We have all at one point in life worked to turn attempts into accomplishments.
Perhaps it was best illustrated in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda provides instruction to Luke Skywalker in how to use the Force. The scene is composed of Luke's spaceship entrenched in the bog, and Yoda asks Luke to remove it using only his mind.
While Luke had success in moving rocks with the Force, he believes it is impossible to move his spaceship. Yoda explains that Luke must unlearn what he has learned, and that moving his spaceship is only different in his mind. Luke says that he will "give it a try."
Yoda responds, "No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try."
What is the difference? Why does it matter?
What does it mean to try? "Try" can be defined as, to make an attempt or effort to do something.
But how is that different than doing? "Do" can be defined as, to perform a particular task. Doing is taking action; execution.
What does it look like to try? If I were to ask you to try to shake my hand, how would you respond? If you shake my hand, that is doing. If you don't shake my hand, that is not doing. Trying is somewhere in the middle between doing and not doing, where effort and energy is wasted on an event that ends up unaccomplished.
It is one thing to say you like to try new things, but it very different than trying to succeed. The word "try" is, more or less, a filler word that does not imply anything is accomplished. Trying is a weak, watered down version of doing (or not doing). When people say they will try something, and fail, they typically feel better, but using the word actually attracts the behavior that leads to failure. Trying has become a loophole, a way out of committing without actually saying no. A problem with trying to do something, rather than doing something, is that it has become an excuse for why we didn't achieve the outcome we desired in advance. There is emotional heaviness associated with trying.
Trying is essentially effort without results, and there is a reason we try. Trying is also considered rationalization, and it is a defense mechanism used when things do not go as expected to protect the ego for the inevitable reality of failure.
Either decide to do it or don't do it, whatever it is. If you don't want to do something, that is fine, don't do it. But don't pretend that trying is the same this as doing. If you going to try to do something, you might as well as say you will not do it.
What is it that you are trying?
It seems like a trivial difference, but trying is completely different that doing. It is better to do than to try to do.
The distinction between trying and doing lies in the mindset and commitment level. Trying implies making an attempt, testing the waters, but it may leave room for uncertainty or the possibility of giving up. On the other hand, doing reflects a definitive action, a commitment to follow through and achieve a set goal.
When you're "trying," there's often a mental loophole that allows for the acceptance of potential failure. It might involve effort, but there's a subtle escape clause. "Doing," however, is a conscious decision to take action without reservations. It's a commitment to overcome obstacles, learn from setbacks, and persist until the goal is achieved.
The power of doing comes from a mindset shift—from "I'll give it a shot" to "I am taking the steps needed for success." It embraces a proactive approach, determination, and a willingness to face challenges head-on. While trying is a starting point, doing is the continuation that propels you towards tangible outcomes. So, the next time you're faced with a challenge, consider not just trying to tackle it but fully committing to doing what it takes to succeed.
Quit Trying, Start Doing
Here are some suggestions to stop trying things, and begin doing things:
The more you try, the more separation you create between you and whatever it is that you are desiring to accomplish. So when it comes to trying or doing, always choose doing. Escape the try-mentality. Now is time to give up trying and start doing.
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