I could have blamed the sideways wind, the damp court, the cold weather on my aching joints when I was not connecting with the ball but what would that prove – no excuses I say to myself. If I blame it on something else, how can I expect to overcome these adversities? Playing tennis outside is a different game – it takes working it out to do better.
It takes me back to my chemo rounds when I would turn up on day 10-20 post infusion to hit…. Oh yes, day 20, look out, I was on high dose steroids – not accurate but whacking the ball on sleep deprived energy boost. If I allowed myself to blame my weakness on the score, I would always lose so No Excuses was my mantra. Of course, we have to recognize our limitations – don’t make an impossible goal – only one that is incremental, reachable, achievable – within your capabilities but just a little up the challenging scale.
On several occasions, people explained that they had been away on holiday so may not hit as well then quickly realized what they were saying as they played this attitude….. never start the game with forgiveness or excuses – its about possible….. nothing else. Figure out the solution and try again otherwise you’ve given yourself permission not to try so hard.
It all comes down to our “Locus of Control” : Internal locus of control says that your inner attitude controls your success – that if it is not working then you have to figure it out to make it happen. An “External locus of control” suggests that the outcome is due to external factors – that life circumstances, my surgeries/ cancer treatment, the weather, my racquet, what you eat, other people are the reason for your lack of success. Sometimes these factors are there but it is clear that the Internal locus of control is needed for self-satisfaction and achievement of our goals within our reachable levels, whatever that may be.
You see, it applies to life – who said it was easy? But we don’t have to see failure as a stopping point, only a learning point to figure it out and try again. It may not be about things turning out the way you planned but trying it differently or in a new direction to create success.
So I made this poem, not because I can get it all right – it is really about what I try to teach myself to remember – to redirect my thinking. Poems have a cadence that allow the phrases to ring in my head when I am late or trying to explain why I am not winning. If I can try and change this attitude instead of accepting it , I will improve and change – we are humble to that.
I just need possible, nothing to blame
Don’t give excuses that things aren’t the same
Failure’s a lesson, now figure it out,
Notice your thoughts and what it’s about
Attitude rules, not limitations
No excuses will give new expectations
When it hurts or you’re tired think of success
Try your best and go further, don’t settle for less
Find the good not the bad, be confident, it shows
Be determined, don’t give up, no excuses I chose
Say what you mean, keep to your word
Don’t overschedule, no excuses you heard
Decide and stick with it one step at a time
No excuses is how, up mountains you climb
Write it down, plan ahead, no excuse, don’t be late
Respect other schedules, don’t make them wait
Don’t make your challenge too big or too small
Forgive yourself if you don’t reach it, but fall
Just pick yourself up, no excuses to know
We learn to get better, and that’s how we grow.
It is not about doing it all, just making reachable challenges and figuring it out when it doesn’t work to come back and try again – No Excuses.