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Living in excuses

When you're late for a date, what do you say?

You would probably explain why you're late and then apologise for being late. [Or apologise first and then explain why.]

In the Landmark course I took last year, I was told to skip the excuses and just apologise and recommit.

Recommit? What does that mean?

To say that you won't be late next time.

What if you're late again?

Apologise and recommit.

In other words, excuses don't matter. They only make you feel less guilty.

For a few weeks now, my conscience has been reminding me that I had said that I was going to call Alan the second week of January in my December e-mail. He had suggested that I call him. But I had reservations about whether I'd be able to call and why I needed to call. So I kept quiet.

In my e-mail yesterday, I started to write,"Dear Alan, Sorry I didn't get to call you last week. I was really busy with home renovations, and just couldn't find the time. ...." I stopped and thought to myself, so what? The fact is --- I didn't call. It doesn't matter why I didn't call. If he had been waiting, I should apologise. But the fact is, I had said I would call and I didn't. I broke my commitment and integrity.

So I recomposed my e-mail, "Dear Alan, I had promised to phone you 2nd week of Jan, as you suggested, but didn't do so. I apologise."

There was no need for excuses. We live in the present not in the past. What matters is how we will proceed in the future. That's why we just have to recommit.

In my next sentence, I suggested how I thought we should proceed in the future.

Sometimes, it takes awhile to fully digest and learn what you're taught. When I was told to apologise and recommit, I did so without understanding why. Now I would like to share this understanding with my friends who live in excuses. They are not aware that they are hiding in excuses which make them feel less bad but don't help them see what really matters.

16 January 2004 Friday

Related journal entries:
The perfectionist's racket
Breakthroughs and breakdowns
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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