“Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back
I usually don’t find myself quoting Yoda, but in this case, I think he’s absolutely right. Show of hands: how many people really believe somebody when they tell you that they’re going to try to do something?
- I’ll try to make it there.
- I’ll try to get to that this week.
- I’ll try to give you a call.
I bet if you really think about it, probably not many of you do. Try means no commitment. You’re not on the hook for anything. There’s no risk of failure. You can always get out of it later ~ well, I said I’d try.
I once was lucky enough to attend a seminar given by a neurologist who had been studying the brain for three decades. She talked at length about the enormous impact that thoughts have on the body & your health. Then, and I loved her for this, she talked about the power of words. She explained how studies have shown that positive words can actually increase memory function, improve health, and a slew of other good things, which I’m sure surprises no one. Later on, she talked about how the kid phrase sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me was “a lie from the deepest pit of hell.” And finally, she talked about the language you use when you talk about your life, your goals, your dreams: how what you tell yourself can affect everything ~ influencing the reality around you & changing the scope/shape of your life ~ for the better or for the worse.
Trying was one of those words. Unlike saying you’re trying or will try, saying you’re doing or will be doing something equals commitment. It signals (actually releasing positive chemicals in the brain) to your mind that you’re serious, which then manifests in your outward actions (propelling you to act), at least that’s the way I understood it at that seminar. One thing, among many, that I took away from that lecture was that the language you use can determine how successful you are in reaching your goals. So you see, it turns out Yoda was right.
What’s the point?
The next time you hear yourself say, “I’ll try to ________ [FILL IN THE BLANK],” ask yourself if you actually want to do it. If the answer is yes, then drop the try and commit.
How do you feel about saying you’re going to try? Is it sincere or a brush-off? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.