I try not to use this phrase in conversation, in passing, or frankly at all. The reason being that I simply can’t stand to hear other people say the phrase. It is one of those things people just like to say when they recognize the importance of something, they have some small interest or motivation regarding whatever it may be, but ultimately they won’t do it. It’s like conversation filler.
I tweeted this out there the other day: there are many things you want to be doing, but what are you actually doing? When I was in finance such a great deal of importance was placed on the business plan. Where are your mile stones, how will you get there, what steps will you take, when will you throw in the towel? That last question doesn’t exist in L.A because the answer is you just keep dreaming until it happens.
I hear this statement from people all the time when I discuss calories, diet, and my exercise habits. Almost as if people feel the need to rationalize their own choices with the choices of others. Everyone wants to say “yeah, I really need to get in the gym/exercise/diet/eat healthy/learn to cook/ etc..” but in reality they will never do it.
My theory is that with few exceptions, people don’t change unless they are forced too. People reject change because it is uncomfortable, and it usually isn’t absolutely necessary. I notice it is always the most out of shape people who say these things as well; usually they have a rehearsed explanation (excuse) that they like to give. I just nod my head and say nothing because there is no excuse really, just something that we tell ourselves. I read something in the APA talked about how there is a high correlation between physical arousal in men with how aroused they say they are. So keep telling yourself whatever it is you are telling yourself. But, do you really believe it?
I’ve become just a bit more humble as I’ve gotten older. I like to attribute this to the wisdom gained from past failures (lessons), yet I think a large share of the credit goes to the fact that I don’t like to help people who won’t help themselves, so I keep my mouth shut. I believe that I am amongst the last generation to grow up with exposure to a time when information was not ubiquitous. The only limits are talent and motivation, and history has proved that talent is by far the marginal factor in the equation.
In short, there are no excuses. So be honest in that you just don’t care enough about it, whatever it is. Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with that, we are all different. Just don’t mention it like you are actually going to change someday, be honest or be quiet.