The mantra of a personal responsibility seminar* I took many years ago has stayed with me:

Not doing something –plus a really good excuse — does not equal doing something.
Think of how often we act as if a good reason should be accepted and excuse the fact that the required behavior was not accomplished.
> I was late — because of traffic — does not equate to being on time.
> I did not finish the project — because my computer crashed — does not equal doing the project.
> I need an extension on my car payment — because I had to buy a new water heater — does not equal paying when due.
> I did not do what you asked — because I did not understand what you meant — does not equal meeting your obligation.
I was faced with this situation recently when my delayed flight caused me to miss my connection.  I had two choices:  call the people I was presenting for the next day and tell them my travel dilemma or get there.  They would have certainly understood, but I willingly chose to drive 3.5 hours to be present when the meeting started in the morning.
The excuse is often the easy way out, but you’ll feel better if you do what you’ll say you’ll do, even when it’s not easy to make that equation happen.

— beth triplett

*by Landmark Education

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