Sep 02

Before I begin, let’s review the definition of two terms I have been toying with, just to be sure I am choosing the most appropriate one to capture the analysis of some “explanations” I have had to respond to over time. So keep in mind the following definitions, and just to let you know, I have decided to go with “Creative Thinking” as the reason grown-ups say the darnedest things!

Critical Thinking: The mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.

Creative Thinking: The ability to create.

Now, I was intrigued that 20 words were used to define “critical thinking”, not once repeating the word “critical”. Yet creative thinking called for economy of words (4 to be exact), and included the verb of the word in question “creative”.

The interesting thing is that one of the most distinct differences between man and animal is our intellectual ability. As humans we have the ability to think critically, think creatively, reason, negotiate, assess, analyze, and make decisions. No matter what tricks you teach your pets, your Macaw can say “Hello”, and the dog will fetch your paper, you will never be able to have a dialogue with these creatures. You will get no verbal response to your question “why?”

Over the years I have heard some creative “reasons” for why; and many of you who supervise, teach or parent others will also have a litany of creative excuses for tardiness, absence, and lack of productivity, or willful disobedience. In fact, many of us have spun a few ourselves! Yes, we have all had situations that demanded immediate responses, and chances are we did not respond appropriately each time.

So my sharing of the following excuses (made by adults) in different settings should not seem so far-fetched. You should draw your own conclusions and your own interpretation as you examine each scenario.

Scenario excuse #1:

“2 weeks ago I pulled an all-nighter completing my sales report and spilled coffee on my laptop!!  Mac repair shop just contacted me and informed me the damage was “catastrophic”!  They informed me I have lost all files and it would be more cost effective to purchase another laptop.  I cannot access anything on that laptop including my report that is now due!”

Scenario excuse #2:

I am late for work because last night I went to the casino and lost the last $50.00 I had. When I woke up this morning, I realize I did not have any gas and I had to borrow some cash from my aunt who lives 45 minutes away.

And this one takes the cake!

Even though the assignment was late, can’t really remember why, I feel I should get some credit for completing it. I still put in the work.”

Folks, stop insulting my intelligence. these ludicrous excuses are not cute. Be a critical thinker and take freaking responsibility!! Mediocrity is not acceptable. Make success a habit.

What was the last creative excuse you used or heard?

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.