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Quotations for Motivation #36 --- Excuses

Updated on December 8, 2015

Quotations on Excuses

Excuses are for losers.

—Dan Yeary, Baptist Message, Alexandria, La., Feb. 7, 1985.

An excuse never excuses an excuse.

---George Matthew Adams, The Evening News, San Jose, Calif., Nov. 11, 1921.

The will to win doesn't include an alibi prepared in advance.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Nov. 29, 1923.

If you are right, you do not need to explain your position or make excuses for your acts. The one who wins a race does not have to give an alibi.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., May 2, 1948.

It is always easier to find an alibi than it is to take the blame.

---Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 28, 1947.

Small men are ready with alibis; great men are ready with willingness to begin.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 23, 1930.

The one who is a failure never has to look far when he begins hunting for an excuse.

—Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., May 6, 1943.

A man always making excuses leaves himself no time to make anything else.

---Warwick James Price, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., March 1906.

The alibi is a wonderful institution until it collides with the final score.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Jan. 15, 1915.

The best excuse in the world can never fully blot out the Final Score.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., April 6, 1919.

The hard loser is often too busy framing up alibis to get ready for another start.

---Grantland Rice, New York Herald Tribune, New York, N.Y., Jan. 16, 1925.

The invention of excuses proves conclusively that all inventors aren’t geniuses.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 22, 1937.

An excuse, regardless of whether it works, is nothing but an excuse—and a lot of men are the same thing.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 12, 1937.

There is no alibi for having an alibi for everything.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 14, 1960.

Too many people confound a reason with an excuse.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., April 25, 1909.

Somehow a lame excuse always seems to injure a man’s standing.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., March 24, 1910.

Regrets and excuses are unmarketable.

---B.C. Forbes, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 9, 1929.

Inefficiency always offers an excuse as a reason.

---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Dec. 29, 1917.

Excuses for failure often cause more mental efforts than perfected plans for success.

---Bennett Wilson “B.W.” Peck, Fulton County News, McConnelsburg, Pa., Aug. 28, 1902.

No man ever grew rich on poor excuses.

---Hazen Conklin, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Nov. 6, 1914.

Sometimes an excuse is weak because it’s been overworked.

---Hazen Conklin, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., April 11, 1916.

The excuse which we offer for not doing our duty is always a trifle.

---John Wesley Holland, Brookfield Courier, Brookfield, N.Y., April 16, 1930.

The second excuse for the same failure is generally a lie.

---John Wesley Holland, Livingston Republican, Geneseo, N.Y., Sept. 12, 1929.

In nine cases out of ten, an excuse doesn’t excuse.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Oct. 30, 1911.

Almost every shiftless man is a liar; he acquired the habit in giving excuses.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Bisbee Daily Review, Bisbee, Ariz., Sept. 24, 1911.

An excuse never accomplishes half it is expected to accomplish.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Bisbee Daily Review, Bisbee, Ariz., Oct. 17, 1911.

Some men find it hard to travel fast enough to keep up with running excuses.

---Carl A. Wilhelm, The Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, June 11, 1929.

Many an excuse becomes lame due to the fact that it is overworked.

---Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Dec. 14, 1956.

In the manufacturing of excuses there is no slowdown in the production.

-‑‑Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, July 30, 1958.

It is one of life's lessons that every time we try to cook up an excuse, we get burned.

‑‑‑Roy E. Gibson, Nephi Times‑News, Nephi, Utah, May 22, 1952.

You may have noticed that the man who is liberal with his promises is just as liberal with his excuses.

---James S. Hastings, Nashville Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 17, 1918.

Maybe there is an excuse for all of your failures, but you don't have to go around boring the world with it.

‑‑‑Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 22, 1940.

The difference between an excuse and an alibi is your ability to put it across.

‑‑‑Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 8, 1940.

There’s nothing new under the sun, and that’s truer of alibis than anything else.

---Roberta Lyndon, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Oct. 19, 1938.

Zero in inventors is the man who always is inventing excuses.

---John L. Brown, Aurora Daily Star, Aurora, Ill., May 27, 1922.

Many a man has a lame excuse because he got his foot in it by getting his leg pulled.

---John L. Brown, Aurora Daily Star, Aurora, Ill., Oct. 24, 1922.

There is no place in the world for alibis. If you start and don’t finish, don’t be afraid to start again. But don’t waste your time or the time of anybody else in building up and delivery an elaborate explanation of why you don’t finish. No matter how beautiful the alibi, it always leaves a bad impression.

