The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen ends with a notion of “no excuses”. Mark and Robert give a few examples of people who succeeded against all odds and say that if they made it, then you really have no excuses for not living a happier and more fulfilled life.
I’ve read the book a decade ago and the notion of “no excuses” has been one of a few powerful things that stuck. Accepting full responsibility for your life’s outcomes is incredibly empowering, but it can also be tough and stressful.
As with many things in life, you have to give up certain habits and ways of doing things if you adopt the “no excuses” mindset. And let me tell you, the choice doesn’t seem all that obvious at times.
No Excuses Means Accepting Full Responsibility
What “no excuses” really means is that you accept full responsibility for your life’s outcomes.
At this point in time, I don’t think that this has to be taken literally – after all, we as humans tend to underestimate the role of chance and luck in our lives (if you’re not convinced, check out Fooled by Randomness and Thinking, Fast and Slow). Instead, just like with never giving up, the idea is to accept more responsibility than you normally would.
This idea in and of itself is very powerful. If you are largely responsible for your life’s outcomes, than achieving all of your dreams is within your reach.
Also, if you accept full responsibility, you naturally stop blaming others. Why? Because by blaming, you accept that other people and circumstances have some control over your life, and that’s inconsistent with having 100% responsibility on your part.
Excuses Are Comforting
So what are you to lose if you accept the “no excuses” mindset?
Ten years ago, I’d never thought I’d write this but – a certain amount of excuses may actually be a healthy protective mechanism. If you always blame yourself for not achieving things in your life, you may be putting way more psychological weight on yourself than you deserve. This can be incredibly stressful.
The key here, of course, is “a certain amount”. If you always blame others, the government or the circumstances for not getting what you want, you are just being lazy.
The Choice Is Yours
So should you adopt a “no excuses” mindset? Here is what happens if you do:
- You will feel much more empowered
- Life will become tougher because there will be no one to blame
- You will need to be very honest with yourself.
Whether you want to accept this trade is up to you. In any case, though, try accepting more responsibility for your life and handing less to others through blame. This has helped me immensely.