“It is possible to curb your arrogance, to overcome pleasure and pain, to rise above your ambition, and to not be angry with stupid and ungrateful people — yes, even to care for them.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.8
Excuses are what people use to avoid the hard work of improving their outlook and their behavior. It’s easier and less painful not to change.
As Holiday put it in today’s page of The Daily Stoic, excuses are what “people use to justify staying as they are instead of striving to become better.”
Of course, it is entirely within your control and fully possible to better yourself, change your outlook, and take better actions each day. But it requires conscious thought, and dedication, and effort. It’s not easy. Excuses are easy. Excuses are easily found and require no effort.
Nobody is gifted perfect behavior at birth. You have to work at it. Those people with excellent habits and positive mindsets and optimistic outlooks? That didn’t happen by accident. They had to work at it. Sometimes everything in their lives conspired against them being a good & wise person, but they kept at it. They didn’t make excuses.
My dad makes excuses
My dad makes a lot of mistakes. He keeps making them, and I won’t go into detail, but these mistakes are damaging our family.
He usually has excuses to explain away why it happened. He leads with the excuses, and now I understand why it infuriates me so much.
It’s because the excuses are the easy way instead of the harder way which requires a real effort to improve. Up to this point he hasn’t been willing to do the difficult work to improve himself and would rather just deflect. He’s starting to get better though, and I hope it sticks.