Monday, February 19, 2024

The tyrany of the evergreen excuse

I'll always remember my high school running coach saying:

"Excuses are like assholes. Everyone's got one and they stink."

We all hate hearing excuses when things don't go as expected.

But, I think some excuses are better than others.

Sometimes, excuses are situational. Things like:

"The reports weren't delivered on time because we had an unexpected system outage."


"I was late for dinner because there was an accident that caused a backup in traffic."

These are single-use products. They apply only to a specific situation at a specific time. Use once and discard.

On the other hand, some excuses are evergreen. For example:

"We weren't able to get the project done on time because it's really complex."


"I didn't exercise today because I didn't have the energy."

Evergreen excuses are re-usable. They never expire. They're always available for use.

When we're accountable to others, evergreen excuses are a quick path to getting fired/breaking up/etc.

When we're accountable to ourselves, they're a quick path to self-loathing. When accountable to ourselves, we make the decision of whether or not to accept our own excuse.

Evergreen excuses give us permission to be lazy.

They're always ready to giving us an easy out. Ready to tell us it's okay that we didn't do the thing we should've done.

They're addictive. Each time we use them, it becomes easier to use them the next time.

We get used to the easy road.

Eventually, taking the easy road is no longer a decision. It's just becomes the road we're on.

That road leads to disappointment.

It's a path that leads away from our dreams.