Daily Inspiration: Personal Development – “Be the person known for ideas, not excuses”


“Be the person known for ideas, not excuses”  –  Futurist Jim Carroll

Word gets around about the whiners.

You know who they are – the constant complainers, those who suggest it can’t be done, and the engines of negativity. No one likes a co-worker who is always dragging the team down instead of lifting them up. This becomes particularly true when they don’t become known for the ideas they suggest, but for the excuses they offer up. They’re never looking for a solution, because they are too busy generating complaints. They never offer any good suggestions because they’ve been too busy tearing down all the others.

They never have an original idea because they’ve spent all their time looking for reasons why they couldn’t find one.

They wear you out with their negativity and drag you down with their pessimism.

Don’t become known as this person.

Others don’t want to hang around them because they are, well, just a drag.

Offer up ideas, even if they are a little too far off the beaston path. Become known as the person with suggestions, even when they might be a little bit extreme. Develop a reputation as an original thinker, even if you’ve got to stretch really hard to do some thinking. Because at the end of the day, if you are the person who can inspire others with ideas rather than the one who is perceived to be blocking the way, you’ll be regarded as a trailblazer. In today’s world, that matters.

I wrote about this some time ago, when I went through the list of excuses that the whiner can make day to day. It’s worth revisiting. Ask yourself if you can easily find someone like that in your crowd. I bet you can. Ask yourself if this is you. If so, you have a big problem.

Where are you stifling opportunity through the pervasive attitude that everything would be OK if it just weren’t for other things?

  • it wasn’t my fault!
  • it wasn’t supposed to happen that way!
  • I’m sorry for what I did
  • I’m sorry it didn’t work out
  • I’m sorry for what happened
  • (lots of ‘sorries’ go on the list here)
  • I never had enough time
  • no one gave me a proper budget!
  • I expected so much more
  • I never had enough support
  • I couldn’t get enough people to help me out
  • I was lacking in cooperation!
  • it wasn’t the right time!

After a period of time, excuses lead to a legacy of failure, a litany of losing – people tune out, identifying you as a whiner, an engine of mediocre thinking, someone who will never succeed at anything. That’s a pretty desperate corner to back yourself into.

Stop making excuses – engineer optimism! By turning it around and focusing on what’s next – and the opportunities for success – you change the storyline dramatically:

  • here’s where we’re going to go
  • I think it’s going to be great!
  • I’ve got a wonderful idea!
  • think about what we could accomplish!
  • this is going to be fantastic!
  • think of the implications!
  • but wait, there’s even more!

Attitudes like this reek of positivity! Not only that, they change your thinking and that of those around you: you’re defined as an opportunity influencer, not an engine of negativity.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.