A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.

04 November 2009

Reasons and Excuses

As I have worked through my day, reading and listening to clients, colleagues and others tell me their reasons why various things have not been accomplished over the past week, month, or year, I have arrived at a state of profound gratitude.

As it happens, I have not made an entry in my blog in almost two months. There is no good reason for this; I simply have not done it. I am neither proud nor ashamed of this fact. I have two months of incontrovertible evidence that writing in my blog has not been my highest priority, and that's that.

Some of those who have shared their stories with me have been considerably less lucky. A few have been extremely ill or had family members who were ill. One has wrecked her car. Another, due to circumstances genuinely outside his control, had to file for bankruptcy for his business in order to protect his personal assets and his clients' interests. While these friends have my sympathy, their stories have also made me deeply grateful to have no good reason for anything I have not achieved in the last two months!

Someone once said, "if everyone put their troubles in a great big pile for all to see, each of us would gladly grab back our own."

One of the challenges of coaching is to understand when a client's reason is a reason, and when it's an excuse. Sometimes it doesn't matter -- while a situation may not be your fault, it is nevertheless your problem and must be resolved in any case. In almost every case, there is a lesson that can be learned. Character traits like patience, determination, honesty, resolve and humility offer themselves for adoption when we fail to achieve a goal or complete a task.

Take out an undone thing in your life and set it on the table for examination today. Ask yourself why it's not done -- not in a judgmental way, but with an attitude of genuine curiosity. What lesson lies in the un-doneness of this item? What would need to change in order for you to check it off your list? So what if you do, and so what if you don't? How long has it been languishing, and how much longer do you think it might have to wait? Is there something about this task that you are avoiding or dreading? Is there anything about the circumstances of the task that you are pretending not to know? What is this situation trying to tell you about yourself?

I'd love to hear what you learn!

1 comment:

Mark Sturgell, CBC said...

"If everyone put their troubles in a great big pile for all to see, each of us would gladly grab back our own." I like this, and it's absolutely true!

And I love your call to action at the end of this blog, Tracy!