Updated on October 15, 2012
Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event that’s run since 2007 that aims to create a positive discussion online that enables social good about an important topic. The topic this year is The Power of We. This is my contribution to the conversation.
In the second Star Wars film of the original trilogy, released in 1980, the Jedi master Yoda admonishes Luke Skywalker for his lacklustre approach to a difficult task with the words “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
It’s a phrase that has stuck with me over the years that helps me confront difficulties. Thinking of that phrase is a help – even if success isn’t always the outcome.
To me, it reflects the way you approach a problem where your mind is focused on a positive outcome instead of the attempt to achieve a positive outcome (which is where the words “Ok, I’ll give it a try” take you).
Thinking of Yoda’s words reminds me of an event I participated in earlier this year that was all about the “do” and not the “try.” The event was the Like Minds conference in Exeter, in which the theme of “why what you do matters” was central to the speeches, presentations and discussions that were all about empowering individuals to take responsibility for building better businesses.
That empowerment wasn’t some kind of physical thing that you could take away and show someone. It was about helping people really see what is possible when they look at something in a more effective way, that enables them to have the confidence to become empowered.
It’s a powerful thing, that feeling of confidence that you can take your ideas into your business to your colleagues and, with “do” instead of “try” firmly in your mind, kick-start discussion on things you believe in.
Such individual action is a cornerstone of collective action, very much “the power of we.” It all begins with a single thought or idea, and the courage in your own convictions.
What you do matters. There is no try.
- Related reading: Like Minds Exeter 2012: Key reasons why what we do matters by Adam Tinworth.