A motivational speaker once dropped a coin on the floor of the stage and called a member of the audience up. “Now,” she said, “try to pick up that coin.” The gentleman from the audience bent down and picked it up.
“No, no, no,” she responded. “You picked it up. I didn’t say ‘pick it up.’ I said TRY to pick it up.” As the man stood there, bent halfway over, “trying” to reach the coin, the audience began to chuckle. “Ok, stand up,” the speaker said. “Do you realize how silly you looked TRYING to pick up that coin?” Fortunately, she was good-natured, and so was the gentleman, and he laughed. She sent him back to his seat, telling the audience, “That’s what happens when you TRY. Trying is the same as not doing it. Either do it or don’t. But don’t say that you’ll TRY to do something.”
I think about that every once in a while. I hear her in my head when I think, “I’m going to try to go to the gym every day.” “I’m going to try to post more often.” “I’m going to try to eat better/drink less/ get hold of my thoughts.” “I’m going to try to meditate.” “I’m going to try to get that cookbook written.” I’m going to TRY . . .
When I try to do something, it’s like having a built-in get-out-of-jail-free card. If I don’t do it, OH WELL, I TRIED.
But it’s really such a cop-out. It’s a way of saying, “I don’t really think I am strong enough to accomplish this, so I’m going to try and earn points for my good intentions.” When I say that I’m going to try to do something, some part of me, deep down, already KNOWS that I won’t do it.
Maybe Yoda said it best: “Do or do not do. There is no try.” Those Jedi fanboys might be on to something. (Hee. Check out my inner nerd showing, there. ;D)
In some ways I have to be careful with “Do or do not do” though. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the whole “I missed one day of something and that makes me a FAILURE” mindset. There has to be a middle ground between “trying” and obssessing, you know? I just haven’t found it yet.
Or maybe for me, my middle ground won’t be quite as balanced as most people’s. Maybe I should shoot for an 80/20 balance or a 70/30 instead of a 50/50. Even 80/20 is better than 100/0, right? All or nothing, excel or fail. Even 80/20 is better than that. I’m still sorting it out.
Anyway. All this came about because I’d like to “try” 😉 to post every day, 5 days a week. And I was thinking about how I’d already missed a day, and OH WELL, I TRIED, while I was washing my face, and I thought of that woman: “Do you know how silly you look TRYING to pick up that coin?” So I thought, screw it, I’ll post.
And what do you know? Turns out I had something to say.