Election Day 2008: Is there any point in trying?
Stop Trying; It’s Useless.
Trying creates enormous conflict between people and even within individuals. The word “try” is loaded with built-in failure. When Luke says that he will try, Yoda corrects him, “No! Do or do not. There is no try.” This is one of the most simple, straightforward, and yet powerful lessons we can take from a linguistic source. In reality, as opposed to the conceptual world, there actually is no such thing as “try.” The clash between the conceptual “try” and the real world “do or do not” is where the conflict is born.
Here is an experiment I’ve done with clients to give them the physical experience of knowing the word “try” to be an impossible real world action. Put a pen on a table in front of you. Now, “try” to move the pen. Don’t move it. I am not saying to move the pen. The instructions are specifically to try to move it. What does that require of you? How do you go about trying to do something, rather than go about doing it? What is different? Does this seem a little ridiculous? Why doesn’t it always seem ridiculous? Why do we even use the word try? It’s what I call a “squirm” word; the back door is built-in and wide open for our escape.
Okay, this isn’t entirely fair. There are times when we’re not sure if we can do something. What then? Well this is where you can actually have some impact on the outcome, through the wonders of Conscious Communication. We know that we can’t just say don’t use the word try, as that creates a void, which is as useless as “don’t think of a pink elephant.” We need a replacement phrase, like “do think of a blue elephant.” Without changing the meaning, we can choose words that will shift our consciousness toward successful achievement. Rather than, “I’ll try,” we can say, “I’ll do the best I can.”
Too simple? There’s the beauty of it. Give this exercise some practice. There are several built-in motivators within this phrase, and you’ll be surprised by the impact it has on you and others. First there is the statement “I’ll do,” setting up a promise/commitment, and a foregone conclusion of success. Then you add the quality of the effort you are going to bring to this commitment: “the best.” “I’ll do the best.” This gets followed by another affirmation of foregone success and belief in oneself: “I can.” Put all three pieces together, and you have “I’ll do the best I can.” This may not sound all that different from “I’ll try,” but stick with this practice for even a few days, and you’ll notice a distinct difference in your level of success.
This post was written by Ian Blei, Director of the Integral Enneagram Institute and President of Optimized Results http://www.optimized-results.com
Ian and I see much of the world in very similar ways.
Check out his book Kind Ambition.