Tag Archives: success

Do, or Do Not – There is no Try

Famous words spoken by Yoda (Star Wars). I generally despise Star Wars for its atrocious dialogue and many other aspects, but I love the Yoda character. Essentially he’s a Buddhist, and in Buddhism everything is relative. But doesn’t the phrase declare something absolute? No. It’s about the approach.

Trying in itself is not a true objective: you do something with the objective of completing it. Should it not work out, then you have tried. In a nutshell, “I tried” is a possible description or explanation of an incomplete or unsatisfactory outcome, which is obviously not something you aim for beforehand, or even less “declare”.

The fact that the English language allows you to use the verb in that way doesn’t negate the negative psychological aspect of doing so – forget hype, psychology is very powerful when it comes to achieving things.

Analogy: if you’re a cyclist, you’ll probably know from experience that focusing on “not hitting the pole standing in your path” will actually make you hit it. Feel free to try (!) this for yourself. You need to aim for a gap (way through), not the obstacle.

Tim Harford on How Failing is Essential

Well ok that’s my juicy headline, but watch the whole of this theRSA video and I’m pretty confident you’ll agree with me that that is in fact the essence of what he’s saying. My six-year old daughter has already figured out that failing at something is the point where you learn the most. Trial-and-error is what improves things, so if you don’t fail at something you wouldn’t be able to improve! So please, fail early and fail often! (and the Upstarta-way: cheaply)