“I’m trying my best… I’ve tried 1000 times before… I will try to do better the next time…” Common expressions we hear and say every day. But if you find yourself using those expressions repeatedly, then you need to listen carefully to my message today. It is a lesson not from me, but rather from one of the wisest creatures to ever walk the face of this planet…YODA!
You know…Yoda…the fictional Jedi-master from the famous Star Wars movies. There’s a famous scene from The Empire Strikes Back movie where Yoda is instructing Luke Skywalker in how to use the Force.
He asks Luke to retrieve his broken down spaceship out of a pit where it has sunk, using only his mind. Luke, of course, thinks this is impossible. Sure, he has been able to move stones around this way. But a spaceship? That’s completely different. Or is it?
Yoda patiently explains that it is only different in his mind. Luke reluctantly agrees to “give it a try.” Yoda famously says, “No! Try not. Do! Or do not! There is no try.”
Believe it or not, that’s actually pretty good advice for a fictional little monster to give. The Bible says it this way: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Do you understand the difference between trying and doing?
You either do something or you don’t do it. Trying is really the same as not doing it. It just makes it easier for us to let ourselves off the hook when we fail. When we say we are “trying” we don’t really have to do anything. It also provides us with an excuse for why we didn’t accomplish the outcome we say we want.
Where are you “trying” to improve?
- Are you “trying” to get in shape or are you getting in shape?
- Are you “trying” to improve your marriage or are improving your marriage?
- Are you “trying” to spend more time with God or are you spending more time with God?
It may sound like a small distinction, but it has huge ramifications. Maybe it’s time to quit trying and – to quote our friends at Nike – JUST DO IT. Here are three suggestions to make this practical for you:
1. Stop using the word “try.” Stop using it altogether.It is a worthless word that accomplishes nothing. It only makes you feel better when you fail. For the rest of today, do not use the word “try”.
2. Decide either to do or not do. I bet that some of you read the bullet point above and said “ok, I’ll try my best.” But that’s the point. That is not a good option. If you want to do it, then do it. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t. But don’t pretend that trying is the same as doing. They are completely different.
3. Play to win the game. There was a famous line in the movie Apollo 13: “Failure is not an option.” Approach your situation with the same idea in mind. Go for it win; don’t settle for merely trying.
As Yoda suggested to Luke, the difference may only be in your mind, but it has a dramatic impact on the outcome of whatever you set out to do. Enough trying – JUST DO IT!
Discussion: Where have you been trying instead of doing?