Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: Do or do not. There is no try.

STRENGTH & FOCUS: Do or do not. There is no try.
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Since today is a great and noble holiday in the Star Wars Universe, I thought we should examine some immortal words of wisdom from one of the greatest teachers the galaxy has ever known.

In that memorable scene in “The Empire Strikes Back,” Yoda is training a young Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force and becoming a Jedi Knight. As Skywalker’s X-Wing is sinking in the marshes of Dagobah, Yoda casually suggests that he use the Force to lift the fighter plane from the swamp and return it to solid ground. Luke halfheartedly responds, “I’ll try,” to which Yoda reprimands him, as only a true Jedi Master would, by stating those timeless words:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

So how can we take this Padawan/Master interaction and apply it to our daily lives? Well, how many times have you tried to do something? Maybe you’ve tried to stick to your New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve tried to lose those extra pounds for a sexier beach body, or maybe you’ve tried to start a side business. Does any of this sound familiar? What happens when you only try to do something? Does success and achieving the goal come from merely trying to do or does it come only after establishing the mindset of “I will do this now!

As a coach, I frequently make this distinction with my clients. By allowing yourself to simply try to achieve your goal, you’re creating the mindset of “maybe I’ll achieve and maybe I won’t.” However, as Yoda teaches us to do or do not, we begin to cement this I will do mentality into our minds so that it’s only a matter of time until we accomplish our outcome.

Let’s consider a few ways that we can create this particular mentality. To determine which option fits best, ask yourself, “Have I done this before?”

If you’ve done this activity before, then you know how to do it. Of course, there’s always room to tweak or fine-tune the performance but, ultimately, you would know how the job should be done.

If you haven’t done this activity before, then ask yourself, “Do I know anybody who has successfully done this before?”

  • Yes. Good, ask that person specifically how they accomplished the goal.
  • No. Good, find someone who can teach, coach, or mentor you in the process.

Please note, if you get to this point and you’re still leery to move forward or reluctant to ask for help, then perhaps you have some incongruent beliefs or this isn’t something you truly want to do, but we’ll save that discussion for another day.

Once you have the necessary information and tools, then you can create your plan of action. Make sure to take action by setting the plan in motion. You must do all the things necessary to create the outcome you desire. You’ll notice I’m using words like “action” and “motion” because you must be moving towards the goal. When your intentions, beliefs, and actions are congruent with completing your goal, you’ll begin to see quicker and better results.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to follow-up and discuss this personally, then please contact me directly at

Thanks for reading, be excellent, and…

May the 4th be with you!

Create the future you want with the choice to change now! This column offers Strength & Focus for the moments you need to overcome the distractions of the week, each and every day. Look for it every Monday on NEPA Scene.