Today isn’t George Washington Carver’s birthday (actually, nobody knows the exact date of Carver’s birth), but that doesn’t mean we can’t write about him. You’ve heard the name before, we’re sure. Carver was mainly famous in his lifetime for his dedication to farmland: He encouraged crop rotation in order to restore nitrogen to soil, which successfully improved the lives of farmers throughout the South. But this isn’t a history lesson. We’re just here to take Carver’s words and apply them to our own lives.
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” He has a point, doesn’t he? So, how can we insert advice from a man who lived 100 years ago into our hectic, modern lives? We have some ideas.
1. Don’t Cop Out
It’s after seven on a Thursday and you promised three of your friends that you’d meet them for happy hour down the street. But you had a long day, and you’re tired, and you’ve missed two episodes of the Bachelorette, and, anyway, they won’t really miss you. So you send them a quick text making up some sort of excuse about how you wish you could be there but just can’t and you walk home. Don’t do that anymore. If you make plans, keep them. Don’t be a flake. But beyond that, you never wake up the morning after binge-watching Netflix feeling like the night was worth something. Spend time with friends and family, go get drinks, plan a weekend trip — don’t cop out.
2. Procrastinating Will Get You Nowhere
Let’s be honest here: We’re all pretty good at procrastinating. Thanks to social media and T.V. that’s now on your computer and BuzzFeed, you can find ways to put off absolutely anything and everything. And while relaxation to a certain extent is necessary, constant procrastination is just going to lead to stress and regret eventually. Don’t put things off: The sooner you get them done, the sooner you’re free to do whatever you want to do. And, on top of that, becoming engrossed in your work is a sure-fire way to beat boredom.
3. Try Something New
Breaking out of your comfort zone is pretty horrifying in a lot of ways. We’re designed to appreciate normalcy and routine, and that’s why, a lot of the time, our lives feel stagnant. If you’re unhappy in your current situation in any way — your job, your apartment, your love life — then move on, grow up: You might be terrified walking into that job interview, but imagine how much happier you’ll be in a few months. Right? Right.
4. Don’t Let Motivation Slip Away
So, you finally started working out. You were loving it. You felt great, you looked great, everything was great. But then one day you punched your alarm clock and rolled over for an extra hour of sleeping, telling yourself that one day won’t hurt. And then you did the same thing the next day. Suddenly, your laziness was rearing its ugly head every day of the week and all your progress went down the drain. Don’t ever, ever, ever use the excuse, “there’s always tomorrow,” because that’s ridiculous and yesterday’s tomorrow is technically today so get your butt out of bed and go to the gym.
5. Never Assume Failure
Everyone gives up sometimes because it’s easier to quit than to try and then fail. Seriously, everyone does it. But that shouldn’t be the case. If you’re assuming failure, you’re accepting failure — don’t. Not only does confidence make you a more appealing person — we all know it’s true — but it also will push you to attempt the things you wouldn’t have attempted before. Be confident. Heck, be cocky. You’re great and you’re going to let everyone know how great you are by not expecting, or accepting, failure.