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Rethinking Master Yoda's Take on Doing and Trying

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote an entry on my blog. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a lack of inspiration and didn't know what to write about. So, I started free-writing in an attempt to find inspiration, and the memory of Yoda and a scene from The Dropout came to me as I was watching it last night.

I have always been a huge Yoda fan. I even have many Yoda dolls and figurines all over my office. I consider him to be wise, even though he lacks knowledge of syntax and grammar. His famous saying, “Do or do not, there is no try,” always resonated with me. I interpreted it as avoiding the word “try” because when we say we will try something, there is some allowance for failing. I used to even avoid using the word “try.”

The Dropout is a TV docuseries about Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout who desperately wanted to be a billionaire and invent something that would change the world. She approaches a professor at Stanford to present one of her ideas. The professor soon tells her how this particular idea would not work and encourages her to keep trying.

Elizabeth then quotes Yoda to the professor: “Do or do not, there is no try”, and quickly the professor explains how “science is all about trying”. This got me thinking and questioning whether my view on trying was accurate and soon I realized that everything we do involves trying, failing, and trying again.

This period of creative drought made me reflect on what it means to fail and how we deal with setbacks. For me, tot knowing what to write about or feeling uninspired feels like failure. Recently, I decided to postpone, for the second time, a retreat that I have been organizing called HEALarious, where people will learn how to use comedy to heal. That felt like a significant failure, especially because it cost me money and time. But failure is a complex concept.

I have tried so many things. Some have worked out right away, and some have not. I’ve tried twice to launch the HEALarious, and it didn’t sell out. I’ve spent over 2 years trying to increase my social media presence and build a community, and the results have been slow. I’ve tried to sell my course on the power of the mind many times and succeeded a few (in fact I am writing this from Tijuana, where I’ve been all week teaching this course to over 20 people from a Company).  The successes feel amazing, but the failures are disheartening. Yet, looking back on my entire life, I have never ever, not for one second, stopped trying. I haven’t stopped creating content despite views being low. I haven’t stopped writing because of how many people read what I write. I haven’t stopped striving to feel and look the way I want because the results aren’t immediate. Couples don’t stop trying to conceive when it doesn’t happen right away. Aspiring doctors and lawyers don’t stop trying when they fail their MCATS or LSATS. I tried three times to pass my driver’s test in California until I finally succeeded. Giving up was never an option.

So, now I have to disagree with Yoda. There is a “try,” but it’s not about justifying failure. It’s about striving toward success, learning, and growing with each attempt.

There would be no success without failure. There would be no evolution without failure. We wouldn’t know we’re winning without knowing what it means to fail.

So why does failure feel so awful if it’s something we need to succeed? Because if failing were comfortable, we would probably stay there. We don’t want to stay there. We don’t want discomfort in our lives. We are wired to seek pleasure and comfort.

It is the journey from failing to succeeding where we learn the most, where we grow, where we become humble and grateful and one we should learn to enjoy, I know I have as I am also the happiest I’ve ever been. This journey brings the most joy. When we do reach the top and succeed, we savor that success briefly, and then our nature pushes us to seek the next challenge. We begin the journey again.

Failure is not the end; it’s a part of the process. By changing our perspective on failure and viewing it as a natural and necessary step toward success, we can overcome the fear of failing and embrace our journeys with courage and resilience.

What is your take on failure? How do you respond to failing? How does it make you feel?

Share below and let’s have a conversation. 🙏🏻 🫶🏻



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