We all tend to justify things. Given the opportunity and circumstance, we can and will come up with reasons for just about anything.
For example, let’s say you want a new car. One with all the options. Moon roof. Butt warmer. Back up sensor. Leather. A computer that talks to you. The clapper for the radio… Ok, ok. That doesn’t exist yet, but I predict it will be huge! But here’s the deal. We often don’t have the budget for this dream machine. So we decide to give up something else in order to make the room to get it anyway.
Here’s the truth: There’s another option. We can be a bit more patient and strategic. Plan and save more so that we can actually afford what we have as well as what we want.
Here’s another example. How often do we dislike the shape we’re in physically, but we’re not willing to do what it takes to get to where we want to be?
There’s a very successful addiction facility in the south that’s been helping people for more than 20 years. They work with people who have eating disorders and often take some creative steps to help them see their addiction clearly. Clients who are 200 pounds overweight will often look themselves right in the eye and justify their habits. The staff will then have them dress in shorts and stand in front of a mirror with a bag over their head and eye holes cut out. With the bag, they tend to see things for what they really are, but without it, they tend to make excuses. Think about why that is…
I see businesses do the same thing. Let’s pick on my own business for a moment. I can walk through my restaurants and easily justify areas that are not as clean as they could or should be. We serve 1500-1800 guests each day. That is an incredible amount of foot traffic. We could vacuum the entry mats 3 times a day. That may seem like a lot, but if we vacuumed at 11am, we could have many hundreds walk on them again in the next two hours and they would look bad again. To the guest that comes in at 1p, the mats will look dirty again – and they don’t really think about what we did 2 hours ago. To them it’s dirty. Plain and simple. And no justification on my part will change their first impression.
To be successful in life and business, we need to ask ourselves a few honest questions:
- How do I appear to others (regardless of my “reasons”)?
- In what areas do I justify my actions to avoid pressures or changes I need to deal with?