Getting Past Excuses

aim higher start sooner

If I started over, knowing what I know today, I would …

Aim higher and start sooner.
Mark Hopkins


Mark went on to say, “Life’s curveballs and my conservative nature provide daily excuses for not doing what I am capable of.  But my experience has shown me that anyone can hit what they aim for, or very close to it.”

Mark’s comment reminded me of a quote attributed to Michelangelo, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

Defeat excuses:

  1. Develop deep experience. Experience provides perspective for aiming high. Mark said, “I’d get my Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours and go make a dream come true.” Gladwell says the key to success is practicing something for 10,000 hours.
  2. Follow your drive. “In order to bring my ‘A’ game I need to be working on something I am passionate about.”
  3. Build the team. “I would need an amazing team that was built on the kind of trust that only comes from knowing that we care about each other.”
  4. Connect with mentors. “I would need a mentor who can take the pie-in-the-sky vision that I am hesitant to even say out loud and, through experience and personal example, lead me to the point where I can see my team making it happen.”


  1. Don’t stick with one thing long enough.
  2. Follow expediency rather than passion.
  3. Focus exclusively on themselves.
  4. Think they know more than others.

Get real:

In my opinion, building the team and find mentors are the most neglected components of the road to success.

Why do people fall below their potential?

What makes aiming high more than pie-in-the-sky?

I haven’t read Mark’s book, Shortcut to Prosperity, but the table of contents goes well beyond pie-in-the-sky thinking.