You Can Have Results or Excuses, Not Both. Famously said by Arnold Schwarzenegger, this quote sums up the idea that anything that is worth achieving takes effort, and it is up to us to put that effort in. We all have dreams and ambitions; they are the things that drive us forwards and keep us going even when we face challenges. Some are small, wanting to visit a particular place on vacation for instance, others are much bigger, career goals, fitness goals, buying a home or owning a specific car, that kind of thing.
But life is not a straight line, we don’t go from starting a career to achieving that goal in one go, it takes time and there are usually a few ups and downs along the way. It is what happens at the down part that Arnold was talking about in this quote. If things are going badly, you didn’t get the promotion, you are struggling to achieve that next fitness goal, you haven’t saved enough money for your financial targets, how do you respond?
If you make excuses for not reaching whatever that goal was, what happens next? What excuses do is to externalize the failure, making it the fault of something else. That could be anything, but the clear effect is to absolve yourself of any blame. By convincing yourself that there was nothing you could do, you make that goal, whatever it may be, unachievable.
This is what is meant by saying you can have results or excuses, not both. By making excuses, you put the reason for failing outside your own responsibility, and that means you won’t try again, or if you do, you go into that challenge already believing you won’t succeed, which usually comes true.
However, think about not reaching a goal the first time, and instead of making excuses, you instead take responsibility. Now you are not putting responsibility on some other person or situation but accepting that you didn’t do enough to achieve it. Now this route allows you to grow, to push yourself to do better, and ultimately, to achieve those goals.
By making excuses, you give yourself a reason not to achieve results. But accepting your own failings, you will ensure that ultimately, whatever the goal, you will achieve it.