"Try" is a word I would march in a parade against to eradicate it from the language. It contributes to more disappointment and inaction than any other word that I'm aware of, but I'm not holding my breath that its demise will ever happen.
"Try" is embedded in all cultures and it has the best PR agent on the planet. We are convinced that it's a word of action, and it's something we should do more often.
TRY is a big fat lie!
It's one we tell over and over again to ourselves and to anyone else who's willing to listen. The problem is "try" doesn't exist. It's a verb of no action.
I don't know where I first heard the following phrase but it has stuck to me like Velcro®. "Try has built in failure."
The late Dr. Dave Dobson
had an exercise where he would instruct you to try and pick up a pen. The minute you would pick it up, he would say, "No, don't pick it up; try to pick it up."
You either pick up the pen or you don't. "Try" is a mental construct. Dave also deftly pointed out that a deer doesn't try to stand up. They are either lying down, half standing or standing up. There is no "trying" involved.
I instantly knew I liked Dave when he said that "try" is a word we learned as young children to gain absolution. "Johnny, why did you wet your pants?" The response was, "I tried to make it to the bathroom." It was a lie then and it's a lie now.
The minute you say "try" it's a dodge. Hear this conversation: "Stephanie, Amber and I are going to lunch on Tuesday at Noon at the Marketplace Café and we thought it would be great if you could join us." "Oh, that sounds like fun, I'll try and make it."
Here's another. You bump into an old acquaintance and have a moment or two of convivial chit-chat. Then as you part, one of you says, "We ought to get together sometime" and the other responds "Yes, let's try and do that."
It doesn't take a trained sleuth to recognize that there was little interest in going to lunch or getting together by the person who said "try." We have been conditioned that as long as we say "try," we remain within the bounds of politeness, even though we lie.
Here's my favorite: "I've tried every diet known to man and I can't lose weight." The truth is that every diet works if you follow it, but since you tried, you gain absolution or commiseration for not getting results.
Our minds have "try" associated with another thing that doesn't exist - Limbo. It's a state of inactivity. There is an unnecessary mental balancing act associated with "try." It's like teeter-tottering between a rock and a hard place. There is no win involved with "try." We pretend to take action when we "try."
If you don't think "try" is a lie, notice how many times you say it in the course of a day and mentally note how often there is no follow through on your part. The frequency will stagger you.
"Try" is a word you use when you're unwilling or afraid to own up, commit or speak your mind. It gives you something to say so you can get away. It reminds me of the tactic heavyweight boxers use when they get dazed by an opponent's punch. They lunge toward their opponent, tie him up and hang on to him until their head clears.
Dr. Dave asked us to update the word "try" in our vocabulary to words we learned on a high school level. The purpose was to have a different reference for the act of effort, because "try" had such a coach potato association. He recommended phrases like: "make an effort" or as the British say, "give it a go."
Another celebrated teacher named Yoda had this to say, "Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'"
Begin to notice the lack of action associated with "try." Notice how often it leaves your lips. When you begin to notice what a hold "try" has on you, you'll break free from a three letter word that gave you an excuse to pee.
All the best,