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No Excuses

I read on twitter the other day this guy who wanted to go to my TDD master class course but was bummed out for not having the money. so he started bitching about it on twitter how it costs so much and can someone please give him a handout (jokingly).

So I approached him and told him that

if he makes it to my course I will personally make sure he only pays half the cost. I will cover the other half.

Why did I do it?

Because I wanted to see how serious he was, or was he just making up excuses for not doing.

I would have indeed given him a 50% discount if he showed up. My guess? it won’t happen.

Not that I think he’s a bad guy or anything, I just think that there are only two states you can live in in this life: you’re either a victim of something, or you’re a doer.

A victim has everything happen to them. they are powerless against it, and can only talk about things, instead of doing them.

A doer will take matters to their own hands, and will wield their power to do what is under their control to make the life they intended.


was this guy a doer or a victim?

here’s another hint: when I told him about the discount he said

“cool. getting the time off work should be OK, but how do I pay off the other 50%?”

classic victim speak.

I know a few people who would not let themselves be victims in this case. if you really wanted to do it, you’d find a way, see?

when you think something can’t be done, try to place yourself in a situation of much larger proportions:

  • you need to come up with 1000$ for a course.
  • you’re not sure how you can get them
  • Now, Imagine you need 1000$ for an immediate knee surgery you are having tomorrow, or you will never walk again on that leg.
  • Still can’t find a way to get 1000$?
  • I bet you can find 5 different ways to get 1000$ in one day in 5 minutes if you thought it was important enough.
    • you can ask a good friend\parents\bank\bookie to loan you the money for a very important cause
    • you can ask to put overtime at work if possible
    • you can ask for an advance at work, or a loan from work
    • you can sell your TV
    • you can make a deal with the course firm to help out in other course in exchange
    • you can make a deal with the course firm to advertise or to bring a paying friend with you for an extra discount on top
    • you can ask your boss and explain why this is important to you
    • or
    • you can bitch about it and remain “stuck”

here’s another scenario:

  • You want to learn web development, but your job is on winforms all day (no hint of web in sight)
  • you’re not sure how you can find time to learn it
  • Now, imagine you need to learn web development because you’re on a TV show that will give you 1,000,000$ if you do a simple web app in a month.
  • Still can’t find the time?
    • you can learn at night
    • you can take time off work
    • you can work half time for a month
    • you can play sick for a week
    • you can switch to a different job
    • you can ask your boss to move you to the web team
    • you can ask you boss to create a web team which you lead
    • you can convince your boss that you’d like to build a web app for your business that is sorely needed, given 25% time
    • you can decide that the last hour or first hour of each work day is not email\youtube, but instead is trying to write a simple web page.
    • or
    • you can bitch about it and remain “stuck”

so the only difference is: how badly do you think you want to do it?

you just need to figure out what things are under your own control, and do what you can in those areas.


if it’s important to you, and you’re not pushing yourself to do it, I will not respect you in the morning.

Uncle bob and the Art of Unit Testing

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