Results and Excuses

No matter what you might have heard, success requires action; not excuses.


A man was jogging through a nearby neighborhood one Saturday evening, and passed a house with an old man watching the world from his front porch rocking chair. Out in the old man's front yard was a hound dog - and as the man jogged by, he heard the dog whining and howling.

A few minutes later, as the jogger passed by again on his way home, he waved at the old man and was surprised to still hear the hound dog howling out in pain. The jogger stopped, walked back to the old man's yard, and pointed at the dog.

"But, why does he whine and howl like that?"

The old man looked down at the dog... "Old Buster's been lying on a pinecone all afternoon." The jogger was confused... "Why doesn't he get up?" "Well," the old man said "It doesn't hurt him enough to make him get up... it only hurts him enough to make him whine about it."

That story shares a very important idea: people are sometimes more willing to whine, complain, or make excuses than to take action. A choice. And there is a little of "Old Buster" in each of us.

But if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile, you have to do something – it’s not going to happen because you whined or wished for it.

If you want results and haven't taken action, it's time to get REAL!

There are four things that motivate people: they do things because they:

-     are getting ‘R’ rewarded enough, (with money or recognition)
-     are ‘E’ excited enough about where they are going
-     are ‘A’ angry enough and experiencing so much adversity that they can't endure it, or
-     are ‘L’ loyal enough to a worthy cause or person to take action or do something because it is important to them! But nobody does anything until they first get REAL!

Inertia is the strongest force in the universe! An object at rest tends to stay at rest... but great team-mates stop complaining and start doing!

And whether you are a coach, a player, an employer or an employee - don't expect rewards to get you off that pinecone consistently - of the four motivators, research has shown that rewards are the least powerful. To stay truly committed, you have to get excited or angry or be so loyal and connected to someone else' that their passion gets you up to start working.


No matter who you are, there is a pinecone in your life. Whether you are howling out loud, or just suffering quietly, things won't improve until you take action. You have to overcome the status quo.

Ideas don't win games, ideas don't build businesses - ideas are a dime a dozen but, action is what separates successful people from mediocre masses! If there is something that you want, you have to get off your pinecone!

Besides, the action you take must be equal to the goal you have set... You don't get off BIG pinecones by making small efforts ... to every action, there will be equal and opposite reaction. Your work ethic must match your aspirations!

If you want to be Mr. Universe, you have to be willing to lift more than one weight. If you want to go to the best university, you must be willing to study or do your homework. If you want more recognition, or you want to get noticed by the people in your chosen field, must willingly invest extra time improving your talents - that is just not reality!

And great leaders - great teammates – successful business people - will do this consistently. Remember that you do WELL what you do OFTEN.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, “the best performers in any field invest 10,000 hours to reach that level of excellence”. The Beatles are one example of a group who put in that time. They played over 1,200 shows in Germany before they got "discovered" and became famous in America.

The truth is that most overnight successes have put in years of training to prepare for their moment of fame BEFORE the spotlight found them and this is irrespective of your field, passion or interest.


So, what is your pinecone?  What are your pressing challenges? What are your underlying setbacks? What action do you need to take? Will your work ethic match your aspirations? Whatever the answers, if you want results instead of excuses, you just have to get REAL.

Begin to take action now.

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