Trying Instead of Doing

We like to say we are trying to do something when we are not making progress on something like we should.

I’m trying to watch less TV.

I’m trying to eat better.

I’m trying to meditate every day.

I’m trying to work out more.

I’m trying.

I’m trying.

I’m trying.

Trying to Try

I even hear people say they are trying to try harder, which I am not sure means anything at all.

I get it, there are things we can try to do and fail. I can try to eat that giant steak up in Amarillo or dead lift 500 pounds or stop a speeding train with one hand like the old Superman cartoons. I can try, but I will throw up and my arms will fall off and I will die.

But, when I say I am trying to eat better or watch less TV or workout more often, I am talking about things that I have clear control over. These are not tries, these are things that I either do or do not do.


I choose to eat chocolate chips and popcorn for dinner instead of my chicken and salad. I choose to watch 13 Assassins for the 12th time instead of going into the garage and working out. These are not things I tried. If I had really tried, I would have done them.

Yes, sometimes things will come up that make the choice much more difficult. I injure myself or I am exhausted or I forget to go to the store and only have junk in the house. These make my choices harder, but they do not negate them, and were possibly the result of other poor choices. But let’s say they are not, that these things were entirely beyond my control and the injury is completely debilitating – this is a rare set of circumstances and will not happen often enough to negate the idea that we often say we are trying so as to excuse ourselves for not doing.

What things are you trying to do that you should just be doing?

How much time and energy is being wasted on the fake trying?

What would it look like to just do them?