Either You Do It or Not, There is no Trying

Have you ever ‘tried‘ to do something? Think about it for a moment, how can one actually ‘try‘ to do anything? Because if you succeed in your intention, you would have done it, and if you failed, you would not have done it. But where did the ‘try‘ go?

If you are not getting what I am proposing, let us try a simple exercise. You must have your mobile phone somewhere lying near you. Just try to pick it. Yes, seriously! Try to pick it up. Have you picked it up? No, no no.. I didn’t ask you to pick it up. I only asked you to try to pick it up. After some time you will realize that you just can’t ‘try‘ to pick it up. There is either picking it up or not picking. There is no trying.

Having established that there is no such thing as trying, why is this word so common in our day to day lives? Why is it that this word is often associated with the ‘doing’ of things? I would guess that ‘try’ or ‘trying something’ is another of the commonly used phrases we use in our daily lives without even being conscious about it. It is just like the ‘Thank God it’s Monday‘ example I illustrated earlier. Using the word ‘try’ is just an escape route our sub-conscious mind takes and helps us justify our actions (or lack of them) later on.

Reasons and Justifications
Remember any instance where couldn’t do something you ‘tried’ to do. After the failed attempt, we often find ourselves using the word ‘try‘ to justify the same to others and to ourselves too. We never ‘tried’ to do anything, as it is something which can’t be done. But we have our reasons and justifications to defend ourselves with. Lets be honest and accept that we are only fooling ourselves and nobody else by falling into the trap of trying and following it up by reasons. I am not saying there is something wrong if you don’t accomplish a task, but to take responsibility and not hide behind the ‘try’.

Just Do It
Nike has got the perfect message in their tagline – Just Do It! We should let go of all the trying we do and get into the world of doing. The difference in the ‘doing‘ world is that the focus is on being in action. In the ‘trying’ world, there is a lot of thinking and analysis involved, but in the doing world, there is either success or failure in the ‘doing’. There is no successful ‘trying’, only successful ‘doing’. And as we are stopped by different obstacles (which will naturally come), being in the ‘doing’ world will not give us any reasons and justifications to fall back on and instead we will spend our energy on how to actually ‘do’ the task. There is always growth in the doing world.

What to do in the face of obstacles?
If we are doing something worthwhile, there will obviously be some hurdles on the way. Instead of focusing on the hurdles, we should strive to just learn our lessons and doing the same thing with a different approach. Now it is very easy to fall into the trap of such words again. So don’t ‘try’ to overcome the obstacles, just overcome them 🙂

How can we break the safety wall?

Some seven months back I wrote an article about why we should break the safety walls around us to be happy. After the wonderful response I got from that article, I have taken some steps like quitting my job and starting up on my own again. Lately I felt that I was again getting caught in a comfort zone which was stopping me from playing a big game. And that’s what led me to reading that article again today, and I decided to follow it up with this article giving my views on – How to break the safety walls?

Start Small
If you want to do something in an area, the best way is to just start it in whatever little way you can. Do anything in that direction, and then continue doing it, step by step. Soon, you will see that all the resistance will give way as you get into a habit. Once that happens, take another small step forward and let that become comfortable over a period of time. This is beautifully summed up by this quote by Martin Luther King Jr“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. - Randy Pausch

The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. - Randy Pausch

Be Who You Are
Each one of us have something unique – it could be a talent, skill, way of being or something else. Never loose that. Do what you like to do. Say what you want to say. Be authentic. Smile when you are happy. Cry when you are sad. Don’t wear a mask. Be authentic.

Let Go of the Dark Glasses
We all have our filters through which we see the world. Whenever we start something new and look beyond our safety walls, these filters act as dark glasses and cloud our view of the future. Thoughts like ‘not possible’, ‘very difficult’, ‘can’t be done’ are all a result of these dark glasses. Be aware of such thoughts whenever they pop up in your head, and let go of them. Recognize them as just your thoughts and not the reality, and you are free of them.

Don’t Pull Yourself Down
When you take a step beyond the comfort zone, the ground is bound to feel a little shaky and the road a little foggy. There are bound to be breakthroughs and breakdowns on the way, but never pull yourself down at the first sight of a breakdown. Don’t get into arguments like – “Am I worth it?”, “Can I do it?” Many times this happens very subconsciously, so be conscious at all times, and catch yourself whenever you start pulling yourself down, and get back up. Clear your mind of the clutter and focus on doing rather than thinking about doing.

Have Fun
Doing something new doesn’t have to be boring or serious. Just continue having fun while you move into the unconquered zone, and never let your artistic spirit die. Listen to music, indulge in some painting or sketching, watch your favorite team play, cook your favourite dish, or travel to that destination you always wanted to. Laugh often, jump and play like a child and always keep a smile on your face.