For Greater Success . . . Stop Trying!

Do or Do Not. There is no Try.
Do or Do Not. There is no Try.

Back in the 1970’s, I was fortunate enough to take a Management course taught by Professor George Odiorne.

George Odiorne was widely known as a big proponent of “Management By Objectives” and was a consultant to businesses as well as countries. Yes, countries! He was very accomplished and wise man!

One of the most valuable lessons that I got out of that class was a demonstration he performed with an invisible ball. He walked up to a classmate with his hand outstretched and his palm pointed up. “Imagine”, he said, “that I have an invisible ball in my hand. I want you to reach over and lift it out of my hand.” So she did. She reached over, put her fingers around the imaginary ball and lifted it out.

“Now”, said Professor Odiorne, “I want you to try to put it back in my hand.” She obviously wasn’t quite sure what was going on so she placed the imaginary ball back in his hand and let go of it.

“NO!” said the Professor, “I didn’t say to PUT the ball in my hand; I said to TRY to put the ball back in my hand. Now do it again”

The co-ed was very confused by now but she did what she was told. She picked up the ball and made several attempts to put the ball back in his hand. But each time, instead of putting the ball in his hand she purposely missed his hand and continued to hold the imaginary ball in her hand. The imaginary ball never made it back to Professor Odiorne’s hand.

The Professor had made his point.

“EXACTLY!” bellowed Professor Odiorne, “That is what TRYING is!”

“A commitment to TRY is a commitment to FAIL!”

That was his lesson for the day. So simple but so deep.

When you say that you’re going to try, you are setting up your excuse before you even start.

“Well, at least I tried.” or “I tried my best.” or anything similar has come to be acceptable excuses for failing. Should they be?

Knowing that you already have a built-in acceptable excuse can hold you back. It can cause you, perhaps subconsciously, to not give your best, to not do whatever is necessary to achieve success.

Even Yoda understood this. Do you remember what he said?

Do or Do Not. There is no Try.

To achieve greater success . . . Stop Trying!

Instead, listen to Nike and . . .

Just Do It!

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