My vocabulary is shrinking. I know what you are thinking – the answer is no, I didn’t just take the SAT and then forget everything. This is self-imposed shrinkage.
First a story
I remember a time when I was fairly young that we went on a hike. It must have been pretty long because I made a lot of comments like “we still have a long way to go”, pretty hot because I made many comments like “it sure is hot”, and a pretty big mountain because I made multiple comments like “wow this is steep”. I wasn’t whining, just saying aloud the things that went through my brain.
Fast forward a few hours – once back home we triumphantly retold of our conquest of the mountain. But the stories that I heard from the others did not match my memory of the event! They claimed that I was complaining the whole time. Did I think I was complaining at all? Nope. Just observing. Facts. Turns out that my intention did not match the perception of those around me.
How is this relevant at all Brian?
Today I am attempting to drop two words from my vocabulary: BUSY and TIRED. Attempting? Nay, RIPPING OUT WITH MY TEETH!
These words are great for making excuses. Excuses are a crutch. You know why I’m not drinking tonight? I want to get a good night sleep to enjoy tomorrow morning. You know why we haven’t hung out? I value the other activities in my life more. Straight up. Of course I won’t always provide those answers when asked, but it means that I won’t convince myself that it is because I am tired or busy.
My fear is that anytime I claim to be busy or tired it is going to be perceived as complaining. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reason I’m busy is because there are a lot of great people in my life and a lot of things I want to do while I’m here. The reason I’m tired is because I occasionally try to push my limits.
Fake it till you make it
Once I stop saying these words out loud, it is only a matter of time before I stop even thinking them in my head. When I no longer consider being busy or tired an excuse, I have arrived at my goal: to evaluate decisions honestly. No more lying to myself.
This post was inspired by Scott Dinsmore’s post about the word busy. Scott taught Jesse and I speed reading (which I haven’t been practicing) and has a great blog you should check out.
Hopefully this provides a little insight into a couple things I value more than the average man: willpower and telling the truth. Telling the true is not the opposite of lying. It means not nodding and going along with something if you have no intention of actually doing it. Having no intention of actually doing it means if you haven’t thought about it and consciously made a decision, you should not say you are going to do it.
Big shout out to Josh Schwarzapel for letting me share his space at Dogpatch Labs. Be on the lookout for his awesome startup idea to be heading your way soon.
Photo: Taylor McBride