Did you know that many of the teachings of Yoda, the great master from the Star Wars saga, are based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of Daoism? Well, that’s going to be a separate post — but for now let’s focus on one of his most famous sayings:
“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda, Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
No matter what kind of work you do, your must focus your energy. Even saying ‘I’ll try’ automatically creates the possibility of failure in your mind. When you say ‘try’, you immediately conjure up images of you not succeeding! That’s how the human mind tends to work: on the safe side.
Words have power. When you say “I’ll do it,” you set in motion a chain of thoughts, all of them directed to action.
It’s easy to make excuses, like:
- “I’ll try…” This assumes failure from the start. Yoda may be fictional, but there’s wisdom in the adage: “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
- “Yeah, but…” This remark simulates agreement with what the boss is saying but then introduces excuses for why the employee imagines failure.
Doing things is what makes the difference; not thinking about it, but actual action. During my time working at Singapore Airlines, I found that trying was the norm, but doing made the difference. And it still is today.
There’s so much to learn from the Star Wars saga. And who else could be more inspirational for ‘Active Ageing’ than Yoda? Nine hundred years old and still going strong!
But that’s for next time!