There is only try. Or, why Yoda needs a footnote.


Do or do not.  There is no try.

Chances are we can all recall the scene.  Yoda was getting Luke to do something that Luke was not confident with – lifting rocks with his mind or some-such.

At the risk of pitting my wisdom against that of Yoda, I must disagree.  Well, until yesterday I agreed fully.  But something happened yesterday that caused me to question it.

So, what happened yesterday?

Well, after 6 terms of turning up to his weekly gymnastics lesson, our 9 year old son has “levelled up”.  (That’s him in the photo, teaching me how to play piano…)

Most kids, we are told, take maybe a term or two to move to their next level.    I suspect the ones that don’t tend to lose heart and give up.

And that is why I think we ought to be a bit cautious with accepting Yoda’s advice at face value.

Do needs Try

If our Tom had accepted Yoda’s wisdom, then he could easily have resigned himself to not being able to Do, and from that decided that there was no point in Try.

And yet, he did the opposite.  And, watching his humble smile as he accepted the handshake of his coach, I could not help but be inspired by his grit and determination to prevail.

When the Do did not come easy, when others came and went, he took the only available course of action, which was Try.

In fact, he stuck to the Try until that became a Do.  And, after the school holidays, he will return to Level 4, and will continue to Try.

Which is why I think Yoda’s words are perhaps best rephrased:

Do or do not.  There is only try.