---Grove H. Patterson, Meriden Record, Meriden, Conn., Jan. 24, 1929.

One of the most prevalent forms of self-justification is the scapegoat alibi--someone else is to blame. That is an easy method of excuse. If we are wise, we will see how natural it is, and how often we are tempted to find comfort and excuse in a scapegoat.

---Harry Emerson Fosdick, New York Times, New York, NY., Jan. 1, 1940.

Self-knowledge is a task for the serious-minded. The greatest check on self-knowledge is the existence of a double self, an accuser and defender. We are too lenient when judging ourselves and it is the defender who usually gets the benefit of the doubt. We have an astounding lack of memory in reminding ourselves of our own faults and are prone to seek excuses for our shortcomings. Self-knowledge and the power to benefit by our experiences is the thing which differentiates us from the mere animal.

---Frederick J. Bate, University Missourian, Columbia, Mo., March 20, 1916.

To go around difficulties weakens character. The man who is forever making excuses will soon have nothing to excuse.

---John Elward Brown, El Paso Morning Times, El Paso, Texas, April 1, 1918.

Excuse making is a dangerous habit because it encourages us not to look the cause of failures in the face and the man who succeeds must see where he has failed as well as where he is succeeding. Excuse making hides his weak places, paints over, hypnotizes himself into believing after all it was not his weakness, and by his action prevents his building anew the wall of strength. An excuse is never a reason, but always a form of a lie to get by with or postpone some immediate inconvenience. The making of excuses is a sure sign of a weak or undeveloped mind. A lie is a lie however it is launched.

---John Elward Brown, El Paso Morning Times, El Paso, Texas, April 18, 1918.

Some persons entertain the delusion that a good substitute for doing a thing is a more or less good excuse for not doing it. Excuses may soothe, but they do not get things done. Successes are not attained through excuses. The persons who are getting ahead in this world, and must depend on the help of others in getting on, do not care a hoot about excuses; they want achievements. They want to deal with folks who will bring home the bacon, not excuses.

---Wickes Wamboldt, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 4, 1945.

The reason that Edison invented as many things as he did was because he never invented an excuse.

---The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., April 6, 1930.

An alibi is proving you did do what you didn't do so somebody will think you didn't do what you did.

‑‑‑Daily Idahonian, Moscow, Idaho, Aug. 12, 1948.

The man who invests excuses is generally infringing on some other fellow's patent.

‑‑‑New York Times, New York, N.Y., Aug. 13, 1905.

Alibis are seldom used by the real champions in any line of endeavor. Usually they have found from experience that an alibi, no matter how good, will never come to par. And the true champion is first to place the blame for defeat upon himself, when he knows that is where it belongs. The ability to recognize and correct one's own mistakes is the mark of the true champion. The man who purposely excuses himself for his errors, instead of trying to eliminate them, seldom rises above mediocrity. The trouble with playing the alibi game is that it's too easy. Anyone can explain away a licking by blaming it on the time, the place, or the weather. It takes a real man to blame defeat on himself!

—Johnny Farrell, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, June 1932.

A reason is a cause which leads you to take a certain course of action in anything you do. An excuse is a defensive argument which you put forward to save yourself from the penalties of wrongdoing. So you can see that there is a well-defined difference between a reason and an excuse. A reason is due to deliberation in advance of an act, while an excuse is something you thought about as an explanation of what you did. You may act honestly from a wrong reason, but in most cases the excuse you give was not the real cause of your action.

—J.H. Funderburg, Lake Charles American Press, Lake Charles, La., April 6, 1940.

The distinction between reasons and excuses: A reason is the explanation we make before a conclusion is reached; an excuse is something of an alibi we give for not following out the conclusion. Reasons usually are sincere; excuses mostly a lot of rationalization. A reason is a reality; an excuse is an invention.

Ohio Liahona, Columbus, Ohio, October 1968.

An excuse is never a reason. Excuses are only secondary causes pushed to the front behind which one seeks to hide. There are always more fundamental causes for the failure to do what one is excusing himself for not doing. Those who excuse themselves for not doing certain things for one cause or another seize upon that immediate cause. If they did not have that excuse they would have another one.

—M.E. Dodd, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., Oct. 4, 1928.

An excuse is not a reason. A reason is a motive. An excuse is a defense. A reason goes before; an excuse follows after. A reason decides; an excuse extenuates. A reason appeals to man's judgment; an excuse is a makeshift to influence other people's minds.

—H.C. Pitsenberger, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, October 1911.

A stock of excuses makes too heavy a load to carry.

