Tip/Thought of the Day

Trying. . .Or Succeeding?

If you’re trying, you aren’t succeeding.

Ever try to stand up from a chair?

I didn’t say- stand up.

I said try to stand up!

Inherent in that term is failure. A set up for not succeeding.

And the more you try and don’t succeed the more frustrated you become. Trying isn’t the operative word. Neither is winning or losing. The only thing that matters is the action. You’ll stand or remain sitting, but either way you’ll have done what you could for the best results possible. Trying gets you nowhere.

One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was my father teaching me to do a back dive. I was scared to death to attempt to go head first into the water- backwards! It was scary enough to dive, but having no clue where I was going until I practically hit the water was overwhelming. To the point it shut me down and stopped me from even making the attempt. My dad held me in his arms and said it was symbolic of life. Most times we can’t see the road in front of us. But we know it’s there. Without taking that leap of faith, after preparing as best we could, inaction would keep us from finding the future we are meant to have. All we can do is choose. Choose to stay where we are, move forward or go back. Those are our only options. But wasting time trying doesn’t accomplish anything. It just make us more fearful and impedes any progress we might make. Know you did everything possible to prepare, then jump in with both feet.

Whenever we claim, “We tried, ” it usually means we didn’t try at all, it wasn’t our best effort, or in many cases, any effort at all. Because effort always shows a response. Only trying doesn’t.

And sometimes trying is a way to deny what’s really happening. That we’re forcing something that doesn’t feel natural or “right.” Maybe it’s someone else’s truth or path, not ours. When I was young, my mother wanted me to become a lawyer. My father and grandfather were lawyers and my brother and sister hoped to follow in their footsteps. My mother loved the idea of a family firm. Working together to right injustices and help our neighbors. Corny? Of course. But a dream that sounded wonderful. Only problem was my brother and I hated the idea of becoming attorneys. He loved sales and I couldn’t imagine fighting for someone I knew was guilty- the cornerstone of our legal institution. I wanted to help in a different way. Push as she might, nothing could alter our true calling. But that didn’t stop us from “trying” to fit into her future initially. All it brought was frustration and heartache for everyone. Sometimes trying may be another way to say, “It’s not what I want.” Too often, we feel it’s what we’re supposed to do and not what we want to do.

Look at your life. What project takes a lot of effort for little gain? What are you trying to move forward that feels stuck? What is not working no matter how hard you try? Maybe it’s time to stop and look at what you want to accomplish. Is there a different way to do it? Is the timing off? Do your expectations need to change? What is not in alignment with you? What are you pushing? What are you trying to force? Let it sit a while. See what solution pops up. The answer may surprise you.

It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again.

-Charles Kettering

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