What’s your excuse

Before people try a new thing they take into account three aspects: the pros, the cons and the excuses.

Most people think pros and cons are the only two things that count when making a decision. In fact, the excuses they can come up with matter just as much.

How many times did you hear someone who had something to do saying: “It’s not my job to do it”. Or someone with a great business idea claiming: “I don’t have the time to work on it. I have a job.” Or even someone who said that she or he would like to lose weight but can’t because that’s just their body constitution.

Often times they may seem like really good reasons, which is why people will subdue to them. The better “reasons” they have, the safer they’ll feel in their decision to not do what they could. Those though, are not reasons but excuses. People can’t really argue with a good excuse and the fear of tackling something new will surely make them embrace any good excuse.

What you can do though, is to not allow yourself to have any excuses. Expose yourself to making a decision without allowing fear to find a way to hide behind excuses. Do it even if it’s not your job! Start working on your ideas even if you have a job! Get yourself in shape!

So what’s your excuse now?

Beating the status quo

Most people think that the purpose is in beating the status quo. They believe that change will come by burning everything that was before. By creating something new from ashes.

The reality is totally different. The status quo is just a reference level. It offers a starting point. A solid base to build upon. It offers resources, ideas, inspiration, tools and a network full of people. If everything new were built from scratch we would only be reinventing the wheel over and over again.

True creativity means using what you have and combining that into a different form. Group elements under a new pattern. Improve something so much it changes its use. Using what is already available is going to save you time and money. It will allow you to build something better.

If you want to get higher, stand on the shoulders of giants.

Since

“Since ” and a number. The lower the number, the better. A lot of companies, especially old ones, use to mention for how long they have been around. For how long they have been doing the same activities.

But now, more than ever, everyone is talking about the new. New start-ups are changing the world. Google, Facebook and the internet are forever changing the world as we know it even if they are a few years old.

Access to technology and resources allows start-ups to provide the same innovation and quality services as any other hundred years old company. Even more than that, in most cases, they even do better because being so new allows them to be more flexible. They are more open to the new and closer to their customers’ needs.

A good example is the oldest country in the world. Even if not many would have thought about it, San Marino is the oldest country in the world. Even if so, in the world’s context this does not mean much. Clearly it is not the richest. Nor is it the biggest, in fact it’s one of the smallest. It is not a leading country in innovation. And, even if it’s the oldest, it’s clearly not the most well known country.

A story is about significant events and memorable moments, not about how much time has passed.

Being an amateur

Being an amateur nowadays means that someone is doing a poor job or that he lacks the necessary skills to do it. Thus an amateur has become the opposite of a professional.

The word amateur used to mean “lover of”. Someone who had a passion, a desire to do a certain activity just for the pleasure it produced. What it didn’t have though was the negative connotations it has now. Even then it was used for someone who didn’t have advanced knowledge or skills in what they were doing but without the economical pressure of the modern society it really didn’t matter.

What this offered was the freedom for people to experiment more with what they liked. It allowed people to talk about their passions and their work without any fears. You didn’t have to be a professional in order to show off your work.

Without the social pressure it’s easier to find your passions. It’s easier to find out what your talents are. It’s easier to end up doing what you like and be a real professional.

Every expert was first an amateur.

Change habits

Once I was away from home and urgently needed to get some work done, so I borrowed a laptop from a friend for a few hours, since I didn’t have mine with me. His was a different model than mine, but still very similar.

For the first 20 minutes or so everything felt completely unusual. I kept omitting letters or pressing the wrong buttons, and needed to watch the keyboard to make sure I was pressing the right ones. But if you looked at the two keyboards they were not that different.

We are capable of making such fine tunes to our actions and habits that even the smallest change can get us off track for a while. But at the same time, we are capable to adjust to the new in only a few minutes.

As fast as we develop our habits, we can also change habits. We only need the will or the necessity to do it.