This past weekend, I introduced my two sons (ages 4 and 5) to the original Star Wars Trilogy. It was a big moment. Sure, they already knew about Star Wars and have watched many of the animated shows on DisneyXD, but this was the original. This is where it all began. I watched as my two aspiring Jedis sat glued to the screen, witnessing young Luke Skywalker begin his Jedi training. “Do, or do not,” Master Yoda commands, “there is no try.” I was probably around the same age when I first heard those words (maybe a little younger even), and to this day they have not left me. “Do, or do not. There is no try.” So simple, yet so profound. Hidden beneath the depths of the swamp on planet Dagobah was not only Luke’s sunken X-wing fighter, but a lesson we can all learn from.
“Do, or Do Not…”
We are in a constant state of doing or not doing. “Trying” to do something does not exist in the present, only in the past. If you focus on the present, you are never “trying” to do something. You are either in the process of doing something or you are not doing that something. Now, the something that you are doing presently may potentially lead somewhere, but that somewhere is not in the present – it is in the future. When you are “doing” something, you are in motion, moving towards something or somewhere. It is only when you stop that you will you have completed (or not completed) something. If you stop before you have completed your something, then (and only then) can you say that you “tried” to do that something. Take, for example, climbing a mountain. As soon as you start climbing, at the moment of your very first step, you are presently climbing the mountain. You are “doing”, not trying to do. If you make it to the top of the mountain, you will have successfully completed, or done, the climb. If on the other hand, you stop climbing before making it to the top of the mountain, then you could say that you “tried” to climb to the top (assuming that was your goal) but failed. What’s the point? You only fail to accomplish your goal when you stop doing. Only then, when you have given up and stopped, will you have “tried” to accomplish that goal. If you fall and have to start over at the bottom of the mountain and you continue and start climbing again, you are still climbing the mountain and never stopped. In other words, you choose whether you succeed or fail.
“There is no try.”
You should never set out to “try” to do something. You should always set out to “do” that something. Leading with the old “I’ll try” attitude, is leading with doubt and fear. To say that you will “try” means that you believe there is a possibility that you may not succeed. This is no way live life. Every successful person who has ever written or spoken about success will tell you that believing in yourself is key. If you believe in yourself, work your hardest and never give up, you will succeed.
The same holds true for artists, athletes and entrepreneurs. You do not become a world champion athlete, rock star or successful entrepreneur by not believing you can do it. You absolutely must know you can. It is that freedom from doubt that empowers you to take that first step and start climbing your mountain. You are going to make it to the top. You are going to succeed. You know this the minute you start “doing.” You are never trying, taking each successful step, and each inevitable fall, with grace and determination, knowing it is all part of the process of climbing. There is no failure, there is no “trying,” unless you stop. “Do. Or Do Not. There is no try.”