Why You Can’t Stop Making The Same Mistakes (And Love Your Lame Excuses)

Justin Zack
2 min readFeb 3, 2024
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

A poor but ignorant choice is excusable.

And a poor but willful choice is full of excuses.

Everyone makes bad decisions.

This is how we learn.

It’s excusable.

I tell my kids; “Not a great choice, but now you know what to do next time.”

Now, when they make the same decision again, and I point it out to them, guess that happens.






You get the idea.

This is inexcusable.

When you willingly choose to do something that you know is wrong or is going to have ill consequences, there’s no excuse.

(But boy do we love to make them!)


Here’s what I’ve observed:

The reason you continue to make the same mistakes on repeat and don’t learn your lesson, is because the consequence isn’t painful enough for you — right now.

The benefit or the pain of your mistake doesn’t outweigh the mistake itself.

Take this situation for example:

My son doesn’t study for a test. He fails. But his overall grade is still an A. It’s not that painful for him. He is still well above average. So, his excuses feel justified, which is why he loves them!

HOWEVER, if he doesn’t learn from his mistake (poor studying = bad grade), eventually he will have an overall grade that’s well below average. And it will be too late to correct.

It’s easy to see when you are calculating scores and getting a grade report every week.

Not so easy to see when you a) don’t keep score and b) you ignore the consequences of your decisions.



Justin Zack

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com