Sunday, April 5, 2009

Try not to try.

Try and eliminate the word “try” from your vocabulary. It is not easy. As a society and culture we have learned to rely on this word for comfort, justification, explanation and excuse. It is the one word most commonly used and accepted that keeps us from telling the truth.

That is a heck of a statement isn’t it? Let me give you a definition of “try” and you decide if it is true or not.

“Trying is the experience we have when we don’t do what we say we are going to do.”

Think about it. When do we use the word “try”?

“I tried, but I could not do it.”
“Well, at least they tried.”
“He tried and failed.”

Now look at when we don’t use the word “try”.

“I did it.”
“He did it.”
“He did it and succeeded.”

We diet or we try dieting. We exercise or we try and exercise. We get things done or we try and get things done. We are either going to “try” or we are going to “do it”.

The most interesting aspect of this word is how readily we as a society accept it as an explanation, but what if we didn’t? What would happen if the next time someone said to you “I tried”, you responded by asking “What did you do instead?”

When the question is asked as a genuine inquiry and not accusatorily, we give people the opportunity to tell us, and perhaps themselves, the truth about what happened.

“The diet didn’t work because it required discipline that I just don’t have.”
“I just did not make the time to exercise every day.”
“I just didn’t do what I was supposed to do.”

When people tell the truth about what really happened (or didn’t) they can begin to take responsibility for themselves, their actions or lack thereof.

But why? Why are we so ready and willing to accept “I tried” as an answer? Is it because it is easy? Polite? Or is it because we want people to accept our “I tried” too?

I am not perfect at doing this. I still use the word from time to time and occasionally accept it from others without question. Losing the word “try” is hard to do. But now that I know what it means, I sure hear it differently.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.


  1. I know I use the word too much, but we must keep on trying.

  2. Your writing always makes me sit back and think. I really don't know you all that well. You continue to surprise me. I like this addition to your blog. From today on I'm going to do my best not to use that word. Thanks for the difference in the meaning of life. You always give me something to think about, work on and laugh about. Love you more today then yesterday.
    Con Amor