Make it your reason; not your excuse

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Leadership
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a long time since I posted anything, and you can blame that partly on not being able to sit down in front of my computer and partly on my lack of leadership over the last few months.

Maybe a little bit of history is needed to explain what I mean.

Back in February I had an operation to remove a Pilonidal cyst, which threw things out of whack for me. In the beginning all was good. There was a business meeting the night of my operation, and since I was out of the hospital, I went to it, even though I was told there was risk of feinting if I stood up for a long period of time after the operation (I couldn’t sit). Everything was ok though, and I was fired up as it was Joce Dionne giving a presentation.

Things went downhill after that. I was getting infections in the wound for the next 3 months, and it wasn’t healing. This is probably due to the fact that I never took any time off of work since they don’t pay me if I don’t go; I had no sick days left due to being in the hospital for crohn’s disease last fall.

I then had another operation to make a bigger wound and had a vacuum pump applied to speed up the healing process. This was a very uncomfortable time, but it didn’t stop me from going to any leadership seminars or major leadership conventions. I know how important it is to keep learning. I also know how important it is to be around successful people if you want to be successful yourself, due to the power of association.

So where was my lack of leadership? it came during the whole recovery process. After the second operation, I was given time off work; paid for through the company insurance. This allowed me to recover (another week or two, and I should be completely healed), but it also got me developing some bad habits. I’ve gotten so used to taking it easy, that once the pain went away and I can reasonably sit down, I still didn’t do anything productive. I could have started writing again as of the last leadership conference I went to at the end of June, but it was easier to lie down on my couch, watching movies or playing video games.

I haven’t been reading as I should be, and I was making excuses to myself. I was convincing myself that every time I did, it was putting me to sleep, since I wasn’t sleeping well with pump attached. A leader would have simply slept when he could, and would’ve taken advantage of the time he couldn’t move and read while awake. He would have stood and read, especially if he couldn’t sit down anyway!

I could have substituted an inability to read by listening to more CDs on personal development and leadership; but it was easier not to. It was just like I read in The Slight Edge, how although success is doing the simple easy things, it is also easy not to do them.

A leader doesn’t take the easy way out however; He does what needs to be done. In that I have failed.

My operation should have been my reason to read more, not my excuse not to. It should have been my reason to listen to more CDs, not an excuse to start playing video games again, or to watch more movies.

I may have been out of commission as far as building my business goes, but it shouldn’t have been an excuse to slack off. It should have been a reason to work on myself more; giving me that much of a head start once I was up and running again. I had no work distractions of 8 hours a day, but instead I created entertainment distractions.

Thankfully nothing is ever final, and we can always change. This article is not about beating myself up for my failures, but an honest look at the scoreboard, showing that I haven’t been scoring any goals recently. It is about pointing out what I was doing wrong, hopefully stopping someone else from going down the same path. It is about me making a commitment about what is to come, and it’s a promise to go out there and be the best I can be.

I went to one of LIFE’s leadership seminars yesterday, and had the opportunity to hear from Dean Frey; a fantastic speaker. One of the main points he was making is the important of a good foundation in whatever you’re doing. In this case it was about building our own foundation through learning. This is where I was lacking, and where I will improve.

There was one thing he said that really stood out to me with what I’ve been going through; you can’t beat yourself up for past mistakes.

Whatever you are going through in your life, make it your reason; not your excuse.

  1. owenpdjones says:

    Hey Lee,
    Great article! it is one thing to be distracted, biut another to not even have a dream or push forward and learn from past mistakes. It’s like they say in the Lion King, ” The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

    Learning from past mistakes is a sign of self awareness and growth.

    Keep moving forward buddy!

  2. John Von says:

    Hi Lee,
    My name is John and I totally agree with you. We need to be more focused on winning the war against the life, not every battle. Health is one of those battles in life that we have to win, so guys please educate yourself so you can prevent surgery or worsening of health. Thanks for sharing useful information’s. Keep it positive and forward

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