Declaring God as our ultimate craving—the single most important thing in our lives—entails letting go of any excuses that may keep us from encountering Him and living the best life He has planned for us. Declaring that God is the only craving we need and finding satisfaction in God is not something that happens by chance; it requires intentionality. We must work hard if we are to be able to put God first. If we want to express our desire for God to be the ultimate craving in our lives, we must do so in words and actions. It must be evident in our way of life, decisions, and habits.
Take Action Instead of Making Excuses
Our actions begin with our thoughts. To overcome the excuses that keep us from experiencing the fullness of life God provides, we must first imagine what that “fullness of life” looks like. Thus, the image we can conjure in our minds serves as our goal and motivation. As a goal, it provides us with a concrete idea of what we need to pursue; as a motivation, it can instill in us the drive, desire, and passion for pursuing it. We can take action because we have a goal and inspiration in mind.
Having a goal and a strong sense of motivation is an effective antidote to procrastination. When we feel like we have no direction or nothing to aim for, we tend to put off the things we need to do. However, with a goal and motivation, it is easier to generate a commitment that leaves no room for excuses.
No More Excuses: Develop Grit
Grit is defined as “the right combination of passion and persistence.” Having a goal and being motivated to achieve it is not enough; we must also be willing to persevere for the long haul. Making excuses is the number one enemy of grit. When we make excuses, we emphasize the difficulty; when we have grit, we emphasize our ability to overcome the problem.
Grit requires us to renew our minds. We must be willing to see difficulties as a challenge, painful moments as a chance to grow, and failure as a temporary setback that allows us to practice resilience.
Our goals and motivation enable us to begin taking action, whereas grit is what keeps us going, throwing out every excuse we encounter along the way.
No Excuses: Do It!
You may have heard of Nike’s famous slogan, “Just do it.” Perhaps Nike’s creators knew that thousands of excuses always accompanied sports, exercise, and physical activity. The slogan “just do it” somehow stuck in people’s heads, allowing many to continue their habits and routines. Indeed, studies have shown that the “just do it” attitude—where one does something rather than thinking about it—helps people establish a consistent exercise regimen. Consider the “just do it” slogan as a brief response to a long and never-ending list of excuses:
“I’m not in the mood to go jogging today.”
“I’m too exhausted today.”
“It could rain today.”
The “just do it” slogan works because it is based on a fundamental psychological concept known as opposite action, which states that our thoughts and emotions often follow a specific path. We have ideas and feelings that we formed in our childhood and carry with us into adulthood and continue to hold on to. Because we have held on to these thoughts and actions for so long, they unconsciously influence our actions. This is why, if we want something to change in our lives, we must take steps that are opposed to what we would typically do. As a result, if we don’t feel like doing something, we do the opposite: we do it anyway.
When we find ourselves making an excuse after excuse to avoid doing what we need to do, we are most likely overwhelmed by intense feelings of fear, sadness, laziness, and so on. These emotions are the ones that paralyze us into inaction and prevent us from doing what we need to do. So, the next time something like this happens, let us gather the strength and courage to take the opposite action and do it.
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