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JohnFoppe“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

The excuses we make are the greatest obstacles we face in living up to our potential. They keep us from fulfilling possibility, tapping into new resources, expanding our network, losing weight, growing in faith, expanding in business, forgiving past wrongs and changing the world.

Seven years ago I met a man who refused to make excuses. He changed my life. His story will change yours, too.

When I first imagined sharing my message I wasn’t sure where to begin. A friend mentioned that I should meet with an international speaker who also lived in St. Louis.

Although apprehensive to contact someone as successful and busy as John Foppe, I finally gathered the courage to dial his number. He answered, was a delight to speak with and suggested we meet for a cup of coffee.

During that meeting, John shared the best practices he’d learned during two decades of speaking. He poured into me shortcuts he learned along the way, pitfalls to avoid and even provided personal contacts to call.

As our meeting ended, I thanked John and gave him a big hug. He didn’t hug me back, but I didn’t expect him to. You see, John Foppe was born without arms.

As a child, John’s parents refused to make excuses for him. With only his feet to assist him, they insisted he be treated with the same expectations as their other children. He went to school, made friends and lived a perfectly normal life. The process of getting ready for school without arms – using the rest room, showering, dressing, brushing his teeth, packing his books, getting on his jacket, grabbing his lunch box – is just one example of the laborious path he took. But amazingly: he did it ALL. And he did it on his own.

John Foppe continues to excel today because he refuses to make excuses.

It’s no coincidence, then, that he is blessed with a beautiful wife and growing family. He is an international speaker and best-selling author. He is the leader of the St. Vincent DePaul Society, a not-for-profit that impacts thousands of people each year. He is a wonderful man, dear friend and true inspiration.

The fact that John Foppe doesn’t have arms is not inspiring. What is inspiring is that he refuses to ever make excuses and continuously makes a difference for others in the process.

My friends, we all have excuses to not start that project, begin the workout regimen, go on that retreat, make that call, write that letter, take that action or strive for that goal.

The time has come to stop making excuses and start making a difference. We have one life to live. [Tweet that.]

Start really living yours today.

You just finished reading my blog about my friend John Foppe. Connect with him on Facebook for reminders on how to live your best life – without excuses.

What excuse are you getting rid of today, and more importantly: what are you going to accomplish today because you are getting rid of you excuses? Please share in the comments below!

This post is from my “Monday Morning Motivation” email series. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive it in your inbox next Monday here: www.RisingAbove.com/MondayMorning.



0 replies on “Good Life v. Good Excuses”

I am privileged to work with John. He is a gentleman, a devoted father and husband and a man of great faith. I would highly recommend his book, “What’s Your Excuse?” His story of going to Haiti as a young teen is one of the most poignant and powerful stories I have ever read! You will surely be better for having read it. Thanks for all that you do John and God bless! Steve

John, thanks for living the life that you fully live. I heard you speak recently in Columbia Missouri and also spent some time talking to your father. You have reminded me to use each moment in each day and to truly do the next right thing and love others more.

Thank you for your message, for being with me in Columbia at the CMCA event and for ALL that you do. And awesome – the most important thing is to remember every moment you have the choice, to live fully, be present, do more for others. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for my Spark! program, it will help you on your journey to ignite your possibility today, Pamela: http://www.risingabove.com/spark

Thanks for ALL you do. J

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