Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did You Try?

You tried?

Yeah, I tried.

Just how hard did you try?

I tried really, really hard.

Really hard, huh?

Yeah, like really, really hard.

Really hard like you nearly died because you forgot to rest and eat or really hard like you almost missed Top Model?

Uh... well, somewhere in between I guess. I mean... I almost almost missed Top Model.

Mmm... hmm...

What's that mean?

Mmm... hmm?

Yeah, what's 'mmm... hmm...' mean?

I guess it means that I don't think you tried.

But I did.

Perhaps by your definition, but not by mine.

Oh, so you're saying there are different definitions of try?

Yeah, I think I just said that.

Well, who left you in charge of coming up with definitions for words.

I guess I could be asking you the same thing.

What do you mean?

Well, from my perspective, it's you who has redefined the word 'try', not me.

No I didn't, I...  what do you mean?

Well, you say you tried it. In fact, you say you tried really, really hard.  Yet, I don't think that you would consider what you did trying really hard if you were to observe someone else doing exactly as you did.

But I did try... hmm... OK Mr. Know-It-All, how would you define "trying really, really hard?"

Forget a moment about the 'really, really hard' part. Let's just talk about the 'try' part.

Okay by me.

First, to try something starts with intention. You have to intend to be successful in order to try. In fact, to truly try, you must have 100% of your intention wrapped up in succeeding. If there's any part of you that wants to fail, then you haven't tried.

Well if that's how you define it, then, OK, I didn't "truly" try because I was hoping that it wouldn't work so that I could get it over with and watch Top Model.

For the moment, let's say that you did fully intend to succeed.  Then the second part is to fully believe that your intentions will work out. You have to intend to succeed and you have to believe you can.

Hmm... That's kind of interesting because, now that you mention it, I probably didn't intend to succeed because I didn't think it would work anyway. May you have to reverse steps one and two.

That could be. Let's go with that. First, you believe you can: second, you intend to: and third, you put in consistent focused effort over time.

What's that mean.

Well, all five words matter: consistent, focused, effort and over time. To try, you have to work at something every day for at least ten to twenty minutes. The amount of time may very, and you might miss a day here and there, but you get the idea.

Check. Ten to twenty minutes daily.

That's the consistent part. You also have pay attention when you do it. If you're distracted or watching TV, then it doesn't count. That's the focused part.

Check. Ten to twenty minutes daily without distractions or TV.

Next comes the effort part. You have to translate what you want to accomplish into exercises that you can do over and again. Then you have to do them over and again.

Check. Ten to twenty minutes daily without distraction or TV repeatedly doing the exercises.

And paying attention.

OK, and paying attention.

The last part is the 'over time' part. It doesn't count as trying until you've done all that for weeks or even months.

It doesn't?

Nope.

So you're saying that in order to qualify as "trying", I have to do exercises for ten-to-twenty minutes a day without any distractions or television, that I have to pay attention to what I'm actually doing, and that I have to do it for weeks or even months?

Yup.

Then I'm sure glad that you're not the one defining "try".

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Happy Tuesday,
Teflon

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