I have a handful of favorite sayings and quotes to live by; statements that reflect my life philosophy and intent. One of my favorites is this:
Do or do not; there is no try. ~Yoda, Jedi Master from Star Wars films
What a wonderful saying to live by, Do it or choose to not do it, but don’t prevaricate with the wimpy “I’ll try.” How many times have we said or heard someone say in response to a challenging goal: “OK, I’ll try?” Saying it ourselves or hearing it said, we know deep inside the goal will not be achieved, there’s no heart involved, no commitment to the goal.
“I’ll try” implies I have little faith and even less commitment to this goal. The half-hearted excuse of “I’ll try” gets us off the hook of commitment, while giving the appearance of accepting the goal. But it generally fools no one.
Better to admit lack of commitment to the goal. An honest “No, I won’t commit to this” has more integrity than “I’ll try.”
Do or Do Not, There is no Try
So thanks to my little hero, Yoda, I’m reminded to either fully commit to a goal or admit that I’m not committed to it. “Do or do not” fits my values of honesty and integrity, and since commitment is a key component of successful goal setting, honoring this quote helps me succeed at goals.
A Positive Form of “I’ll Try”
Though I’ve spent several words bashing the use of “I’ll try,” there are times when trying is a committed response. When offered something of which you have no experience, whether a new food or drink or a new responsibility, “I’ll try it” can be a strong commitment to a new experience and an indication you’re open-minded about it. In this sense, “I’ll try” is acknowledging the new something has not been experienced and you’re treating it as something akin to an experiment, with an undercurrent of willingness to adopt the new thing if it pleases you.
Do or do not is one of my favorite reminders to take action if I want something done. Another version of this same philosophy is the Yiddish saying:
If not you, who? If not now, when?
What quotes or sayings guide your life, keeping you centered and focused?
Sources: Images courtesy Flikr user Image QuotesEverlasting