This past spring, my little boy caught the Star Wars bug. I think he got it from his 9 year old cousin. When I was a kid, the first three movies were released and I saw them all. I loved the amazing special effects that now look so pedestrian and even cheesy at times. What I didn’t notice at the time was the nuggets of wisdom shared by Yoda, that little green jedi master who took Luke under his stubby wing. Now, as a grown up, I realize that the diminutive mentor actually had some life changing advice to offer to the immature Luke. His line, “Do or do not. There is no try.” really resonates with me nowadays. I want a poster with that line on it for home and for work. They are some very wise words of wisdom.
Do You Really Try?
Think about it for a minute. If you ask someone to complete a task and they say they will try to get to it, do you really expect that anything will be accomplished? For me, hearing “I’ll try”, is about the same as hearing a negative response. When we’re honest about it, we’ll find that we do the same thing to ourselves. If I let myself get away with just “trying” to do something, I can be pretty sure that I’ll quit before the task is anywhere close to be finished. Trying to lose weight. Trying to build a business. Trying to meet someone new. That word, try, is an all too easy to use escape hatch that gets us off of the hook every time. I’ve eliminated it from my vocabulary. If I catch myself starting to say it to another person, I stop myself and force myself to either agree to do something, and make a commitment, or be honest enough to tell the person asking that I’m not interested in doing what they asked. That may seem rude at first, but I figure it’s actually much more respectful than stringing someone along with false hope when deep down you know that you have no intention of following through on something.
Being Honest with Yourself
It’s easy to tell the truth to other people once you get used to it. What gets tricky is being honest with yourself. We know all of our own weaknesses. We know what works to convince us that not starting a project actually makes sense. We call it rationalizing. It is actually lying to ourselves. If you find yourself trying and failing a lot, you might want to look at your level of commitment. You might also want to spend some quiet time seriously considering and writing down what it is that you really want. Usually, if we’re honest, we know from the very beginning if something is going to fail. Make yourself some worthwhile goals and then DECIDE to accomplish them. Do or do not. There is no try. Good luck!