Reason or Excuse -No Difference

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi


It has been said, that it is not what happens to us that counts, but what we do with what happens to us. It’s also said, that it’s not what we have the counts, it’s what we do with what we have that counts. While these are truths that have the capacity of getting us to sigh and think deeply, I think there are some vital realities lost on us when we consider these statements. I’ll like us to consider some of the elements that defined as happenings and some of the elements classified as “what we have”.


Success is not a function of unique good happenings, good things happen to all, it’s more a funtion of how we manage the happenings in our lives. Failure is not the odd collection of unfortunate incidents, it’s how we rise everytime the opportunity to fall presents itself. Here are a few things that have happened to different people, and how the reactions can be the difference between winning and losing.

Good Happenings

1. Opportunities

Interestingly, we all get our share of good opportunities in life. Some of us are prepared for our opporunities and make the most of them, some of us are not. The person that is called lucky is the person who is prepared when his/her opportunity comes. Opportunities come to all, some convert those moments into defining moments and change their lives, some Pass Over Opportunities Repeatedly (POOR) and become poor. What is your positioning relative to opportunities today? Are you passing over opportunities repeatedly? Are you preparing for future opportunities? Are you making the most of your current opportunities? It’s not in the presence or absense of opportunities, it’s the use that counts!

2. Praise

We all get praised at some time or the other for what we did well. Some of allow the praise to usher them to do more, while some allow the praise to get into their heads and make them misbehave. How you respond to praise, to acclaim or to applause goes a long way to determine the difference between success and failure. There is a good way to respond to praise, there is a bad way to respond.

I’m sure you can generate and add to this list.

Bad Happenings

1. Rejection

We all face this one time or the other in our lives. There are those days when it seems that the curtains are removed, and it becomes clear to you, that you might have let some people down, and you face the cold reality of their rejection. There are times when the rejection seems deserved, and there are times when it seems out of place. However you rank the basis for the rejection, one thing is certain, how you handle this time can make you or mar you. If you leave rejection with a resolve to be better, with a resolve to measure yourself by new standards, if you leave rejection with a sense of individuality that does not require the acceptance of the majority to establish it’s personality, then the rejection made you. If you however leave rejection with bitterness, with anger or with any ill feeling, then rejection just marred you.

2. Failure

Failure is not the absence of success, it’s a signpost on the way to success. No matter how successful we are, we have all failed sometimes in our lives. It is not failiure that destroys one’s destiny, it’s how the failure is handled. Some leave failure with a burning resolve to prove a point, some others leave with a new definition of their identity -“Failures”. It’s not how low you fall that counts, its how high you bounce back that matters. If you try, and fail, at least you are forever out of the company of those who know neither success nor failure because they haven’t ever tried.

The list of bad happenings are inexaustible, but there is nothing that you are going through that is uncommon, someone somewhere has been there, and you can benefit from their perspectives. Feel free to add to this list as well.

What we have

The list of the “things we have” are inexaustible. It could be money, it could talent, it could be resources, relationships, fame e.t.c. Everything you have is what you need to begin to plot your future. What you don’t have you don’t need. Someone else can have exactly what you have and make a mess of it, while someone else can have the same thing and live an inspiring life. We all have something, something that we can leverage on and make the best use of. It is not what we have, it’s what we do with what we have that makes the world of differnce.

The question to you today is simple, what are you doing with the things you have and what are you doing about the things that happened to you. Success is not in those things, success is in you. You have the power to take any situation and turn it around for good. What happened to you? Do you have an excuse or do you have a testimony.

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