“At the end of the day, let there be no explanations, no excuses, no regrets.”
It's ironic that today's topic is excuses because I believe all three of us have good excuses as to why we wouldn't have time to write this today. I am currently packing to move next week, and I had to pause to write this piece. I’m sitting here with my apartment in a complete state of disarray, choosing to be okay with it because I this is something I have made a commitment to do every week.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we are so busy that we don’t have the capacity to take on more projects, or social outings, or fill in the blank. At the end of the day, the reality is that most of us are really busy. There will always be something to be done or something that will keep you busy. As we enter more demanding times of our life, it is easier to make excuses as to why we cannot do certain things.
Whether it be social, work-related, or otherwise, it is incredibly easy for me to think of reasons why I cannot do something. For me, this typically falls in the category of social outings and friendships. I have a good number of friends, but when I have to pick between work/school and my social life, the latter is always disregarded. This makes it easier for me to excuse myself from social situations when I just don’t feel like going out or leaving my house as well. After a while, people start to expect this from you and stop inviting you to things.
The same thing can be said for excusing yourself from work/school work. If you are the first one to excuse yourself any time your boss asks someone to stay late and work on a project, you might be overlooked when it comes time for a promotion. Similarly, if you disregard chances to get ahead in school by doing extra credit assignments or being involved in extracurriculars because of excuses, you might miss out on opportunities that your peers receive.
There are also times when we excuse ourselves on more serious terms, like when we miss a deadline or forget to complete a task. People are generally forgiving when this happens occasionally because they understand that things happen. When this is a regular occurrence, the consequences and the stakes are higher. Failure to complete tasks or assignments on a regular basis might result in a job loss or a failed class. At that point, no excuse will be able to undo the damage done.
Excuses are a slippery slope. Using them occasionally to allow yourself a break from an obligation is okay, but it can be dangerous to use them regularly. People who habitually make excuses develop a reputation for themselves professionally and personally. Looking at the situation as a whole, it is okay to make excuses occasionally when you really won’t benefit from what you are trying to get out of, but overall establishing a pattern of excuse-making is going to negatively affect the relationships in all areas of your life.