Why You Need to Give Up Trying
"Do or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda
Have you ever felt like quitting? Just giving up on everything? Why is reaching success so hard? I think we have all been there. Let's face it: life is full of challenges, let-downs, disappointments, and setbacks. Add to this the belief in our culture that "overnight success" is a common occurrence. We glorify people who instantly win the lottery or become an overnight social media sensation. And we selectively choose to forget that the vast majority of successful people do not reach success overnight.
Do you think success is easy?
Behind our mind foolery is a belief that success should be easy. Jeff Haden explored this topic on Inc.com. Here is what he has to say about success being easy:
Sound familiar? It’s easy to look at people who are successful and begrudge their success. So we say, “Yeah, but he constantly watches what he eats,” about a thin friend, or, “Yeah, but he’s a slave to his schedule,” about a friend who achieves multiple goals, or even, “Yeah, but he took on way too much risk when he started his company,” about another entrepreneur.
But that’s how success works. Fit people are fit because they work out a lot. Successful people are successful because they work incredibly hard. People whose family relationships are close-knit have put time and effort into building those relationships.
Now we know the truth. Success is NOT easy. It takes a lot of effort, commitment, and sacrifice. And beyond that, it takes time. On Business Insider, Thomas Corley tells us exactly how long it takes to build wealth, for example.
Dream-setting: about 12 years. Dream-setting is defining your dreams and then building goals around those dreams.
Living below your means: about 32 years. In this case, living below your means would include saving at least 10% of your income and then prudently investing those savings.
Daily growth: about seven years. It took the self-made millionaires in my study who became experts within their industry about seven years to get there. They did this primarily by reading or relentless practice.
How does this relate to quitting and success?
Quitting is defined as "leaving a place, usually permanently." Quitting is deciding to give up altogether on your dreams, hopes, and vision. And the truth of the matter is that when we stop "trying," we just decided to quit. I have tried a lot of things that I decided later to quit. So quitting is not altogether bad. In fact, for some things, quitting is recommended. If you want to understand more about how to quit the right way, check out the book The Dip by Seth Godin. When we say "I will try," what it does is gives us a perfect escape clause. We are saying to ourselves in essence, "I'm not sure this thing will work out but I will try it." The underlying message with that is "If I don't like it, I can always quit." The truth of the matter is that there are some things we should NEVER quit. There comes a point in life where you have to figure out what is worth trying and what is worth DOING. But constantly going around trying everything without the commitment to do will keep you stuck in patterns of failure and leave you living below your potential.
What you should do instead on your personal development journey
This is exactly why I gave up on trying for everything. What I know now that I did not know then was my "trying" was actually keeping me from the success I wanted to see in different areas of my life. I wasn't getting what I wanted because I kept trying instead of committing to "the do." Committing to "the do" means shifting your mindset to embrace the challenge are about to face and firmly deciding that you will not try and you will not quit until you get to where you want to be. This was the wisdom Master Yoda was trying to impart to Luke Skywalker. In essence, he was saying "Luke, you are about to face the challenge of your life. This is important. You need to understand that you will face significant challenges in your pursuit of truth. I need you to be ready to do it. Don't give yourself a way out. There is no try. Only do." This is the power of being committed to yourself and what is important to you. There simply is no such thing as try when it comes to these matters. You must only do.
Are you ready to give up trying?
Great. Go forward and do not try. Only do.