Do, or do not. There is no “try”.

I came across an article called “3 Words That Guarantee Failure“, and can’t agree with it more.

“I will try…”

It made me think of my old days of preparing applications to schools in United States. I was working hard to get my personal statement done at that time, and asked help from Steve, one of the international teachers in my college. I grabbed him minutes before his class to go over my draft, and after scanning he simply said: “You need to rework.” but did not gave me much indication on how to make it better.

“Send email to me as soon as you’re done with rework.” He said.

“Ah.. ” I said. “I will try my best.”

“What?” He looked angry. “You should NEVER EVER say that.” At the moment, the class bell rang. Floods of students passed the building entrance, right where we stood. I felt every single person passed by staring at me, and the old angry man who was shouting in English. My face felt like burning.

“If you say you try something, you’ll NEVER get it done. Do you know that?” He pointed to my draft. “And I’m not interested in spending my time on it.”

“I will make it!” I said loudly. “I will make it!”

His face lit up a bit. “That will work. Send email to me then.” Before then turning around to the direction of his class, he added, “Remember that.”

I remembered. And here I am in United States.


It’s true. And I recall it every time when I want to say “I will try”. Do, or do not. There is no “try” if you want to get things done.

17 Comments Do, or do not. There is no “try”.

  1. 默恒


      1. 默恒


  2. david lau

    这文章 你自己写的吗,写得好哈,中午有时间都会逛逛有道的这些有意义的英文文章。。

  3. Letto

    In fact,I disagree this parlance.Because there’s something even if you had tried your best,you still can’t do it.The parlance is too Platonic.Things aren’t so simple.When we achieve no success,we can still do what we should do.Otherwise,if you failed,don’t you want to go to dead?Living in this world,there’s something you can never get.But life goes on,isn’t it?

    1. yingying

      Your comment makes sense. My understanding for this is that it’s not just a matter of “really trying”, the important part is whether you believe you can make it. That’s the spirit and driving force within yourself. If you just want to have a try, it’s likely that you are going to fail, or not trying best. In my case, going abroad to study is very important for me, so what I should do is work hard and succeed :)

  4. Letto

    I know what you mean.I just disagree the Platonic attitude.A Classical Chinese(游褒禅山记) said,”尽吾志也而不能至者,可以无悔矣”.I quite agree with the statement that we should try our best to do everything.But maybe things are not as you imagine.At this time,we’d better not pay more attention on this thing.It’s over.That ‘s that I want to say.
    As far as I can see,you are so outstanding for all of things.And your website is very delicate.
    PS:I am a college student,maybe there are some grammar mistakes.

    1. yingying

      I agree. Each of us has limits and we do need to pay attention to what we can do and cannot do.

      You’re very sweet! Thank you for your appreciation. I will continue to improve my website and everything I do. Life is about improving, otherwise it’s no fun.

      No worries about English. You are doing great :) Write more and you will improve faster.

      1. Letto

        Thank you for your advice,but there’s a problem,I have much things to do,when I finish those work,I don’t have the energy to do something for English.Life is so hard in China.Whether or not it’s easier in America,is unknown to me.At least it’s more fair.

  5. omegle chat

    You’re so interesting! I don’t suppose I’ve read through something like that before.
    So wonderful to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed on the internet, someone
    with some originality!


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