Do or Do Not, There is No Try 

In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Master Yoda instructs Luke Skywalk to ‘Do or do not, there is no try.’ This is one of my favourite quotes and one of the philosophies of living that I find the hardest to uphold. Do or do not. For me, this means that you need to make a choice. Make a choice to do something, or not to do that something, don’t waffle in the middle. Make a choice and own it. Click To Tweet

Picture of Yoda

There’s a lot wrapped up in that statement, make a choice and own it…


First, there’s FOMO (fear of missing out). In my life I have made choices out of fear of missing out on something. Not from a place of really wanting to do that thing but rather from a place of what if I don’t go and then I regret it? Think about choices you have made in your life. Think about the ones you made because of something you really wanted versus the choices you made because you were afraid that you might regret it if you don’t. Which choices turned out better? When I make choices based in FOMO the experience that I end up having is never as good as the experience of something I choose because I truly wanted it. Think of a really simple example, buying a scarf. Scenario one, the scarf is on sale and it’s a really good deal. You choose to buy it because you’re afraid that if you don’t buy it you’ll regret passing up that really good deal. Scenario two, scarf isn’t on sale (or maybe it is, doesn’t matter) and you buy it because you absolutely love it. I suspect that the scarf you bought because it was on sale you probably don’t love the same as the scarf you bought because you loved the scarf.

Being Accountable

The other thing that happens when we make a choice and own it is that we then have to be accountable to that choice. I used to be (and sometimes fall back into) that person who when asked to do something I would say that I would try to. I would try to call you later, or I would try and attend that function/meeting etc. Instead of committing to yes, or committing to no, I would waffle. For me the waffling often comes from wanting to be everything to everyone. Not wanting to disappoint someone by not showing up or by straight up telling them that I can’t. But the reality is by waffling I actually create way more disappointment. Now the person thinks that I might be coming, maybe they are looking forward to that, maybe they now start planning to have one more person there. And then I don’t show. Or I call the morning of to say I can’t make it. I think that creates way more disappointment then just owning the fact that I won’t be coming right from the start.

Final Thought

So, when faced with decisions to make today, make a choice and own it.

Make your choices based on what you want, not what you fear you might regret. Click To Tweet

See what happens.

8 thoughts on “Do or Do Not, There is No Try 

  • Awesome article and so very timely for many. I once heard a colleague say that trying is lying lol.
    Your article hots the hammer on the head with challenging people to use their power of choice, along with being committed and accountable to that choice. Clarity is key and it keeps us out of that middle section that you mentioned so that we can make a concrete decision and move forward.

    I co-sign there is only Do or Do Not and trying is an illusion. Again, awesome share. I will make sure to share this article with others. Keep up the amazing works.

  • I’m 100% behind you! MAKE a decision. In or out. Left or right!

    Don’t think that making a decision doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later! If things change, you can always change your decision. But that way, you’ve cleared up the energy of waiting and moved into the energy of decided.

    • Doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later! YES!! Isn’t it funny how we can sometimes act like our decisions are tattooed on our foreheads? Thank goodness they aren’t…

  • I think we all have been guilty of this “try” at some point or another. Saying no is a hard thing to do. Being accountable is important. So is knowing when to say no. Being kind to yourself is equally important. Don’t beat yourself up over failed “tries”. It shows how much you care for others and want to be there for them. People who are let down with the day of phone call” I can’t make it” also know that you care about them by your call vs just not showing up. Some of us want to go to everything we are invited to but sometimes it’s impossible to be in two places at once. If you feel like you want to go but are unsure if you can make all the stars in the cosmos align, say no right away and then if everything does come together show up as a surprise. (Just do the try part behind the scene)

    • Great point Katie. Your comment really highlights for me the issue of is this how a person is all the time (over-committing) or is this the odd time that they said they would do something and then they can’t? And I like your suggestion of say no and surprise them if you can make it after all.

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