I found this passage in one of Lesley’s posts… the post was all about happiness and what happy people do to make themselves happy.
Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.
The mind drifted back… I recalled a few people I’d met in my life. I also thought of myself as a child. Yes, I was prone to making excuses… usually trying to get out of trouble. Excuses and lies. I’ll add, I was very fortunate, someone took me aside one day and explained the error of my ways. It was an adult and at the time I wondered how they could have any clue of what was going on in my head.
Now I know it was easy for them to spot a scared little boy who didn’t know how to deal correctly with guilt and angst. It was good that I admired that person. One of my role models, it so happened to be an uncle of mine, my mother’s youngest brother who wasn’t too many decades older than me. He was willing to take the matter further. He wanted to teach me confidence. He wanted to help break the negative cycle I was developing. But he clearly told me it would be a difficult thing to do… in the beginning at least.
The first time I owned up was a terror filled moment. I don’t know why I was expecting to be obliterated or eradicated. Why? Surely no adult in their right mind would punish a child for making a mistake? OK… we all know that now but then… man, I was so scared I could have sworn my posterior was chewing at my longs!!
Enough said. It very soon became apparent to me that this was the way forward. Even in those dark ages back then adults knew that a child who didn’t try anything new didn’t make mistakes, or learn anything. Those self-same adults appreciated honesty, not lies and deceit. I think the simple reply to that first admission was something along the lines of…
“That’s OK, everyone makes mistakes… just try to learn from yours.”
What a massive, if somewhat relieving, soft letdown. NO clip about the ear, NO scolding, NO threats of grievous bodily harm, NO banishment to my room for days, NO food rations. NO nothing! Yes, I’m exaggerating tenfold but remember the visions of doom which swirl in little people’s heads!!
Life’s easy, forgiveness free. After learning the simple lesson of owning up and putting it into practice a few times my uncle pulled me aside.
“Just be wary of repeating mistakes… if you don’t learn and then expect to be let off the hook again and again you’re in for a big surprise!”
It took a while for my emboldened brain to work it out but in the end I did.
OK… back to happiness and the beginning of this post. It’s all good and well to quote someone else… even someone as mighty or famous as Benjamin Franklin. I’ll leave you with the comment I left on that post… I hope it adds a little meaning, maybe even to your life.
Being happy and striving for contentment works better if you’re firmly anchored in true belief!
Having Faith at your core seems to stimulate happiness!
Finally… if you should feel to read a bit more then please click here to visit Lesley’s post on 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself.
In keeping with Monday’s autumn scene… I’ll make no excuses for the cold. Here’s a special courtesy the GLW… yep, winter can’t be too far off when the first reported light snow flurry of the season occurs…