I want to give credit to this column, and the writing habit I have developed because of it, for some of the recent improvements in my personal performance. Writing doesn’t often come naturally to me, so I was hesitant at first about committing to a weekly column. If I’m honest, I leaned on several excuses before pulling the trigger.
I’ve used excuses concerning many areas of my life to put off tasks. I suppose the theory of selective attention has kicked in when it comes to my excuses or reasons, or the responsibilities I choose to avoid. Despite thoughts of personal accountability being at the forefront of my mind each week and the filter of “no good excuse,” I had mastered the use of rationalizations in some areas of my life.
I’m grateful for this new process, habit, and season of personal growth. Instead of beating myself up for things I’ve been lazy about or have avoided in the past, I recognize where I can take responsibility and make adjustments in my life. This column has shone a spotlight on my “opportunities” and given me consistent accountability.
The most powerful benefit is the consistent and regular self-reflection that comes with putting my thoughts and experiences in writing to be viewed in a public format. If this were a journal I kept hidden under my bed, I guarantee you I’d be quick to employ excuses. “Going public” with my thoughts and perspectives bestows a deeper level of accountability on me.
I know that in everyday conversations when a friend is about to ask me about something and I intend to make an “excuse,” I’ll feel ashamed before he says a word. I anticipate questions like this most frequently from my mother. Following is an example of a recent conversation:
“Have you filed your taxes yet, son?”