Welcome to the Summer Quote Series, which is a pared down and shortened up version of the podcast. We’re taking 6 weeks or so to listen to some wisdom snippets and they’re all going to be from Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Last week we covered a quote about thoughts leading to character and I mentioned that I’d been having a difficult day inside my own head that day. I was having thoughts like, ‘I have nothing of value to offer.” “Things just aren’t ever going to go right for me, even if I do what should make things go right.” and feelings of being a failure.
Now. I know. I intellectually understand, that those feelings aren’t truth. However, when they start whispering to your heart, if you’re not careful, they make a home there. I suffer periodic bouts of depression. Not typically deep, but semi-regularly. And my thought patterns change when it happens. I can sense it come on and I can tell when it’s going away simply because of the way my brain functions. I didn’t think this was a depressive episode. I thought it was triggered by some outside circumstances related to my business and income. But, speaking those thoughts out loud, it could be a bit of both.
Reading Lombardi’s quotes about high performance and winning are anti-motivational to me in this frame of mind. Plus, I’m not a fan of couching life in terms of winning and losing. However, he existed among high performing people his whole life, knew the subject and thought about it more than most of us. Here’s a Lombardi quote that’s a good reminder and doesn’t feel de-motivating at the moment.
“Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming the habits that will make your goal possible.”
This is one of the tactics I use to get my head on straight again when circumstances derail me. Excuses benefit no one. I don’t like to hear them from my suppliers when something goes wrong at work. I don’t like to hear them from my son. And I can’t tolerate them in my own head. Step one is looking past our tendency to camp out in the land of excuses. Don’t accept that of yourself. When we make excuses, we tend to stop, set up tents, settle in and start sharing excuses to anyone who stops by to warm their hands by the campfire. Don’t do it.
But step two is to get back to work. Doing the work is what gets us where we need to go. Stop with the excuses. Instead, make corrections. Get your thoughts in line to form the habits that will help you reach your goals.
Do you camp out in the land of excuses? Or, do you make corrections and work at forming the habits you need to succeed?