Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can. – Ashleigh Brilliant
What does that mean?
This is a neat quote, and is almost in a chiastic form. It starts by stating that you should not use something as an excuse. What is that thing?
The thing it says is everything. You can’t do everything. And face it, who can these days? Put another way, no one can do everything, so no one should use that as an excuse for not doing something. What is that thing?
The thing it says is everything you can. Yes, you can’t do everything, but you can do something. It may not seem like much, but a lot of people, each doing a little, can add up quickly.
Putting it back together, since we can all do something, none of us should use the excuse that because we can’t do it all, we should do nothing.
Why is doing something important?
There are people who do nothing because they aren’t sure what to do. Others wait until they know enough to be confident. Some may even ignore things, and hope it goes away. Then there are those who, as the quote says, do nothing because they can’t do it all.
It’s going to sound pretty obvious here, but we have to realize that if we do nothing, nothing will get done. The more reasons we have for why we aren’t ready, the less we will do, and the less will get done. The more excuses for why we haven’t started, the less we will do, and the less will get done.
What if you are too busy to get much done? If you don’t get started, how will anything get done? And that is the point of the quote. We’re too busy with reasons and excuses, and while we are busy coming up with reasons or making up excuses, we just don’t get much done.
If we put that same effort into doing something, even if it’s just for a short time, or with limited resources, we’d actually be making progress. And making things happen is much better than making excuses, at least it is for me. What about you? Would you rather make progress or make excuses?
Where can I apply this in my life?
The quote warns us against doing nothing because we can’t do everything. Life is not usually that black and white. Do you not play a sport simply because you won’t be the best on your team, in the league, on the face of the planet, or of all time? Play if you enjoy it, and don’t if it isn’t fun, right?
Think about how things are going in your life at the moment. What is there which feels black and white to you? Not moral issues, but taking action or refraining from it? Are you not starting up with a new hobby because you aren’t sure if you can do all of the different aspects of it?
At my age, I can’t do as much physical stuff as I’d like, but that doesn’t stop me. At least it doesn’t stop me from getting started. I might not ever run a marathon, but there are other reasons for running. Right now, I can’t even do that, but am walking until I can run again.
What aren’t you doing because you aren’t sure you can finish or do well? Do you decide not to pick up the paint brush because you can’t finish the painting in one go? Why can’t you get started now? Can you at least get the rough sketch in, and then schedule time to get all the paining done later?
Yes, it is easier to make excuses than to actually do things. But what do you have when you are done making excuses? I have a great big empty space in me where something should have been. But there isn’t anything there because I didn’t do what I could do. I have nothing when I could have had something.
Yes, some things work better in long, flowing sessions. I imagine I could make for some interesting sets of blog posts if I could sit down and write a week or two in one sitting. But I rarely have that kind of time, so I do what I can, rather than doing nothing. Does that make sense?
What are you not doing due to your belief that you can’t do it all or do it well enough? What are you willing to try? What are you willing to do a little of, and see how it goes? Not everything which is started needs to be finished. If you decide it isn’t worth the effort or no longer have interest, you can stop.
Take some time today to do something you haven’t yet done. Something you’ve been considering, but never finished because you aren’t able to do it all. It may take some effort, and it will take abandoning your excuses, but it can be done.
You might not be able to end world hunger, but can you help feed one person? every little bit counts.
From: Twitter, @2ndharvest
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/67058-not-being-able-to-do-everything-is-no-excuse-for (presumably from one of his books)
Photo by Andres