Do you realize how much energy you spend away from the actual goal when you focus on “trying” instead of moving toward the goal itself? You’d be surprised.
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Whatever it is you that you might want to be doing right now, I want you to stop trying. Whatever it is you are working on, or working toward in your day, week, or life right now, I implore you to stop trying. It sounds counterintuitive I know. But do you realize how much energy you spend away from the actual goal when you focus on “trying” instead of moving toward the goal itself? You’d be surprised.
When you are on your way to the grocery store you don’t say “I’m trying to go to the grocery store,” you just go to the grocery store. Granted, sometimes there are external things that “try” your patience or get in the way, like traffic, bad weather or annoying relatives but, for the purposes of today’s lesson, “trying” is the very thing that gets in the way of doing.
In Star Wars, Yoda famously says, “ Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
There’s a distinction here that needs to be addressed. The difference between intent and attempt. Intent is connected to purpose; something that is intended, while attempt is the action of trying at something.
Trying suggests that something is standing in the way. It implies fear of falling back or the possibility of failure, sending signals to the brain that something is difficult, scary or dangerous. It creates a roadblock between you and where you want to go. Worse yet, trying implies that you aren’t succeeding yet and is associated with feeling like you are never enough. “I’m trying so hard but it just isn’t working”. And it's not our fault that we feel that way either. As children our parents and teachers promised us “if you try hard enough you can do anything you want to do” which, although well meaning, is a fallacy of epic proportions.
Have you ever noticed in heated moments when your partner is on a rant that when you scream “I’m trying” to listen to you that you in effect are having a harder time hearing than if you just listened in the first place?
Our brains are built to help us do whatever it is we say we want to do. But trying is not an actionable word. You know what words come up when you google the word trying?
Stressful, difficult, taxing, demanding, tough, hard, heavy, pressured.
It’s time to take “try” out of the equation. It’s a given that we all do our very best in every moment. Nobody plays to fail. We simply take small meaningful and sometimes seemingly unremarkable steps toward whatever it is and just do it.
Without overthinking, we move closer to where you want to go without trying. In the complete absence of trying, the absolute presence of being in the moment exists.
I’m Lisa Hopkins, stay safe and healthy everyone and remember to live in the moment.