Saturday, September 10, 2005

Please Excuse me if I get Excusitis

Magic of Thinking Big

David J. Schwartz

Chapter 2 – Cure Yourself of Excusitis, The Failure Disease


This chapter addresses that the study of people will yield principles of success. This chapter will focus on principles of ‘failure’. These people “suffer a mind-deadening thought disease. We call this disease excusitis.” (pg 29)

The author then makes a statement “Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most ‘average’ persons have at least a mild case of it.”

You must “vaccinate yourself against excusitis”; four forms he lists are:

  • Health excusitis – This is anything from ‘I don’t feel good’ to ‘I’ve got such-and-such wrong with me. The author uses this term for people who blame their health for loss of performance or work. “Dr. Schindler shows in [How to live 365 days a year] that three out of four hospital beds are occupied by people who have EII – Emotionally Induced Illness.” (pg 31). He suggests four steps to overcome ‘health excusitis’: Refuse to talk about your health, Refuse to worry about your health, Be genuinely grateful that your health is as good as it is, and remind yourself often, ‘It’s better to wear out than rust out.’ (pg 33-4)
  • Intelligence excusitis – The author claims that this is due to two basic errors. 1.) We underestimate our own brain power. 2.) We overestimate the other fellow’s brain power. (pg 34). Curiously, in his account, he tells a story of a person who claims that his college education did not set him up for success, but failure. The author claims “the thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.” (pg 35) The overall point he makes in this section is that the quantity of intelligence is not important, however, how one uses his intelligence is. He gives three ways to overcome intelligence excusitis: Never underestimate your own intelligence and never overestimate the intelligence of others, Remind yourself several times daily, ‘My attitudes are more important than my intelligence, and Remember the ability to think is of much greater value than the ability to memorize facts. (pg 39)
  • Age excusitis – This comes in the ‘I’m too old’ and the ‘I’m too young’ categories. The author claims that this principle holds a lot of people back from doing what they truly desire. To overcome this: Look at your present age positively, compute how much productive time you have left, and invest future time doing what you really want to do. (pg 43)
  • Luck excusitis – There is no luck; there is a cause for everything. Typically the cause of success is living success principles while the cause of failure is having excusitis. To overcome this: Accept the law of cause and effect and don’t be a wishful thinker. (pg 45)

Social implications

First I must address that the clear cut success or failure definition attached to a human being is totally inappropriate. If you look at the whole of an individual, all people have something they are good at and something they are bad at. If a person is not a success in music, sports, etc, does it mean that they are a failure? It certainly does not. I personally have many areas that I am very good at; while I have other areas that I am horrible at.

Health – If you have a limitation, you have a limitation. I don’t care if you have one story of one person who has had a heart attack and come back. If you set that one unique story up as something that anyone can do, I mourn the tragic consequences of such actions.

Luck – Sorry to say, but many fields boil down to luck or knowing someone on the inside. This is not always the case, but frequently it is. In any case, the law of cause and effect is still in action, you knew someone for example, and this caused you to get the position. I affirm the law of cause and effect that is stated, though I deny that YOUR own abilities guide it as is suggested.

Christian Refutation

Since this chapter is an extension of the foundation of chapter 1, starting with a reading of 1 John 2:15 is well within order.

I must explain the context and usage of judging, because in a moment, I will quote a verse that is often quoted out of context.

Are we to judge? Contrast all these verses:

Matthew 7:1, 2 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (See also Matthew 7:16)

Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?” (italics mine)

Are we confused yet? The context of all these is as follows:

  • The verse in Matthew is a judgment on external appearances. Jesus here is referring to the Pharisees who are perfect on the outside and wicked on the inside. These people judged those around them based on external observances while they, themselves, were being their own people (as compared to God’s people).
  • The verse in John is Jesus speaking in terms of the law of Sabbath and the purpose. He makes the point that we are to judge very discerningly and righteously; not factitiously, like the Pharisees did. Thus, if we are in tune with the ways of God and truly seek to live for Him, even at our material, social, or whatever loss, we have been granted the ability to judge using the discernment that filters through the scriptures.
  • The verse in Romans is about judging young Christians who do not yet understand the totally implications of the faith. People grow in Christ over time, and like a child is not expected to be a mature adult too quickly, nor can a young Christian.
  • To combat a problem with the above Romans verse comes the counterpart in 1 Corinthians. This verse is about judging those who say that they are Christians, but the fruit and actions of their life show the contrary.

With all that said, let me move on to my point with respect to this chapter. The impetuous here is to look at someone and tell if that person is a success or a failure. This is a Matthew 7:1 example in total context. I can say this because you are looking at the external of a person and making a judgment based on the performance of the person. To follow the suggestions at the opening of this book is sin.

With respect of the four levels of excusitis, some people may look to the Scriptures for examples. Here is one example from each category (excluding luck, because a sovereign God does allow for luck); there are more:




Let us remember in all these examples, that these people were doing God’s work, not building a successful career or seeking to be successful as this book defines. God is not your personal genie that is out to give you your hearts desire. This life is about Him, not you.


Blogger Fear Fighter said...

The BWW STO Program has been a great program for me. I do not know what I would have done with out it since I did not have any kind of mentor in my life. These CD , Book , and Meetings have provide a rock solid basis of success and examples for me to follow which I did not see in the corporate world

Thu Sep 15, 10:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger xanadustc said...

And they are marred in the dirt of the world and lead to a path of destruction. If you are a Christian, you are not obedient to Christ if you submit to such a system. If you want a mentor, find someone in a church that can help you.

If you are not a Christian, I can't argue you other than a debate on the glory of the power of Christ.

Thu Sep 15, 11:53:00 AM GMT-5  

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