- Thoughts for inspired living

June 10, 2014

Justifications are Limitations

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:39 am

C266600 mThe Grasshopper added a new twist to a rosy old phrase when he offered this: “Limitations aren’t any sweeter when we justify them.”

My takeaway is this: Justifications are limitations. I’m sure there are exceptions to this bold assertion but not enough to justify them.

We limit ourselves when we attempt to excuse what we’ve done under the umbrella of justification.

To me, the most useful justifications happen in print – Left justified, right justified, center justified, etc. But no matter what justification we select for our text, there’s often a period at the end of the sentence.

When it comes to our actions, the period gets replaced by a justification and we limit our ability to take responsibility again.

How refreshing would it be to hear someone admit to something with just a period after the admission? “Your honor, I ran over my lover with my car.” That admission will rarely be heard in court. “I ran over that cheating S.O.B. because he was canoodling with my best friend” is the more likely admission peppered with justification.

We limit our ability to go forward when we allow justifications to take us backwards. Admission with a period is a move forward strategy. It gets you to the next step quicker. Justification is an anchor to past behavior.

No more apparent are the limitations of justifications than when issued in apologies. “I’m sorry I shot at your dog, but he was barking.” As silly as that apology looks and sounds, it’s in the form that most of us use when apologizing. Notice how the justification takes you back into the argument. “Barking is what dogs do, a$$hole.” And the back and forth devolves into more limiting behavior.

The next time you find yourself about to justify a piece of behavior, think of the Mahatma Gandhi quote: “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”

Here’s a life lesson that will take us forward when applied: Admissions without justifications result in less limitations.

All the best,


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