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Here’s Why Trying Doesn’t Work3 Min Read

Here’s Why Trying Doesn’t Work3 min read

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Fitz’s wife is asking him to stop drinking and gambling. 

And Fitz replies halfheartedly, “I’ll try…”

But Fitz is not your run-of-the-mill drunk gambler. He’s a brilliant police psychologist from the mid ’90s English drama, Cracker, starting Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid from Harry Potter).

But as brilliant and insightful as Fitz is, he seems to have little power over his nasty, destructive habits. When asked by a colleague why he persists in his downward spiral, he answers defiantly: “I like it!!”

Yes, we do like our demons.

We like doing things that make us feel good momentarily but exact a high price in the long term.

On Sunday I was at my granddaughter’s birthday party and, as usual, I chowed down on the cake and ice cream. I most definitely like it!

But because I know the high cost of high calories we never allow cake and ice cream inside the house. Once in awhile it’s a treat, but never a steady diet.

When Fitz told his wife, “I’ll try,” it was more in the vein of, “If I happen to feel like not boozing and gambling once in awhile I just may see if I can lay off a bit. I’ll try.”

Yeah, right Fitz. Now, I’m only into the second story of this wildly entertaining three-years series, but I don’t hold out much hope that his trying will get him very far.

No, trying doesn’t work.

Remember Yoda’s famous pronouncement to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back?

“No! Try not! Do or do not, there is no try.”

We all get this, kind of. But for some reason, we keep on trying.

We try to write an email newsletter, try to build our email list, try to do speaking engagements, try to do follow up, try to raise our rates. And it always ends up as a struggle that rarely produces a result.

The question I have is, despite trying not working, why do we continue to try? 

The same reason we continue to do anything that doesn’t work. We believe it will work, despite the evidence.

So we must be getting something out of believing that belief. There must be a payoff or we wouldn’t continue.

The payoff for believing that trying works is simple: It’s comfortable. 

Am I saying we’ll lie to ourselves to stay comfortable?

Absolutely! It’s much more comfortable to say we’ll try than to actually commit.

Commitment is uncomfortable. But it’s the only thing that gets results.

I’ve often thought Yoda should have said:

“No! Try not! Do or do not, there is no try. Commit instead, you must!

That might have helped, because, despite the fact that almost everyone has heard that quote, almost everyone still believes in trying.

Stop trying. Commit.

Look at what you want in your life, your business and marketing and commit to it. 

Commit to doing that marketing activity and don’t quit until you’ve figured out how to make it work.

I promise you, it will be uncomfortable. It might take a long time. You might not succeed the first several times. You might make a mess of it.

So what? Commit anyway. The worst that can happen is you’ll discover a lot of ways not to do something. But when you commit for long enough, the results will be beyond anything you can imagine.

Cheers, Robert

P.S. You might suppose from all my movie and TV references that all my good ideas come from there. You might be right! But when you’re committed, you’ll take ideas from anywhere you find them.

P.P.S. Pass this on to someone who is trying.

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