Do or Do Not. There Is No Try. - Craft Your Content
Do or Do Not. There Is No Try by Ashley Heckstall on Craft Your Content

Do or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Fan or not, it is hard to deny that Star Wars is chock-full of inspirational, quote-worthy material.

One of the most legendary quotes is, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

For those of you who have not seen The Empire Strikes Back, allow me to set the scene: It’s the X-wing fighter sequence on Dagobah, and Luke Skywalker is doubtful about being able to raise his fighter from the swamp. After Jedi Master Yoda chastises him for having a defeatist attitude, Luke halfheartedly responds that he will try. Having none of that, Yoda hits him with the epic one-two punch.

Check out 25 seconds of Yoda taking Luke to school:

Eliminate “Try” From Your Vocabulary

Last year, we published a post on the Craft Your Content blog about how you should remove words such as “just” from your vocabulary because it undermines the impact of what you are saying. It’s a qualifier, and a lot of times qualifiers limit and make things less than. Words are powerful.

Please also add “try” to the no-no list, folks. To put it bluntly, “try” is a cop-out.

Tell me, which sounds better?

  • I am going to try to pitch three prospective clients this week.


  • I am going to pitch three prospective clients this week.

The latter, of course. If you never made time for business outreach, how would you grow your business?

Often, we use “try” as an excuse not to attack a goal head-on, and to soften the blow in case we don’t get around to doing it or don’t succeed when we give a half-assed attempt. We can say, “Oh well, at least I tried,” pat ourselves on the back, and then go about our day.

When you merely try to do something, you are not committing yourself fully to the task, and you are more likely to buckle when you are faced with obstacles. Having a positive, resolute attitude is a powerful thing, and it essentially creates your reality, because all of your actions proceed from thoughts.

Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to achieve your goals or complete a task before you even begin.

We’ve all found ourselves lost in the gray area of “try”, myself included. For a long time (longer than I care to reveal), I’ve said to myself and others, “I’m going to try to freelance.” I read some articles and a book or two here. I talked to a few freelancers there. And I was extremely proud of myself when I went to a workshop at the Freelancer’s Union. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t making progress (I wouldn’t have believed you anyway), when in reality, I was aimlessly going around in circles, making excuse after excuse.

It wasn’t until one day a very close friend of mine interrupted me mid-sentence as I was speaking about my “progress” (I forget now what it was, probably about my latest read), with a very incredulous, “Wait—so, um, how long have you been trying to do this again?”


Needless to say, I felt very foolish. And from that moment forward, I have made it a point to be purposeful and focused in the things that I do.

Make Doing a Priority

Here are some tips for staying on track:

  1. Set small, attainable goals – You may have an overall goal of, say, increasing your revenue by 30% in a specific timeframe. But how are you going to do it? Break down your overarching goal into smaller goals in order to make measurable progress.
  2. Add structure – Setting a calendar and having a daily schedule makes a world of difference when getting stuff done. By doing this, you can make sure you don’t miss a step and can easily evaluate your actions.
  3. Take pleasure in the journey – Yes, it’s wonderful to be laser-focused on the end goal, but don’t miss out on the process. What are you learning along the way?
  4. Reward yourself – You’ve completed Task 11 out of 35. Go you! Treat yourself. Even if it’s just a break for a midday walk, take the moment to bask in your accomplishments, big or small.

Failing Is Awesome

Let’s be clear—the “do or do not” concept doesn’t mean success is great, failure is bad. It’s okay to fail. Oftentimes, when we fail, we still learn valuable lessons along the way that may culminate in something wildly successful in the future. So, don’t fear the unknown. The most important thing is that you undertake everything wholeheartedly.

This quote is great inspiration for when you need a little boost:

“The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and habit hardens into character.” – Unknown

What’s on your “To-Try” list that should be on your “To-Do” list?

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About the Author Ashley Heckstall

Ashley Heckstall is a freelance marketing and public relations specialist who has a passion for creating strategic and engaging content that is true to a brand’s voice. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the awesomeness that is New York City, curling up with a good read on her Kindle, and binge-watching HGTV.