Stop Making Excuses | 20 things You Must Stop

Twenty things you must stop doing to crush it in your twenties
Idea #3

There is a story of two brothers.

These two brothers grew up eighteen months apart.

One day their father lost his job, and over time he began to turn to alcohol.

Not long after, their father became a full-blown alcoholic.

He would come home and beat the boy’s mothers in front of them.

When the boys were old enough, they would stand in front of their mother and take the beating for her.

One brother grew up just like his father.

He was a real trouble maker at school, treated people poorly and didn’t care much.

He robbed a liquor store clerk at gunpoint and got sentenced to ten years in prison.

The other brother grew up much differently.

He married his childhood sweetheart, got a high paying job, has beautiful kids and by all traditional measures, he was successful.

A journalist found out about this story and thought, “isn’t this interesting?”

Two brothers, two identical upbringings…

Yet two completely different outcomes.

“I wonder why this is?” she thought.

So she decided to sit down and interview them both.

First, she went to see brother one.

She arrived at the prison, went through security and sat down in front of the glass pane.

She hit record on her tape and asked the brother one simple question.

“How did you turn out the way that you did?”

The first brother slammed his fist on the table in anger and yelled.

“How could I turn out any differently with a father like that?”

The journalist concluded the interview and then went to see brother two.

She arrived at his home and was greeted by his children and wife. 

The brother got her some tea and sat down in his living room.

The journalist hit record on her tape and asked one simple question.

“How did you turn out the way that you did?”

The brother smiled, took a second to think then simply answered.

“How could I turn out any differently with a father like that?”

Welcome back to twenty things you must stop doing to crush it in your twenties.

This is idea number 3.

Stop living below the line.

What can we learn from that story?

Two brothers, the same upbringing yet two completely different outcomes.

If you imagine a ladder when you are born, you step on this ladder, and when you die, you step off it.

In the middle of this ladder is a line.


Whenever you make decisions in life, you are either playing above the line or below the line.



If you play above the line, you take:


  • Accountability 
  • Responsibility 
  • Ownership


Between the two brothers, which do we think was more like this?


The second brother, right!



Now, if you live below the line you constantly:


  • Make EXCUSES
  • Live in DENIAL
  • BLAME others


Which of the brothers sounds more like this one?



Brother number one.


If I were to ask you this question.

Have you spent 51% or more of your life living below the line or above the line?

The majority of people will say below.

Because that is how we were raised.

It is not anyone’s fault but let’s take responsibility for that.

Whilst brother number one saw his dad as an excuse to justify his behaviour, brother number two saw it as an opportunity to be better.

Brother one blames his father, makes excuses to justify his actions and lives in constant denial that he could have been better.

Now here is a critical point when it comes to the idea.

"It is not about right or wrong; it is about the outcome"

I am not justifying the father’s behaviour. What he did was horrible and wrong.

But if you accept that without taking responsibility, ownership or accountability, you have no control of your life like brother one.

Let’s take this example.

The other day I saw a video on TikTok of a guy talking about how messed up the food industry is.

He said something along the lines of this.

"It is messed up we guilt the everyday person for being overweight. We emphasise how x% of Americans are overweight when we should be holding the massive corporations that spend millions a year making their processed food as addictive and cheap as possible."

Some Random TikTok I saw

Here is the thing. I agree with what he said.

We should be holding these corporations accountable; they are why so many western countries have high populations of obesity.

It is not about right or wrong. It is about the outcome.

By saying it is the corporation’s fault, they are right.

They are 100% correct.

However, if that is their only belief, do you think they will ever get healthier?

If all they do is blame the corporations and make excuses about their weight, nothing will change.

They need to ask this question.

How can I take responsibility?


I am going to brainstorm some ideas:


  • Bulk buy food and meal prep
  • Do a sugar detox
  • Read a book about how to remove sugar addiction
  • Budget your income so you can put more money into food
  • Research and find healthier alternatives 
  • Go for regular runs


The list goes on, but you get the idea.


