Instant Inspiration/Timeless Wisdom

1st June 2007


I got this comment from a subscriber and thought that it would make a great article as I am sure that many of us have the same issue. I really appreciate comments like this as they stimulate my thinking.
I hate the word TRY. For one reason only. It gives you (me) an excuse for failure. " I Tried my best" Yoda said it best, "There is no try. Do, or do not. Do not try"

I am sad that you "hate" word try, and it is a very valid and useful word. The word has unfortunately been badly abused by people who either misunderstand it, or try to hide behind it, so if you are going to "hate" anything then rather "hate" those who abuse it. But rather than hate them, try to get them to understand.

To try is to attempt, to see if you can.

I will bet that you have tried many things in your life and I will bet that you are going to try many more things in your life.

Whenever you attempt to do something that is outside of your current level of competence, something that you have never done before or something that is not in your control, then you try to do it.

Let's say that you are a weight lifter and your record lift is 100kg the next level is 110kg. Since you have never lifted 110kg you would have to try to see if you could.

Now it may turn out that you cannot, at this stage, lift the 110kg. This tells you that you have to exercise a bit more. But if you gave it your best shot then you are quite justified in saying that you "tried your best" You must realise that your best may not be enough so you have to improve on your best and if you cannot, or will not, then you must accept that you cannot do whatever it is you attempted to do.

In any situation your ability to do, depends on your skills and resources. Sometimes these are just not enough for the task at hand so you are unable to do it. Did you ever try to fix a car's engine with just a screwdriver and a pair of pliers? You may have had some success with older model cars but just try it on today's modern machines.

Of course Yoda could say what he said, he had an entire movie set with script writer and director to create his "reality" so I wouldn't give too much credence to him.

Did you ever try to get a date with someone and fail. Sure you may have asked but they said no. But you did try didn't you. Now getting someone to go on a date with you is not in your control but asking them is in your control so you don't try to ask, you ask.

Often people try to hide behind the word try and there is a great way to clear away the camouflage. When someone says that they will try, ask them this question "What would stop you?"

For example you arrange a meeting for 11:00 and someone says that they will try to be there. 1st question "What would stop you from being here at 11:00?" They might have a valid reason like "Well I have an appointment at 09:00 on the other side of town and I presume it will last until 10:00 but it may go longer and then, if the traffic is good, it will take me at least 45 minutes to drive back here, so I can't guarantee that I will be back at 11:00.

So you see "try" is a very valid word and certainly has it's place in our vocabulary, and I have tried my best, with this reply, to make that clear.

I hope that I have succeeded. If not let me know and I will try again.

Author's Bio: 

A professional speaker and trainer, Johan delivers exciting and empowering presentations, seminars and workshops.

Johan has the ability to make the most complicated subject easy to understand and the most sensitive subject easy to deal with.

He is the author of:
"Thoughts to live by" Vol 1 and 2 compilations of 99 specially selected inspirational and motivational messages; and
"A Practical Guide to Employee Management" a complete "do it yourself Human Resources guide.

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