My mom pointed out this morning that a couple of my blog posts last week had a bunch of grammatical errors. My initial reaction during that split second was to get defensive and offer an excuse. It had touched an insecurity around my ability to write. And, I reasoned to myself, it had after all been a brutal last couple of weeks and, on some days, just hitting publish on a post felt like a victory.
That’s when a question crossed my mind – when will the excuses stop?
Sure, the next couple of weeks may not be brutal. But, what about the next tough period? Will I make excuses then, too? ‘
The English football team offers a shining example of this problem. After every international tournament failure, the media points to one excuse after another. And, it typically ends with everyone blaming the English Premier League for not having enough homegrown players.
If the problem was that, how do you explain Costa Rica knocking out big wigs like Italy and England en-route to the quarter finals? How you explain a team like Algeria narrowly losing to the Germans in the Round of 16? Both these teams didn’t make it there by accident. They were simply teams that were good at playing together as a team. They got good while the others didn’t.
England’s failure was not a surprise to me. Germany’s success was not a surprise either (the extent of the thrashing they doled out to Brazil definitely was). The former makes a habit of making excuses while the latter simply focuses on clinical execution by a collection of excellent football players.
It is impossible to get better by making excuses. I ended up engaging my mom to help fix the grammatical errors. While I am glad I did, I also know that I was awfully close to making an excuse.
We always have a choice – to make an excuse or simply get better. And, I find it heartening that it is entirely my choice.