned smartphones after spending two years in which my iPhone slowly became a permanent part of my body. For the previous two years, I filled every five-minute wait for a haircut, every moment in line at the grocery store, and yes, every bathroom break either checking email or reading the news.