Reject 'excuses' to boost efficiency, performance and growth

Reject 'excuses' to boost efficiency, performance and growth

Excuses are the tools of the weak-minded and the arrogant.

Excuses are a big enemy of efficiency, performance and growth. They are the refuge of cowards and the ignorant, the shelter of those who wish to remain in the dark cloud of illusion and are afraid to face existential realities. An excuse is the slick explanation offered when we commit blunders and are afraid to own them. It is the asylum of the weak and inept, hindering growth like nothing else. Excuses are exercises in self-deceit and a show of untruth.

An employee is reprimanded by his employer for shoddy work performance and he tries to throw blame at his peer who gives him vital inputs for his items of work. A physician treating a patient is unable to make a precise diagnosis with little improvement through treatment. He continues with the treatment out of commercial greed telling the patient that his ailment is complicated and will take a longer time to cure. A politician is elected to power by his voters based on lofty manifesto promises but after elections, does not deliver on his promises and gives a glib explanation stating that the mess created by his predecessor is the reason for the delay in turn around of things. In democratic states, politicians facing defeat in elections at times blame the EVMs for their defeat.

A school teacher who is not good at his job blames inattentive and undisciplined pupils for poor academic results. A habitual latecomer to the office has a long list of patent excuses to choose from. An executive reaches his business appointment late, but he could have made it on time with proper time management, even with the traffic jam he blames.

A bad workman quarrels with his tools.

Excuses for non-performance are given by the dishonest and the undisciplined. Excuses are tools used by self-righteous persons to create or maintain good impressions on others even if it means being dishonest to their own selves. Excuses are alibis for failure.

Why do we indulge in offering excuses? We, in most cases, know in our hearts that we are not being true to ourselves but the devilish mind prevails over the intellect and entraps us in the vortex of lies and we have to pay heavily to come out of it. We have to pay by penalty or penance to reconcile with the realities.

A man who offers excuses is not a realist. He lives in a make-believe world and befools his own self although he thinks he is befooling others. What an irony!

No human being is perfect. We are all limited in intellect, understanding and knowledge. We are continuously on a learning curve, imbibing knowledge and refining our understanding until our last breath. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting a mistake. To err is human, after all. The important thing is to acknowledge that we went wrong and correct ourselves. The important thing is to correct the course before it is too late.

Excuses are the tools of the weak-minded and the arrogant. A person needs to understand their weaknesses and shortcomings and share them with others. Humility earns you the empathy of others and helps you systematically overcome your deficiencies. Mental strength enables you to break free from the world of illusion.

Excuses are an outright expression of self-deceit. Every human being worth his salt wants to gain, to progress even if the parameters of progress are uniquely his own. When he fails to strike the achievement marks—whether set by others or by him—he either does an honest introspection or provides a self-deceiving explanation for the failure and the latter happens due to his bloated ego. The vitiated ego puts the person in a cloud of delusion.

To advance in life, we have to take responsibility for our actions, successes and failures. In the realm of spirituality, we are the masters of our own destinies and the true architects of our lives. We can make or mar our future. We are independent in charting our way through life but are bound by the universal spiritual law of karmic retribution in reaping the rewards of our actions. Since our actions are fully our own, we must not take shelter in excuses for unsound actions.We must own the results of our actions and progress in life, while also facilitating the progress of others.

Atul Sehgal is the author of Guide to Inner Wellness and The Essence of Bhagwadgita—70 Verses at its Core

The New Indian Express