Choose Your Side: Dreams or Excuses?

Choose Your Side: Dreams or Excuses?

I posted a quote recently on social media, and the quote was this: "In the war between your dreams and your excuses, which side are you fighting for?" Now, if you just kind of saw that in passing, you would tell yourself it's dreams and you would go on about your day. And the problem is so many of us do that. But the reality is, if we were to actually think about that quote, reality is a lot different.

Reflecting on Your Reality

I had a buddy reach out to me and said, "Man, I saw your post and I started to think about it and decided, wow, that's not a rabbit hole I'm ready to go down right now. Because if I'm honest with myself, I'm probably looking at the excuses or fighting for the excuses." I like the honesty in that because so many of us just have these check marks. We tell ourselves that we're positive, we're optimistic, we're working toward our dreams, and we continue to go on about our life. But we never stop to have accountability checks with ourselves to realize the truth. And the truth is, we're not always headed in the direction we tell ourselves that we're headed.

Understanding the Sides

In anything in life, if you're just kind of driving and you never stop to see if you're going the right way, you never double-check the GPS on a route you haven't been down before, you're going to end up somewhere that you don't want to be. You have to understand in a war that both sides have a reason for fighting. It's important to understand why a side is fighting because it lets you know how easy or difficult the war is going to be to win. If someone is fighting for their own pride, ego, or to oppress somebody, that's an easy war to win. But when someone is fighting for a cause, a belief, something more than themselves, that's going to be a tougher battle. You're going to have to dig your heels in.

Fighting for Your Dreams

Dreams are what life could be if all of these plans came together, if all of the trials and tribulations that we face manifested themselves and became what we want. That should be something that inspires you. So many people are scared of their dreams. They're scared to be what they say they want to be. Then you look at excuses. It's simple to say, "Excuses don't really have a cause." But your excuses are here to keep you exactly where you are. Your brain, by default, will always side with the side of excuses if you don't control it, if you don't push it.

The Brain's Default Setting

Your brain's fundamental reason for existence is to keep you alive in a fight or flight situation. It prefers to stay in the comfort zone to keep you alive. It's important to understand that because if not, you'll go on autopilot, thinking your brain has your best interest for growth in mind. But that's not the truth. Your brain has your body's best interest in mind – to keep you alive. Understand the two sides of the war: dreams and excuses.

Double Agents: Actions vs. Words

You have to start asking yourself, "Who do I really fight for?" What do your actions show that you fight for? The problem is many of us are double agents. We wear the colors of one side, but our actions show we are working for the other side. Your words say you're working toward your dreams. Your Instagram posts say you're working toward your dreams. But your actions, when you wake up and you're worried or fearful, show you're working for the other side.

Actions Speak Louder

When you tell yourself things like, "I can't get out of bed. I'm not a morning person. I can't put in extra hours. I'm tired. I'm not a people person. I'm not a salesperson. I'm not a relationship person," what you're saying is, "I am working for the army of excuses." Your actions impact the war more. Are your thoughts and actions making a dent for the army of excuses or for the army of dreams? Are you taking steps to make these dreams realities? Are you saving money, investing in your relationships, investing in people around you, and investing in yourself?

Taking Action Now

If you truly want to live toward the dream, you have to operate in the present. Anytime you say, "I'll do something later," what you're saying is, "I'm making an excuse now." Take action steps now. Exhibit grit and determination. Wake up with the fire in your eyes that nobody can put out. Be willing to cross whatever you have to cross and fight whoever you have to fight because you know where you want to be and who you want to be.

Be the Leader You Want to Be

Start acting like the person you want to be now. If you want to be a leader, a boss, don't wait until you have the title or role. Start exhibiting the behaviors now. Be sure your actions, behaviors, thoughts, and ideas push you toward what you want and not toward advancing the kingdom of excuses and mediocrity. You have it in you. Make something happen.

Check out my books and apparel to stay inspired. For more insights and motivation, listen to the Shark Theory podcast. Let’s keep pushing the boundaries of our potential.

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