The Power Of Excuses

Richard Earls, Travel Research Online

Can any one of us make it through the day without at least one good excuse? I want to give it a try. Sometime. Don’t we always have the best reasons for not living up to the promises we make to ourselves and others? The pretexts we give for our failures to act as we should or do as we might, however, are some of the most serious obstacles we encounter on the way to being what we most want to be and having what we most deserve in our travel practices.

The most impressive quality of an excuse is our absolute willingness to believe it when we know better. We chant our excuses frequently and ardently enough to turn them to reality. Suddenly, we really don’t have the time to complete our projects, the energy to start new ones, or the money to invest in our business plans.

Except we do.

Excuses are the stories we tell ourselves and others to justify the course we take by default. Excuses are a clever sleight-of-hand, taking our eye off the reality by feinting elsewhere.

Here are a few of my favorite excuses, the ones I most often use on myself to justify any and all failures to launch. I’m also including the counter to my excuses I muster when at my best or when someone who knows me well takes the opportunity to call my bluff.

  • I don’t have the time – Really? Fact is, I have as much time as everyone, 24 hours in a day. What I’m trying to avoid here is my choice of how I spend my time. We have the time to do anything we choose to do. Too often, we try to avoid our responsibility for the choices we make by blaming the clock.

  • I don’t have the money – This one seems particularly real doesn’t it? I don’t have the funds to start the new project or to undertake the new program or to invest in marketing. But I know how to cut expenses, to generate new revenue streams and to enhance my existing business. I know lots of ways to turn time into money. Ask yourself what you really are saying when your first excuse is, “I don’t have the money.” What other choices are you favoring?

  • The timing isn’t right – Well, it never is, is it? We sometime miss the greatest opportunities clinging to our safe places rather than taking leaps of faith. There is never a better time than now, because that’s the only time of which you really have any surety. My typical goal is next week – a brilliant excuse, one I’ve perfected. I’m going to do it next week. Except, like tomorrow, next week never arrives.

We hold our rationalizations dearly and I understand we don’t want to give them up without a fight. But what our excuses really do is reveal our values, highlighting the choices we really want to make but hide from behind a pile of flimsy reasons.

Your life is too important to be so inauthentic to yourself and others. Decide what you want from your travel practice, make your choices and drop the excuses. Do what you will. Chances are you’ll not only find more time, money, and talent to go around, but you will also sleep better at night.

A clear conscience will do that for you.

Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.

(will not be published)