It is not about right or wrong. It is about the outcome.


Ask yourself the question.


How can I take responsibility for this?


If you begin to take responsibility, accountability and ownership for everything you do in life, I promise your life will change.


I was presenting at Empower U the other day, a two-day program I run.


The days go for 12 hours each, and during the goal-setting session, everyone looked uninterested.


They were drifting off; I could feel their energy was low.


Afterwards, I told my mentor in frustration that the group had low energy.


A part of me craved him to sympathise with me and tell me I did a great job, but he didn’t say that.


 Instead, he said, “Byron, if their energy is low, that is your responsibility.”


Then he said, “as soon as their energy is low, get them up for a stretch, play a quick game, do something to wake them up and take ownership.”


So the next time their energy was low I brought it back up, and I have been doing that ever since.


It is not about right or wrong. It is about the outcome.


Most people in life make excuses and excuses. They blame the traffic; they blame politics; they blame anything they can so it isn’t on them.


And those people are exhausting to be around.


They suck the energy out of you.


They are constantly negative and justify where they are because of external circumstances. 


Now again, they are probably right.


Maybe the traffic was terrible, but you could always leave earlier?


It is not about right or wrong. It is about the outcome.


Not everything is your fault, but it becomes your responsibility.



Carol Dweck wrote a fantastic book called “Mindset”.

She discusses a similar idea.


You either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.


Here is a quick summary of her book.


The Book in Three Sentences

  1. Skills can be cultivated through effort.
  2. People with a growth mindset thrive on challenges.
  3. The fixed mindset: “I can’t do it”. The growth mindset: “I can’t do it yet“.


The Five Big Ideas

  1. The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects how you lead your life.
  2. “Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself repeatedly”.
  3. “People in a growth mindset don’t just seek challenge; they thrive on it”.
  4. “The growth mindset does allow people to love what they’re doing—and to continue to love it in the face of difficulties”.
  5. “Those with the growth mindset found success in doing their best, learning and improving. This is exactly what we find in the champions”.
You are more than welcome to make excuses, and most of the time, those excuses are valid.
But how do they benefit you?
Because if anybody has ever done it, then you can too.
You can have excuses or results. But you can’t have both.
And most people are full of excuses.
Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.
Not everything is your fault, but it becomes your responsibility.
The flower does not dream of the bee, it blossoms, and the bee comes to it.
You will always have problems; learn how to enjoy life while you’re solving them.
Start to take control of your life; rather than sitting in the passenger seat watching, step into the driver’s seat.
Stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and stop living in denial.
Stop living below the line.

Stay Young Stay Driven

Challenge #3 - Live Above the Line for ONE week

Reframe everything you do for one week. 


Take full responsibility for an entire week.


You are stuck in traffic, frustrated and angry?


Why not call your mum, your best mate or someone you have meant to catch up with.


Do people arrive late to your event? 


That isn’t your fault, right?


Send out a text or an email, make it crystal clear you need them here on time.


Take accountability.


Try this to the most extreme 100% for a week and see what you notice or learn.


Consciously live above the line for one week.


Then think of what worked and what didn’t and adjust it based on your learnings.


Here are some key points to remember.


I would write these down and put them at your desk, wherever you can see them for this week.


  1. Not everything is your fault, but it becomes your responsibility.
  2. It isn’t about right or wrong. It is about the outcome.
  3. Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.


Own this challenge, do this for a week. 


Catch yourself every time you make an excuse.


Everytime you live below the line.

Stop Staying in your Comfort Zone | 20 Things You Must Stop

Although I have ordered this list, each idea is unique and meaningful as a stand-alone concept.

Although this first idea is crucial, that doesn’t mean it is an essential idea. I would argue the final statement of this series is potentially the most important one on this list.

So what is the first idea you should stop doing in your twenties? I can hear you asking.

Read More »

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