—Billy Sunday, The Monroe News-Star, Monroe, La., May 24, 1928.

The strongest thing about a weak man is his ability to find excuses for his weakness, for his inefficiency. The more he lacks purpose, energy, the will to succeed, the greater his resourcefulness in inventing excuses and trumping up reasons for his failure.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 20, 1920.

Offering an alibi is as though you were trying to lean on someone other than yourself which is an attitude of inferiority.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, June 3, 1926.

The road to failure is oiled with weak excuses.

—C. Roy Dickinson, Puck, New York, N.Y., July 29, 1916.

The world is filled with people who think they discharge their obligations by finding a plausible excuse for ignoring them.

—Vernald William Johns, Garland Times, Garland, Utah, May 13, 1938.

An excuse is a coward's substitute for a deed.

—William T. Ellis, Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Sept. 9, 1917.

You can’t travel very far on a lame excuse.

—Tom Ethridge, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Nov. 3, 1966.

The saying, "O, we all make mistakes," is often accepted as an excuse for too many.

—Ed W. Howe, The Monroe News-Star, Monroe, La., May 2, 1928.

Excuses cannot be accepted as substitutes for promises.

—Jack Warwick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa., March 25, 1936.

Alibis for a job undone may be legitimate, but they often are just an indication of a lack of interest in the task.

—Paul A. Wellington, Stride, Independence, Mo., February 1957.

Strength is in the absence of excuse making. One may say, "If I had that young man's chance; if my circumstances were different, if my capital were larger . . ." The true music of strength is not set in whines. We must accept life as it is to make the best of it. ... Strength strikes the word "excuse" from its vocabulary.

—W.C. Scott, Monroe Morning World, Monroe, La., May 30, 1932.

Manufacturing excuses does not make one a capitalist.

—E.V. White, Clarendon News, Clarendon, Texas, Jan. 3, 1935.

Some men are geniuses at making excuses but lack the ability to make them fit.

—Roy E. Gibson, Nephi Times-News, Nephi, Utah, Oct. 8, 1959.

Originating excuses for failures keeps the intellects of a lot of folks alert.

—J.R. Hornady, Louisville Times, Louisville, Ky., Feb. 28, 1903.

When you spend half your time making promises you'll find it takes the other half to make excuses.

—William C. Hunter, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., May 15, 1910.

Sometimes a man makes such a success of his excuses he doesn't have time for anything else.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 19, 1924.

The guy who enters with an excuse always needs an alibi--plus a trimming.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Jan. 30, 1915.

There is many a system that would fester if the alibi wasn't permitted to emerge.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Feb. 18, 1917.

The man who starts out framing up an alibi in advance usually needs it.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Feb. 18, 1921.

When the alibi begins no one has to guess which way the final result went.

---Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., April 27, 1924.

Many an excuse becomes lame from overwork.

‑‑‑Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Sept. 7, 1955.

When it comes to inventing an excuse many a person is an inventive genius.

---Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Jan. 19, 1958.

A man who is always making excuses hasn’t time to make a success.

---Tom Sims, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., March 24, 1922.

Lame excuses don’t go far.

---Tom Sims, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., April 29, 1922.

Some men spend half their time in making promises and the other half in making excuses.

-‑‑Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, March 26, 1926.

It is mighty difficult to invent an excuse without infringing on some other fellow's patent.

---Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, July 6, 1926.

Some excuses are so thin that you can see right through them.

‑‑‑Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Nov. 5, 1929.

Some people spend half their time in making promises and the other half in making excuses.

---Knoxville Journal, Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 5, 1942.

A poor reason's as bad as an excuse.

‑‑‑Louisville Herald, Louisville, Ky., Nov. 20, 1906.

He who is always making excuses is usually a poor excuse himself.

---Louisville Herald, Louisville, Ky., Feb. 12, 1911.

Even the best excuse is a poor substitute for a poor job.

‑‑‑Preston Citizen, Preston, Idaho, Jan. 23, 1947.

Progress would be faster if people if people could go forward on excuses.

---Rogersville Review, Rogersville, Tenn., April 28, 1949.

There is only one way to cure failure‑‑give up seeking excuses and seek work.

‑‑‑Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 9, 1901 .

A successful man may be known by the excuses he doesn't have to make.

‑‑‑Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 21, 1905.

Some men spend half their time framing promises and the other half in making excuses.

---St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., March 31, 1922.

He who has a flock of excuses must not be surprised if he has a queer lot of chickens come home to roost.

‑‑‑Utah Farmer, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 25, 1936.



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