“Do, Or Do Not, There Is No Try”

I was reading a book on nutrition the other day. In the first few pages he began by telling readers that people shouldn’t approach changes to their diet half-heartedly. His exact words were:

“Do not say you will give it a try. Do not try; instead make a commitment to do it right”

This just blew me away, because it reminded me of one of my favourite quotes – “Do, or do not, there is no try”. Strangely, this quote isn’t from Socrates, or Shakespeare, or some other philosopher or wordsworth, it’s actually from Yoda in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. He is talking to Luke who is trying to save his X-Wing (spacecraft) from sinking. Check out the clip:

I came across this quote a couple years ago and it has been my mantra ever since. I would go as far as to say it has changed the way I talk too. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to try and go to the gym tomorrow morning”, I say “I am going to the gym tomorrow”.

What Yoda is saying is that your attitude should be if you intend to do something, do it. Don’t ‘give it a go’, have the resolve in your mind that you *are* going to do what you intend to. And that should apply to anything and everything you do. If your plan is to get in shape, be decisive about it. Don’t set out saying you’re going to ‘try’ and go to the gym more often, that you’re going to ‘try’ and eat more fruit and veg, that you’re going to ‘try’ and do 25 minutes on the treadmill. That’s weak and limp. There is no ‘try’. Approach it with the attitude that “I *am* going to do 25 minutes on the treadmill”, etc.

You’d be surprised how daunting such a little change might be. For me, heading to the gym knowing I had set myself an aim to do 25 or 30 minutes of interval cardio on the treadmill could be a little frightening. The workout itself wasn’t frightening, it was the fear of failure. But the less I used ‘try’, the more accustomed I got to just getting things done and the less apprehensive I got about not achieving the target I had set myself.


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