Post-prayer conversation at synagogue this morning with Cubs fan:
Me: (Yankees fan, tied 2-2 in ALCS) - Good morning!
Him (Cubs fan, down 3-0 in NLCS) - Well, it's a good morning for you!
Me: Well, it'll just be that much sweeter when your team rallies!
Me: I hope that you’re not content to go back into your cave for another 100 years of misery.
Him: (Half laugh) Well, we don't want to be greedy
Me: (Smug Yankees fan) Why not?
Him: We can't win it every year!
Me: (Summoning my inner George Steinbrenner) Yes you can!
We all make excuses. Whether they cover up for why we were late (“There was no parking”), provide a reason as to why we didn’t do that errand that our spouse requested (“It didn’t get into my to-do list”), seek to justify why we broke our diet (“There we SO many sweets on the table”), or attempt to explain why we didn’t get the business deal (“My competition swept in and undercut me”), we use excuses throughout our day to justify our errors and explain away our failings.
The reason that we do this, according to psychologists, is to protect ourselves against anxiety and shame. It is simply easier to blame external factors than ourselves for our lack of achievement or for letting ourselves or others down. The problem is that the more that we make excuses, the likelier we are to build barriers that will impede our chances of attaining meaningful goals in the future.
While excuse making is common problem for everyone, it can be particularly problematic for leaders. Leaders are responsible for their own work as well as those that they lead. When leaders excuse away failures, they lower the standard at which they operate, which will inevitably reduce their productivity and impact. Worse, such behavior helps to create a culture of excuse-making that quickly trickles down the pipeline. In no time, people throughout the organization feel vindicated in justifying their miscues or lack of production. And if the boss makes his/her own excuses all the time, who is going to call them on it?
For millions of people worldwide, the act of taking selfies has become an integral part of the social media experience. Selfies are internationally pervasive and evoke strong reactions from those that encounter them.
In a hysterical clip about selfies, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hits hard on selfie takers. In his words, the act of taking a selfie should be called “taking a lonely.” “Do you know how alone you have to be,” he asks, “to take a picture of yourself?”
As funny as Maniscalco’s rant is, there is a deep element of scientific truth in it. For many, selfie taking is, in fact, the product of being alone. Lead researcher Dr Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol, of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok, said: ‘Not only do individuals who become obsessed with taking selfies tend to feel that their personal lives and psychological well-being are damaged, but they may feel that relationship qualities with others are also impaired.
NIDA researchers also found that a vast majority of those studied spent more than 50 per cent of their spare time on either their mobile phone or scouring the internet. Moreover, experts believe that both men and women who have lonely personalities tend to take more selfies for approval from other people.