The Deception in Try
make an attempt or effort to do something.
Among over-achievers the word "try" has a bad reputation. In the movie Star Wars, there is this famous exchange between Yoda and Luke Skywalker where Yoda proclaims:
Do or do not. There is no try.
But how do you do if at first you do not try?
Trying is about making an attempt or effort. In order to try, you must first DO. So was Yoda's statement wise or hogwash?
I say wise.
There is a distinct difference between trying and doing.
Trying implies that I am not committed. Doing IS commitment.
Trying is about doing "my best." Doing is about BEING my best.
Trying can be half-hearted. Doing is "all in."
Let me tell you a story about my Dad and learning how to ride a bike.
My Dad taught me had to ride a bike. I loved my bike from the first time that I laid eyes on it. It was PINK. And the handles had white and pink streamers. I was smiling inside and outside with excitement as we wheeled my new beauty out of the front door and down the steps of our house.
I had no clue what I was in for that day.
Dad's first job was to adjust my seat so that my feet could reach the pedals. This required me to sit on the bike in between adjustments. He would hold the bike steady as I mounted the seat. Each time I mounted the butterflies in my tummy fluttered faster and faster. I knew we were getting close to "riding."
When he finally got my seat adjusted just right, he had me get on the seat for my first spin. He held the back of the bike as I pedaled slowly down the sidewalk.
My old bike had training wheels. This one did NOT. But I was too excited to worry about a minor detail like that.
Dad patiently coasted me up and down the sidewalk in front of our house while keeping a firm grip on my seat as he walked alongside me. I was so confident and sure.
I concentrated hard on what he was saying. Keep your front wheel straight. Hold your arms this way. And those pretty streamers flapping in the breeze held my gaze. I was focusing so hard that I didn't even notice that Dad had disappeared. For a gap of what was probably about 10 seconds I was cruising down the street with no training wheels and no Dad!
But as soon as I noticed he was missing, I panicked. My head jerked around and I screamed "Daddy!" Where the heck did he go?!
I guess you know it already, I hit the ground almost immediately. I was laying on the ground and my bike was a tangle on top of me.
My Dad rushed over and lifted my bike with one hand while scooping me up with his other arm.
"You are OK. Let's see." He examined me and the bike for damage. My knee was skinned a little but no major blood. But it might as well had been a broken bone! I was wailing!
"It's OK," he reassured me. He lifted my leg to examine my knee. He brushed his hand lightly across my wound. "You are OK. You were riding that bike! Now, let's get back on it."
You have got to be joking me! That was it. I called it. "Mommy!" He was no good at all.
He did this half smile laugh thing that he always did when he was amused. "You are OK. Let's walk."
Walk? How about you carry me in the house and put me on the couch?
He wasn't having any of it. "Come on. Walk," he said calmly as he grabbed my hand and practically pulled me down the sidewalk.
That excitement that I had earlier had turned into disappointment. My inside and outside smile had turned into one big frown.
I did this crazy shuffle thing trying to convince him that I was mortally wounded. "You are OK. Keep walking."
I finally realized that he was NOT going to give up on me. My shuffle turned into baby steps. My baby steps turned into a walk.
After a few minutes, he finally said to me "OK. Let's get back on your bike."
Now I thought that he was CRAZY.
It took some coaxing, but he finally convinced me to get back on the bike.
I had a few more falls along the way. But Dad would not allow me to stop trying. My hard work and determination finally paid off. I don't know how long we stayed out there but by the end of our session, I was an official "no training wheels" bicycle rider.
I was cruising down the sidewalk all smiles - inside and out.
I did not know it that day, but my Dad was teaching me a lot about life and trying.
He taught me that:
Getting started is the easy part.
I may need some help getting started.
I may fall and get hurt, but I need to get up and keep walking.
I may fail, but I need to keep trying.
I will succeed if I don't give up.
You will never be able to succeed in any arena or in life without the power of TRY.
I don't know what you are facing today, but don't stop TRYING.
Unlocking the power of TRY requires an all-in commitment and DOING. And you will conquer as you DO.
Yes, Yoda, I agree. Do it. And do it over and over until you reach your goal.
Whatever you do, don't give up!
And know that I am cheering for you!