"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."
--George Washington Carver
I'm not a very good tennis player. If you watched me play for a while you might become confused as to whether I'm actually playing tennis, golfing, playing baseball, or a combination of the three. However, during the summer, I do have fun and get to spend time with my family while playing (or attempting to play) tennis.
There are always at least two perspectives from which we can look at every circumstance and opportunity in our lives. To everything there is a reason and an excuse. The human mind is extremely capable, and can think of either depending on what you want to do.
My mother is a former U.S. Army sergeant (an E-5, known by friends as The Enforcer). In the army she was trained to say, "No excuse drill sergeant!" As sweet a lady as she is, she's always expected the same from her children: no excuses.
It's easy to blame circumstances and other people for our failures and shortcomings, but we hurt ourselves when we do so. It's easy to excuse ourselves from trying, but we often don't realize what we're missing out on. Only when we are willing to take responsibility for our own actions and faults, regardless of the circumstances, do we empower ourselves to make progress.