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Stop trying

by Harry Porter | May 15, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Try is a funny word.

It is used in various circumstances and it can convey different outcomes. For instance, someone may say, I am going to try to stop cursing so much. Leaving out of the equation the "so much" part because that is a relative term, let's examine the try part of that statement. Looking at the situation at face value, cursing is an action that one consciously does when they speak. Either someone chooses to curse or they don't. As a curser myself, I do understand it is more complicated than that, but let's use me as an example. If I am speaking with a pastor, I am certain I will not curse. However, if I am speaking with my best friend it is highly likely I will curse repeatedly. So "try" in this scenario is pretty much a cut and dried thing.

Sometimes you hear try used in social situations. For instance, someone may say, "I am going to try to come to your party." What does that really mean? Either they can come or they cannot, right. I realize unexpected things can come up but I am always dubious when someone responds to invitations with "try." Usually, I put them into the No category in my mind.

Try creeps into our working lives extremely frequently. It is often the reply people go to when met with a request for something difficult. Examples are, "I will try to get this back to you by the end of the day," and "I will try to meet my sales goal for the month."

There is nothing less awe-inspiring than the word try. I wonder if Alexander the Great or Alexander Graham Bell used the word try a lot.

Did Shah Jahan try to build the Taj Mahal in 1632? The Taj Mahal is the centerpiece of a 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guesthouse, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenelated wall.

Did Edward Jenner try to develop a vaccine for smallpox or did he do it? Since the disease has been completely eradicated and he saved millions if not billions of lives, I think try was not a strong part of his vocabulary.

I think try is actually an acronym. T.R.Y. stands for To Repel You. It is a word used to get you to leave the person alone and quit asking the question they do not want to answer. If you can be put off long enough maybe, you will forget you asked the question.

Do I think people are attempting to be misleading every time they T.R.Y.? No, not really. However, I do think in most cases it signals a lack of belief or commitment in the person's mind.

There is a glory in actually trying something but I believe it puts you at a distinct disadvantage to start the effort from a mindset of "maybe it won't work." I will is a much more powerful starting point than I will try. Next time leave off the try in your mind and see if it changes anything. I think you will be surprised.

"Do or do not. There is no try."

-- Yoda

Print Headline: Stop trying

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