“So a try-mind is more important than any Zen master. If you say “I can,” then you can do something. If you say “I cannot,” then you cannot do anything. Which do you like?” –Seung Sahn
“Do or do not, there is no try.” -Jedi Master Yoda
The title of this blog and Didi’s incorrect assumption aside, we’ve all heard Yoda’s statement at one point or another.
So the question here is, who’s more correct, Yoda or Seung Sahn? Do we need a try-mind, or should the concept of “try” not even be in our vocabulary?
I don’t know that the two are necessarily incompatible. I think both are saying the same thing. Yoda doesn’t put a time-limit on “do”. As much as I hate to do it, I’m going to quote one of my old man’s coffee mugs: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If I assume that something isn’t worth trying – that the inevitable outcome will be “failure” – then I’ve effectively failed before even beginning.
If I assume the opposite, and put failure out of my mind, I’ve succeeded no matter the result. I learn from each attempt, which is a kind of success in itself.
I’m not necessarily saying that if I attempt enough times, I’ll succeed in pulling an X-Wing out of the swamp with my mind. But I am saying that the more calls I make, the better I’ll get at closing a client; the more shots I take from the foul line, the more often I’ll make them – I’ll have learned what not to say; how not to shoot the ball.
I don’t learn but by making mistakes. If I don’t get out there and try something, I’ll never succeed at it. And sometimes, I even succeed on the first try.