- Thoughts for inspired living

Try Not To Try - Grasshopper

Few things are as counter-productive as trying. Have you ever had the occasion where you or someone else was "trying too hard"? That's a trying experience – one that is best to outgrow.

Selling is a prime example. Have you ever oversold something? That means hyperbole was on steroids and no one got juiced. They didn't buy because they were being sold a bill of goods and you were left empty handed.


Even if you did sell something that you oversold, notice the empty feeling that lingers long after.


But this is about trying and how ineffective it is. Long ago, I learned that "try" was a made up word that had no counterpart in reality. Here's an excerpt from my free ebook THE SUCCESS TRIANGLE that underscores that phenomenon:


"Try" does not exist in nature, it is a totally "left­brained" label that does not match up with action. Deer don't try to stand up. A young feeble deer making some sort of an effort to get to its feet is not trying. The fawn either gets up or it does not. A more accurate statement on its effort is that it is half standing up. The key is the effort expended.

"Try" is an excuse word because we've been conditioned to it that way. Let's refer back the toilet training period as an example. If you wet your pants and your parent was admonishing you for doing so, you may have uttered, "I tried to make it to the bathroom, mommy." You didn't make any effort whatsoever, but you learned the word "Try" would absolve you from any responsibility.

Put it on an adult level. You run into an old acquaintance. You chat for a while and one of you says, "Let's try and get together." Then you go your separate ways. What does that mean? Does it mean that each of you will check your appointment schedules and come up with a common date? Does it mean you will call the other person at noon tomorrow to let them know the time and place? Or does it mean you don't want to get together at all and are using "Try" as the escape word?

The biggest difficulty with using "Try" is that no effort is actually made. The underlying idea is that if you come up with an acceptable enough reason, it will explain your behavior. Armed with that knowledge, we spend most of our life looking for reasons to defend our behavior rather than change it. "Try" is a time­tested defense, and it keeps us in place. "Make an effort" is a phrase that suggests to your mind that you will do something. The word "Try" anchors you, through other-­than­-conscious references, to excuses and inactivity. The British have an action phrase that is a prescription for outgrowing "Try." They say, "Let's give it a go."

Try as you might to disprove the above notion of trying, you will be faced, at every turn, with evidence that trying just doesn't work.

Doing is the antidote to trying.

Doing is noticing that trying isn't working and then taking some alternate action that produces a real world result.

Back to sales for a moment . . . notice that the best sales people don't try. They make a connection and then the product or service sells itself or not.

The doing action for any of us that are selling something (and we all are) is to connect with another. That connection kicks try out the door and opens the lines of communication that weren't there before.

All the best,

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