Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Much wisdom, Yoda had. Wise to listen to him, you would be.

My young padawan, heed this: Do. Or do not. There is no try. 

Yoda from Star Wars

Have conviction and clear goals. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

This is what Yoda told Luke Skywalker on Dagobah. Yoda and Luke are on the damp planet, and Luke has just crashed his X-Wing fighter into the swamp. Yoda wants Luke to use the Force to raise the fighter out of the mire so he can rejoin the battle…

But Luke is, somewhat understandably, a little sceptical.

So he says, somewhat doubtfully, “All right, I’ll give it a try.”

Which is when Yoda delivers his immortal line: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Because when you say you’ll ‘try’ to do something, it means you won’t. When you say you ‘might’ go to an event, it means you won’t. When you say you ‘might’ call your friend, it means you won’t.

You know that. I know that. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when you say you’ll ‘try’ or you ‘might’, you’re giving yourself a get-out clause. You’re not committing to doing something, and if you’re not committed, you don’t stand a chance.

Even just uttering the words ‘I’ll try’ fills you with self-doubt. You’re sabotaging yourself right from the start. When you say ‘I’ll try’, it means you’re not sure you can do it. Which means you lack the self-belief to get it done, and that’s absolutely crippling – whether it’s in your business, in your relationships, in your fitness, or in your hobbies.

When my circus instructor gives me a new trapeze move to work on I’ve observed – and discovered – that if I say ‘I’ll try’, I usually fail. Fail to give it my best shot, fail to commit fully to the trick, fail to trust myself and my body to be able to do it.

But if I go into it saying, “I’ll do it” I don’t fail. I don’t always get the new trick perfect, first off. In fact, I rarely get it perfect first time. But I don’t fail. I complete it to the best of my physical and mental capacity at the time, then I’ve got a solid base to build on.

I’ve noticed the same thing in my business: if I say I’ll try to get my ads done by the end of the week, I fail. Invariably.

But if I set myself a firm goal, and tell my buddy that I’ll do it, I get it done.

So whatever you set out to do, just do it.

Do. Or do not. There is no try.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

If you’re not yet the proud owner of my book, I suggest you rectify that sad situation right here, right now. Remember: do, or do not. There is no try.


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