Friday, February 19, 2021

Lean Quote: 99% of Failures Come From People Who Make Excuses

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"99% of failures come from people who make excuses.  —  George Washington

Presidents’ Day, celebrated every third Monday in February, was originally intended to remember George Washington’s birthday. It has since become an occasion to celebrate all American presidents. Great lessons can be learned from looking back through history and many leadership principles are timeless.

As mature adults, we all understand how difficult it can be finding success when we keep making excuses.

After reading many studies and articles on the subject, I’ve come up with these conclusions:

1. It’s easier to feel acquitted of our failure, if we can come up with a good enough excuse.

2. It’s psychologically easier to live with our past, if we have justifiable reasons for our failure.

3. It’s easier to get people to overlook failure, if we come up with an acceptable excuse.

4. It’s so much easier to shift the blame to something else, rather than accept it as our own.

It seems to me that the more we make excuses for ourselves, the more we will NOT build a positive self-image. Self-image is not built by success at every turn. Our self-image is empowered by accepting, and then dealing with our own short comings and failures.

Making excuses may make us feel better, but they will not make us become better!

If we want to fail at every turn, then we should go on making excuses for ourselves and those around us. However, if we want to succeed, we must be willing to stop the blame game and personally accept accountability for our own actions. Sometimes we need to squash those excuse ridden thoughts and emotions.


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