“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.”
Last night I took time to read a chapter in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and one of the lessons that stood out for me among a lot of others was how Ben approached life and took full responsibility for what happened or what did not happen in his life.
Benjamin Franklin was born into poverty and obscurity. It was like he started a game of monopoly with $2 instead of the standard $1,500. Do you know what his response was? He said that he would accept a repeat if he could do it all over again.
This response is more profound than it seems, because it means that Ben Franklin didn’t wish for an easier start to life. It was as if he liked the challenge and humility he was born into, while a more common way of thinking is, “If I just had the resources of that family, I could be successful.”
Ben saw the reality of his situation, accepted it, and improved himself steadily into a great man over the course of his lifetime. As I read through his autobiography, I could see the ups and downs in his life average out into an upward line of progress.
Never accept any excuse for your problems, even if your excuse is “a good one.” Excuses make you look and feel weak and reveal a lack of control over your life. If you believe in your excuses, you’re admitting that you were powerless against them, but most of the time, that’s simply not true, or it’s only true because you believed it to be.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”