No Excuses!
Read in 19 min.
Listen in 24 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Brian Tracy

No Excuses!

The power of self-discipline holds to help you achieve your goals

What is the secret to the tremendous success achieved by other people? Why do we fail? According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, it's all about making excuses: we need to stop making excuses for not doing what we should do, and instead start using the power of self-discipline to achieve our goals in life. He explains how to say goodbye to excuses, and welcome success in the book No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline.

No Excuses!
Read in 19 min.
Listen in 24 min.

To be successful, we have to put aside excuses, and start assuming responsibility

In life, we often hear about people who are very successful in a particular field in which we know we have more skills and experiences ourselves, and the same question always crosses our mind: why them and not me? And we always get the same answer: we justify this difference between their success and our lack thereof by saying that they were luckier, richer, or knew the right people. 

These answers make us feel better, because they soothe our anxieties, at least for a short while, but they are wrong, and indeed, they are part of the problem. From an early age, we are used to blaming the things that happen to us on someone else: when we are very young, all our needs are taken care of by our parents, and therefore if we are hungry, we break something, or we have to buy a new notebook for school, someone will do it for us, or help us do it. Consequently, if we arrive at school without the new notebook, it will be our parents' fault, not ours; similarly, if something is broken and not repaired or replaced, or there is no food waiting for us on the table, we do not feel directly responsible.

Obviously, it is only right (as well as advisable) for someone to take care of a child until they can fend for themselves, however this bond is almost never definitively broken, and many adults find themselves growing up without ever feeling completely responsible for what happens in their lives. The very mechanism, created out of necessity during childhood, never truly leaves us, resulting in many people continuing to justify their failures by blaming them on others: this is where the various excuses related to the supposed reasons we fail originally come from.

But this cannot be further from the truth: we alone are entirely responsible for how our life proceeds. On the one hand, this realisation can come as quite a shock, but on the other hand, it can also give you incredible power over your life: if we are responsible for the direction of our every project and idea, it means that we are directly in control of what happens next in our life, and that every moment – including right now - is the right time to take the reins, and start working to achieve our dreams. The key to improving your life is therefore to stop making excuses, and start taking action. Now.

The facts speak for themselves, and they show that the most common justifications are mere excuses: for example, it has been proven that the great majority of millionaires in the United States are first generation Americans, and therefore have humble origins. Furthermore, if we take a closer look at the lives of people who have become successful, we discover that they all share the determination to act, and do everything in their power to get closer to their objectives, irrespective of the field they are involved in.

In essence, you need to practice self-discipline in order to stop making excuses, getting used to working towards your goals by resisting the temptation of immediate gratification, and thus triggering a mechanism that will help you increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. The good news is that any action, if repeated, becomes a habit, and therefore this also works for self-discipline: after an initial difficult period, you will gradually find that behaving in the right way, and assuming responsibility, rather than making excuses, will become part of who you are, and your life will start improving drastically.

Self-discipline and self-control are really powerful tools if used to their full potential, and they can change each and every one of our lives, in every way, from our character and our personal life, to our work, and ultimately to our relationships, and our family.


The key ideas of "No Excuses!"

To be successful, we have to put aside excuses, and start assuming responsibility
Character is crucial to success, and can be shaped through controlling the choices we make
Self-discipline is the basis of success because it allows us to excel and reach our goals
Self-Control and self-discipline will impact your career and savings
Practising self-discipline to create good habits can help us live healthy, fit, happy, and long lives
Self-discipline and self-control improve family relationships and make us better friends
Take-home message
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