- Thoughts for inspired living

October 3, 2008

Why I Can’t

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:01 am

After working with hundreds of thousands of people who want to change their lives, the amount of time I hear the justification for limitations is more staggering than a Mike Tyson interview or punch.

Just yesterday I spoke to a gentleman who wants to stop smoking. I specifically outlined what was necessary for him to be long-term successful. He immediately went into a litany of reasons he can’t do those things. I point blank told him that he doesn’t have a plan to stop smoking, but rather a wish. He said I was questioning his desire. I responded that I was merely putting a spotlight on his strategy that’s not working.

I asked him if it was possible for a person buried in credit card debt to spend their way to prosperity. He said he thought that was impossible. I asked him how he would advise that person. He said he would tell them they needed a financial plan that would require more discipline than the current plan they had. And then there was a long pause and he asked, “I’m really advising myself, aren’t I?”

“Why I Can’t” is a disease we all suffer from. This isn’t a platform speech on positive thinking, but rather an effort to get us to defocus on limitations.

Your first clue that this disease is full blown is when you start using justifications to keep your limitations in place. Justifying failures keeps failure in place. It’s pure drug addict logic. The drug addict, gambler, alcohol abuser, etc. when confronted with the results of their behavior will often shift gears. They will deftly pivot to blaming someone else and say something like, “If you were under all the pressure I am, you would (fill in the blank) too.” Their position shifts to the justification of “Why I Can’t.”

But the “Why I Can’t” strategy goes well past addictions. It’s alive, well and pervasive in our everyday lives. It’s become such a part of our make-up that we don’t even recognize it. We argue for our limitations in every area of our lives and it takes its toll on our peace of mind. Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle says,

“Listen to people’s stories, and you’ll find that they could all be entitled “Why I Cannot Be at Peace Now.”

Every time we justify a limitation we postpone our peace.

Take a moment today and examine the justifications for your story and notice how they act as the glue of gloom.

You can’t justify your way to peace any more than you can spend your way to prosperity. As Daniel Quinn brilliantly says in his book Ishmael,

“There is no argument powerful enough to end the argument.”

The solution then seems to be to suspend the argument and focus on finding the peace.

All the best,


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