- Thoughts for inspired living

January 14, 2010

I Tried That

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:49 am

I had my teeth cleaned last week. After the dental hygienist was done, she handed me a packet to take home. In there I found a new toothbrush, dental floss and some sample whitening strips to affix to your teeth.

The whitening strips got me curious about the phrase “I tried that.”

I wonder how many people tried the strips one time and were disappointed that they didn’t get a Hollywood smile. The instructions clearly say you have to repeat the application over a period of time to get results.

It amazes me the number of people who suspend logic and believe they took the action necessary by attempting something once, and then dismiss its effectiveness with the phrase “I tried that.”

How often have you heard this statement, “I joined a gym but that doesn’t work for me”? Do you realize how many people buy a gym membership and go only a couple of times. Yet in their mind, they believe they have no culpability for their lack of fitness because they say, “I tried that.”

It’s the ultimate responsibility shift from us to something else. How quickly we look for a scapegoat. I wrote the following blog a couple of years ago which points out how alive and well this shift is:

Some people abuse their power of discretion and it becomes a weapon that causes self inflicted wounds. This is a way of saying that many people dismiss something out of hand because they judge it in their head.

I agree that if someone told you that parrot saliva was the cure for arthritis, you probably would be justified to raise an eyebrow. But if there was a long, documented history of people getting results with this method, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t investigate further, especially if you have arthritis.

So let’s pretend that you saw an ad for a product in Parade Magazine and then hobbled down to GNC and bought the product called “Pollyspittle” because you were curious. You took it home and then you chose not to use it. It seems counter-intuitive, but the reality is lots of people do that. It’s the next piece of behavior that is mind boggling and counterproductive.

You hop on your computer and dash off a nasty-gram to the manufacturer saying, “This stuff couldn’t possibly work,” and add how disappointed you are. What’s wrong with this photograph? You judged it in your head.

No one’s claiming that you are not entitled to an opinion. We all have them. But when you put the onus on someone else because your untested belief won’t allow you to take the recommended action, whose problem is that?

This type of head judging has no bearing on IQ. You could be Mensa material or dumber than a stump and still be guilty of this practice.

How many of your New Year’s Resolutions have already failed? How many of those failures will you justify with “I tried that?”

It’s a mindset that is pervasive and it never works. It’s much more honest and effective to say, “I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.” It keeps the responsibility where it belongs – with you. AND it keeps the door open to the possibility of accomplishing that which you haven’t figured out yet.

“I tried that” has had a long and storied career. Let’s buy it a gold watch and send it off to play shuffleboard and bore the pants off of people telling them about the good old days when it was the most popular phrase on earth.

All the best,



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