Today I came away from a conversation having received more insight than I usually do when talking to someone.

I was talking with a mentor in what I assumed would be a routine Skype call. A few minutes in, he asked me about a goal that I had made last week to commit time to study two specific topics. I completely dropped the ball on that, largely because there was a competing commitment that eclipsed my vision of fulfilling my original goal. Though what I did was good, it wasn’t what I committed to do.

In the past when I have flaked out on commitments or fallen short of achieving a goal, the person who I report to responds with, “Oh, well that’s okay. You’re good. You can do it this week.” Not so in this case. Upon hearing of my shortcoming, my mentor expressed devastation that I didn’t achieve my goal and disappointment that I let a competing interest interfere.

This hit me hard.

Expecting mercy and sympathy, I was completely blindsided by the negative response. My resolve to work harder at my goal was strengthened, and I’m more motivated to make a conscious effort to keep my commitment. I was humbled by this experience because I saw that my actions matter, which is evident when I am being held accountable by someone else. I was reminded that excuses won’t cut it, especially when dealing with things of great importance.

Don’t let what you can control be confused with the uncontrollable. The excuse, “I didn’t have time” is usually more accurately stated, “I didn’t make the time.” There are always areas that I can use my time more efficiently and then have more time for the things that matter most.

The tweet is a good example. Plus, Frog and Toad are awesome.

 

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