Trying vs Doing

One of the more difficult lessons I have learned (and still struggle with) is that trying is not the same as doing.  Too often we use the excuse, "I'm trying..." to cover the fact that we are not doing.  Often in witnessing or counseling, I get this response from the one with whom I'm conversing, "I'm trying to live a good life" or "I'm trying to solve the problem."  In every instance that is a cover for the FACT...they are not "doing".  We need to learn from Thomas Edison that this important thing is the doing.  He failed 10,000 times before succeeding in inventing the incandescent light bulb.  Rather than whining, "I'm trying" he just kept doing.
This is not to discount the validity of effort.  One only has to observe the butterfly struggling to be free from the cocoon to recognize the benefit of effort.  Without the struggle, the butterfly would never be able to take wing and fly.  However, we (mankind) have become adept at avoiding dealing with issues by saying, "I'm trying".  Here is my pattern for insuring that I'm "doing" and not just "trying".

  1. Correctly identify the problem or project before me.  (Sometimes I find myself climbing a ladder that is leaning against the wrong building.)
  2. Devise a plan with specific actions.  Write the plan down!
  3. Arrange the actions in sequence, but don't be afraid to shuffle the sequence to better achieve your purpose.
  4. If it becomes clear that a certain action is not moving you toward the goal, replace it with another action.
  5. Celebrate the completion of each action...but don't stop there.
  6. Enjoy the process.  Often the process is more important than the goal.  If you don't enjoy the process, you are likely to abandon it.


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