Are You Still Making Excuses?

My wife and I are very excited about studying abroad in Ireland. As much as we are looking forward to it, though, it almost didn’t happen. The worst part? It would have all been our own fault. We kept finding excuses why this wasn’t the best time to take the trip.

  • It’s cheaper to go over during the summer, on our own
  • What if we can’t get all of the classes we need?
  • We’re having a hard time finding an apartment within our budget, what if we can’t find somewhere to live?
  • What if something happens and we run out of money?

Each of these have easy answers why they are not issues. This is not only the best time to go to Ireland, but we get to stay longer, so any extra cost is worth it. If we do miss a couple of classes, we can take them over the summer at the community college. We always have a hard time finding apartments online, we do much better in person; at the worst, we will have to raise our budget and cut back somewhere else. No matter what, we already have our return tickets, so we will not get stuck in Ireland.

We were accepted into the program, and then spent two weeks debating if we should go or not. The stress was building. Finally, I sat back and realized that we were just making excuses. Were we going to pass up living in Ireland for 6 months because of excuses? Excuses! Not on your life. Once we realized that there were no real reasons for us not to go, everything seemed to fall in place.

What adventures are you missing out on because of your excuses? Don’t do this to yourself!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

Do you have an adventure you want to experience, but excuses are holding you back? Here’s a process that will help you out. All you need is paper and pencil. Following are six questions; write down the first thing that comes to mind for each question. Keep writing until the flow stops. I will provide an example for each question, identified by this color.

  1. What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if you do what you are considering?
    We would go to Ireland without having found a place to live, and not be able to find somewhere to live while we were there. So we would have to stay in a hotel and would burn through our money, leaving us broke and homeless in Ireland.
  2. What could you do to fix what went wrong?
    I imagine that the school would not let us stay homeless, so I am sure we could work something out. We could check Craigslist and find a place to stay in trade for work. We could find a job that pays under the table, doing handi-work or something. We could find housing through a local church. We could stealth camp around the town. Last but not least, we could borrow the necessary money from our families.
  3. If you go through with your idea, and it works out well, what are the possible positive outcomes?
    We will be able to spend five months in Ireland (my first trip out of the country). We will get to spend a week traveling around Europe, and spend a couple of days with my wife’s host family from when she studied abroad in Finland. I will be able to work on the website while I am traveling, and will have built up a decent readership by the time we return to the USA.
  4. Are you putting off what you want to do only because of fear?
    I’m afraid that I won’t get the classes that I need, that we’ll spend more money than we can afford, or that …. I think that is basically what it boils down to.
  5. What is it costing you to postpone action?
    We stressed ourselves out for two weeks, trying to determine if we could go. If we went during the summer, it might cost us less, financially, but we wouldn’t get to stay as long or do as many things. Also, since we are going during the school semester, we still have the summer to go on other adventures. If we don’t go now, we could continue finding excuses for years.
  6. What are you waiting for?
    We have looked at the worst that could happen, and the best that could happen. I know the worst that is possible, and the simple things that I can do to fix it. I think we just ran out of excuses…

Quit making excuses, get on with your adventure!

5 thoughts on “Are You Still Making Excuses?

  1. Helen. N says:

    Hi there, this is Helen from China, Beijing. I have checked your blog from problogger, and I think the topic you are writing about is terrific! I will post your blog to my friends, cause it’s what they are looking for!

    Good to see your blog!

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