There is no Try

Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The Empire Strikes Back

I was a kid when the first series of Star Wars movies came out. I loved going to see them in the theatre and thought Yoda was a weirdly cute little green man who spoke in a funny manner. It wasn’t until my son fell into the Star Wars culture that I really stopped and listened to what that weird little green man was saying. Who knew that he was so full of wisdom?

Perhaps one of his best remembered quotes is the one above “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

I came across something very similar to this in one of my morning readings the other day. It told the story of a man who was explaining to someone else how futile it was to say that she would “try” to improve the relationship she had with a family member. To show what he was talking about he picked up a pen and dropped it on the floor. Then he leaned down and started batting away at the pen with his fingers. He began saying “I’m trying to pick up the pen. I’ll just keep trying“. After fumbling around for a while, he finally reached over and grabbed it with his fingers and picked it up.

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

It got me to thinking about all the things I try and do. I’ll try and lose weight. I’ll try to be patient with the kids. I’ll try to be a better friend. I’ll try to get around to cleaning the house (ha! at least that one I know is a feeble try when I say it). I’ll try to be on time. I’ll try to work harder on my coursework. I’ll try to write more.

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

It’s totally true, if I simply said I was going to do something then I would do it. I will be patient with you, no matter what, I will take deep breaths, be present in the moment, accept that not everything will go my way. I will be patient. I will be on time, I will leave early, I will be organized so that I am not running at the last minute. I will be on time. I will work harder on my course work. I will set aside certain hours during the day that are just dedicated to working, it is a priority and something I want to do. I will put in more hours. I will work harder on my course work.

There is no try.

I think I’ve tried to do a lot of things in my life. Knowing what my limitations are (I’m not going to turn invisible or be able to fly realistically in this lifetime) I have to keep focused on what it is I want to do. Then set my intention on doing. Because there is no try.


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