Is There Really a Difference Between “Trying” and “Doing”?

“No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back

I am not a Star Wars fan, however, this quote has been a reoccurring mantra for me these last few weeks. So, I decided to add some context to Yoda’s words of wisdom. What I learned is that in this scene of the film, Yoda is teaching Luke Skywalker how to use the Force, (that in itself is a message) and he’s been able to. He’s moved stones with his mind, but, when Yoda instructs Luke to retrieve his spaceship out of its sunken place using only his mind he hesitates. For Luke, it’s impossible. Yeah, moving a couple rocks sure, – ain’t no thang… but a spaceship? Nah, that’s different! So, reluctantly he agrees to “give it a try.” That’s when Yoda drops this jewel and says, “No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

 I began recognizing a pattern, the way I’ve been thinking about myself wasn’t helping me get anything accomplished. When describing myself, I would tell people that I had a tendency to start things but not finish. Or, that I have great ideas, but, I just can’t seem to implement them 100%. Those are not nice things to say about yourself. Yet, this is what I was speaking about my own life. That’s when I started to notice that whenever I said I would try something more often than not I didn’t commit or I easily walked away from it leaving it unfinished after hitting the first stumbling block. However, when I said,  “I’m just going to get ‘it’ done.” That resolve to just do it always had a positive impact.
Why is that?*
Seven years ago around this time, Comedian Aida Rodriguez said to me, “the universe agrees with a made up mind” and that has always stuck with me but I have to admit I didn’t do much with it then. Another wise person in my life asked his Facebook audience to share “Whats a regret you have? Doesn’t have to be your biggest one…”
I regret my conscious decision to do just enough when I am and always have been capable of doing more. Good enough isn’t great ??‍♀️
That was my regret, not that I didn’t try hard, but that I decided to “to ‘do’ just enough.” I even recognized that it was a conscious decision and I admitted that I was capable of doing more but that I committed to doing less. Who does that?  Well I guess I did but anyway we later discussed my response and he seemingly used all types of Jedi mind tricks that really got my wheels spinning. Like most men of wisdom he commissioned me with this final message – “DO IT ALL.”

Again, I didn’t immediately take heed to the words of wisdom, I like to stew on things.This time it took me less than 7 seven years , I sprung into in action in just 7 days and found that once I committed to doing, I got it done and anything that I said I’d try sadly has been left unfinished.

This isn’t a new experience, I’m just seeing it through a new lens. So often when I’ve made up my mind to do something the power behind that decision gives me the strength to weather the storms that inevitably come. Determination gets you over, under, around and through anything that would try to block you. You’ve heard it before, “where there is a will, there is a way,” and it’s either you will or you won’t.
Okay, so what’s the point that of all this? It hit me this morning after I recorded my Snapchat video so I just wanted to share my light bulb moment. The fallacy in trying is that we really don’t have to do anything. It’s a scapegoat excuse for why we don’t finish things we said we wanted to.

If I ask you to try a bite of something you’re eating, do I contemplate the ways in which I could eat it?  No, I don’t – I just maybe, after a timid sniff, put it in my mouth and start chewing.

Try this exercise by Dr. Susan E. Mazer:

Look at the pencil or pen on your desk.

Now, pick it up. (Seriously, pick it up!)

Now, put it down. (Yes, really put it down.)

Now, try to pick it up. Ooops! If the pen is your hand, you did pick it up.

You were only supposed to try to pick it up. Get it?

Usually, if I tell someone to try to do something for me like “could you try to reach Ray Ray?” They’ll pick up the phone to call or text Ray Ray, they don’t try they actually do it. So, when it comes to making improvements or accomplishing goals, do we not just do? We excuse ourselves to try?
Quit trying and just do it! – Know that you are a conqueror, you were born victorious and you are destined to do great things. It’s hard to not say, “I’m going to try,” even when describing what I was actually doing, while writing this blog. I said “I’m trying to write this blog,” but I wasn’t trying I was actually in the process of completing the blog. We’ve been conditioned to try when what we should have been taught is to just do.
So, how do I suggest we go about reprogramming ourselves? Here are 3 things that I’ve committed to do:
  • Remove the word “try” from my vocabulary. Words have always intrigued me from the moment I learned that God set the universe into action just by saying it. If that doesn’t tell you the power of our words and our minds I’m not sure what else could. You may not have the same beliefs as me, but most motivators and success coaches will tell you that words have power and using the words that lift you up vs bring you down can impact your desired outcome.
  • Make a decision. It’s okay to not want to do something, everything in its own timing. Don’t do it, maybe it’s not time yet. Be honest with your intentions, don’t offer to try if you want or simply can’t. Make a conscious decision to do or not to do.
  • Be Committed. Good is not great and don’t settle for that when you were born for greatness. Will you face obstacles? Yes, but don’t quit. Stay committed to seeing it through.

We may not be out here like Luke Skywalker moving thing with our minds but don’t doubt for one moment *the power of a made up mind. That’s where it all begins and it directly affects how things will end.


Where have you been trying instead of doing? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you. 


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