Everywhere you look on the Internet, you are bound to see some inspirational photograph with a short sentence that says something simple like “we all have the same 24 hours.”
We all have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé. Or Oprah. Or the President. Or whatever other high profile personality who can probably be viewed by the majority as infinitely more successful than you. (Side note: that’s all relative; why are they any different than you in terms of success?)
It makes me irate when people throw this around along with another key phrase in these inspirational memes: there are no excuses.
You know what? I’m going to flip that meaning on you. You’re right there are no excuses. You’re feeling run down because you worked a 12 hour shift and came home to take care of your kids/spouse/pets and you’d rather sleep so you can function tomorrow? Not an excuse. You had a bad day and you really would rather watch reruns of King of Queens tonight? Not an excuse. You started that workout and ten minutes in still feel awful so you’re calling it a day? Yeah, that’s not an excuse either. Sometimes we just need a moment [deep breaht] and what’s really so wrong with that?
Saying that we all have the same 24 hours is completely untrue. No, these people have help to make their day easier. They don’t work a steady 9-5 job. They can schedule appointments at their will. They don’t have to abide by the PTO (paid time off) calendar at work. They aren’t single parents working two jobs to make ends meet. They aren’t stay at home parents with spouses in the military. They simply do not have the same 24 hours.
It’s impossible to compare yourself to people that have these luxuries. I find it more motivating to aspire to train and live like people who are similar to me, or have more of a challenge, and manage to get things done. Seeing somebody train for a marathon and finish a run after 10 hours of classes and a part time shift at their job? That’s amazing. Knowing somebody else wakes up to run at 4am before their spouse leaves so they can watch the kids during the day? It’s inspiring.
I work a 9-5 job and I struggle with balance all the damn time. My life is hardly as busy as it was 18 months ago, but I make “excuses” and I’m human. My 24 hours are not your 24 hours. Or yours, or yours, or yours.
Let me back down from my rant to say that yes, these inspirational walls of text can be motivating when you’re feeling down and need that small push to get out the door. Though sometimes, it’s necessary to remember that we aren’t superheroes. We have plenty of other obligations and it’s okay to make an excuse. Chances are… It’s not an excuse after all.