Do or Do Not, There is No Try

The Princess Bride contains, for me, nearly all of life’s great lessons: about friendship, about love, about never starting a land war in Asia.

But Star Wars, at times, goes even deeper. Who can forget the words of Jedi Master Yoda when Luke is attempting to lift his X-Wing fighter out of the swamp using the Force?

YODA: Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say? You must unlearn what you have learned.

LUKE: OK, I’ll give it a try.

YODA: No! Try not! Do, or do not, there is no try.

So often, our language betrays us, illustrating a lack of commitment, a lack of belief in ourselves, a lack of willingness to own our part in creating a problem. As in:

I’ll try to get that you by this Friday. 

I’ll do my best.

I have to _______.

I can’t do that…

I’m sorry that you feel that way. 

Think about the difference in what we communicate when we, instead, say:

I will get it you by this Friday.

I will solve this problem and get back to you with the solution. 

I get to _______.

I can’t do that yet.

I’m sorry that I made you feel that way.

Our language both informs and communicates our thinking. Being more deliberate about the words we choose shifts how people perceive us and shifts our mindset in the face of new challenges.

One thought on “Do or Do Not, There is No Try

  1. Such a powerful post Sasha. The one single word-change that creates almost instantly a mindset-change is, as you mentioned the word GET. Think of how often we hear the words “I have to go to work today” or “I have to pick-up my kids from school” and how negative-slanted those words are. The one single change to “I get to go to work” or “I get to pick-up my kids from school” constitutes one of the most important concepts that a human being can embrace, GRATITUDE. “I get” includes the fact that I have two arms and two legs and I have an employer that values me and pays me for my time so that I “get to” go to work not “have to” go to work.

    Well done Sasha!

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