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Results Versus Excuses

17th Feb, 2012

Results Versus Excuses

Have you set goals? If you have, what will stop you achieving those goals? If these have been properly set up (and that was dealt with in a previous tip) then I’m going to be controversial and suggest that the key thing stopping you is yourself!

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the post-match interview with the football club manager whose team has just lost.  Invariably he’ll argue that the loss was down to everything and everybody except himself (the referee, the players, the pitch, etc.)!  Football managers are not unusual in this respect. Research on attribution theory highlights that we are all more likely to attribute our successes to our own attributes and any lack of success to things outside our control! However, unless we take 100% responsibility for our goals we will always give ourselves a ‘get-out clause’ for not making them. Anything less than 100% responsibility is self-sabotage. So what about your goals or resolutions?  Are you 100% committed to them?

To assume 100% responsibility we need to accept that everything that happens has both a cause and effect. Taking 100% responsibility means accepting the challenge to be ‘at cause’ that is taking responsibility, taking action and making things happen.  In contrast being ‘at effect’ is where it is everything and everybody else’s fault and you have no control.  So where do you spend most of your time – ‘at cause’ or ‘at effect’? What will you do in 2012 to be more ‘at cause’?

Oprah Winfrey seemed to instinctively understand the power of being at cause when speaking about the beliefs she holds:

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody, who from an early age, knew I was responsible for myself and I had to make good.”

How do your beliefs help you make your goals?

When a football manager’s team has lost we often hear a wide range of excuses. It seems you either get results or excuses. Similarly, leaders of successful  businesses talk about results while those less successful all too often focus on excuses.

If you strip away all excuses you are left with results.

Food for thought?

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