In Vince Lombardi’s legendary book “Run to Daylight” he shares with the reader that one of his greatest challenges was getting grown men, huge muscular football playing men, to understand the difference between big hurts and small hurts. Big hurts were the kind that truly disabled his players from performing on the field. Broken bones (not the finger variety) fit into this category. Small hurts, like minor sprains, a cold, a slight fever, or even a simple case of feeling sorry for one self, were the kind of obstacles that long term Lombardi players overcame.
All of us have encountered big hurts directly and/or indirectly through people we know. All of us certainly encounter small hurts on a frequent or even daily basis. What would Art Williams (the video from the last email) say to us about overcoming small hurts? Just Do It!
In his landmark book, “The Magic of Thinking Big”, Dr. David Schwarz calls the inability to overcome small hurts the disease of excusitis. He states, “Go deep into your study of people, and you’ll discover unsuccessful people suffer a mind-deadening thought disease. We call this disease excusitis. Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most average persons have at least a mild case of it. Persons with mediocre accomplishments are quick to explain why they haven’t, why they don’t, and why they aren’t”.
Schwarz identifies several types of excusitis, including health, intelligence, age, and bad luck. He then, of course, goes on to remind us of examples of leaders who overcame some small and arguably large hurts, For example, he points to Teddy Roosevelt, who overcame many health ailments, and Harry Truman, who never went to college.
We would add another variety of excusitis – time excusitis. We’ve all heard from others and probably even said ourselves – I don’t have time to do that. This could legitimately be the case; however, in our experience, this reason is often just an excuse. Consider this, each of us has 24 hours in a day. If we work 8 – 10 hours; sleep 7 – 8 hours; eat, shower, dress, etc. 2 hours; and, exercise 1 hour that still leaves us with 4 – 7 hours per day to volunteer, read, engage in professional development, spend quality time with our family, relax, and generally be productive. And, this isn’t counting the weekend!
How do you use your 4 – 7 hours and the weekend? Are you spending it on balancing the four elements that create life-work balance that we’ve talked about? What about the truly important Quadrant 2 activities?
Think about some successful people that you know or have learned about. How do they manage their 4 – 7 hours? Chances are they spend time on the four elements, in Quadrant 2, and overcome potential excuses, and Just Do It!