Stop Trying. Do.

January 2012, by So-Young Kang

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again when we have had some time with our loved ones to celebrate, enjoy, refresh and rest. Many of us are asking each other, “What are your plans for this year?” or “What are your new year’s resolutions?” How many of you have “I will try to work out and get in shape” as one of your new year’s resolutions?

For many years, this was on my list. This year, I have decided to be honest with myself. I will NOT try to work out and get in shape. Many of you may be shocked or laughing at this statement. Why not? Isn’t it good to work out? There is nothing wrong with working out. I’m just not being very honest when I say that. I do not enjoy going to the gym and working out. I do not enjoy running. It hurts my legs. I could enjoy doing some of these activities if my friends are involved. Instead of trying to work out and get in shape, I will eat healthier and live a more active lifestyle. I will do the things I love to do, such as snowboarding, wakeboarding, and hiking. This is the truth.

What does the word ‘try’ really mean? Whenever we use the word ‘try,’ what are we really saying? Aren’t we saying, “I really don’t want to do it, but I feel I should, so in order to appease you [or myself], I will try.” Do you want to go to x party? “I’ll try.”[In other words, I really don’t want to but I feel rude about saying that so I will say, ‘I’ll try’ to not hurt your feelings.] Or how about, “Will you invest in developing your team?” “I’ll try.” [Meaning, I know it’s something I should say as the leader of this organization, but I don’t really have the time or energy to really invest in it.’]

Can we start being more honest this year—first with ourselves and then with others? Can we examine what’s in our hearts and if we value it, then make the choice to do, not try. Can we have more integrity in the words we use? Our words have power. They mean something. Can we say what we really mean? When we do that, I believe we will be able to do 2 things:

1) Achieve results. There is a power in stating your commitments and intentions. Something starts to shift in your mind when you decide to do something. You focus on achieving and will have the power to accomplish what you set out to do. If you ‘try,’ you may get there. If you ‘do,’ you most certainly will.

2) Increase trust & credibility. The moment you start to be more conscious of what you are saying, the more others will trust and have confidence in you. They will see that your words carry weight and are intentional. When they see that what you ‘do,’ [your actions] match your intentions, you will have more credibility. With more credibility, people will have more trust in you. And most importantly, you will have more trust in you.