excuses are optional

Written on: March 10, 2018

In: Motivation by Elisa Coleclough

Losses are inevitable, but excuses are optional...

Losses are inevitable, but excuses are optional…


Dear Readers, I hope you are doing great. Let me begin by saying that the title of this post is inspired on a quote I have just read on “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” By John Maxwell (A book John signed for me personally).


Having said that, I just want to clarify that lately, I do not procrastinate helping anyone or doing the extra mile even if it does not have any “reward”. Honestly, every time I decide to do things that will help others just for the sake of it, no pay, no anything, turns out life gives me an unexpected sweet surprise.


As a result of it, the best decision I made this week was to talk at my former University.  For starters, what I thought would be a small event became an official talk as part of the International Women’s Day celebration at school.


It turns out that my former University campus was severely damaged during the last big earthquake in September 2017. Presently, the classes take place in prefabricated classrooms located in the football, basketball and parking lot areas. It is a big effort of students and campus leaders not to lose the semester and carry on with the school year.


Obviously, when I arrived to the University, memories like a movie flew in my memory, friends I met there, knowledge, challenges, my first official job as an accountant working for the no-longer existing firm named Arthur Andersen (Yes, I am that old), dreams, fears and hopes I had for my life.


As I stood up on the stage I saw myself with my friends sitting in the auditorium…and I was for a moment silent and nervous… then I simply continued talking and presenting. Only a few of the attendees who really know me that well (they were my teachers and now are my friends), would realize that I briefly glanced to a memory.


During the talk mostly directed to the need taking self-accountability as students and future professionals of this country, in which only 17% of population have access to University and less than 10% graduate. Now, more than ever it is important that we understand life  really needs positive people with ethics who want to add value to a society divided by violence and  drug trafficking.


A very important part of a nation’s future lies in their graduates as they most likely will be equipped with what it takes to move economy and society forward. It is not true all the time though. I know many people who only had high-school or were drop-outs who have been able to fund and lead successful businesses. However, when you look at all the years and effort those attending University put into, it is mandatory that we are the fuel of a nation and of a world than needs urgent solutions to massive problems.


In Mexico, there are many paradigms that need to be torn down such as:  public-university grads do not reach executive levels, or have successful enterprises because that is reserved only to those who possess the “abilities” and “resources” to be entrepreneurs.  However, ridiculous it may sound to me now, there was a time, in which I heard that frequently amongst students or even some teachers. I never really bought into that anyway…I am pretty persistent, committed and tough to give in. There have been times I have doubted myself, my skills and expertise based on these illusory assumptions whatsoever.


The older I get, the more I realize to see that it is entirely up to each one of us to become a better person, expand our consciousness, and apply what John Maxwell says in the “Law of the Lid”:


 the leader΄s lid, his or her maximum ability to lead will determine the potential of his or her team


Whether you are natural-born genius, or a regular man in the street we all have the same capacity to work on and expand our emotional intelligence and self-awareness, and certainly erase those self-limiting beliefs that prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. Thus bring value to ourselves, family, friend, community and world.


The world does not change, we evolve: the opportunities do not get better, we improve…


Some teachers and students approached me at the end of the event and thanked me for being there. They were genuinely happy to see one of their own come back and share experiences. I thought that such small action had made a larger impact than I ever thought. Maybe it is as John Maxwell says when you look for significance and not for success is when you find happiness. I certainly was pleased, but not out of pride or arrogance, but out of being able to give a little bit back to the school that formed as a young professional.


Second times are better….


I was delighted to have been there, and of course the evening presentation was a lot better, simply because all the emotions that stirred in the morning were now calm and I did not have any memories overflowing gently to my mind’s eye and interrupting me for some seconds in my train of thought. I enjoyed utterly the moment, people’s faces, their smiles but above all the time we shared together.


I wish everyone could do small actions; really they give you more than you put into them. Do not get me wrong, any presentation requires time in preparation for content, power point etc., but it is all worth it.


I hope you can now reflect on what you can do for others, just for the sake of it. Take care and enjoy your day/week. Eli