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When I was a plebe at West Point we were only allowed to answer questions in four ways:
1) Yes, sir.
2) No, sir.
3) No excuse, sir.
4) Sir, I do not understand.
At first that pissed me off. A lot of times things happened and there was perfectly good reason for why I botched something. I wanted to let them know why it wasnít truly my fault. They never cared in the least. If I had failed, there was no excuse. Period.
The thing is, sometimes life sucks.
Most of the time life isnít fair.
Other people have it easier, things do not always go our way, or the mission just seems impossible.
We all have a weakness deep inside us. The more hard things we do, the more challenges we overcome, the harder it is to give in to the weakness, but whether youíre a civilian or a hardened operator, itís inside us somewhere. There is always that moment when you fear failure, when youíre not sure if you can do it, when you start running through the excuses in your head. Hell, most of the time they are valid. Weíre asked to do incredibly hard things.
But at some point we all learn, as I did, that there is no excuse, because when we fail, we donít just fail ourselves but those around us.
In life, and certainly in military life, The Maximum Effective Range of an Excuse is Zero Meters. RTFU and Execute.