Trying my patience

Do not judge those who try and fail; judge those who fail to try.

Many people do not like the word “try”, claiming, like Yoda (of Star Wars fame) that “there is no ‘try’; there is only do and not do”. Yet in addition to merely “attempt”, “try” has other meanings (and motives) – worth considering.

Definitions of “try” include: selecting, sorting, examining, determining, grinding, rubbing, and throwing – and fitting or finishing with accuracy. A trial is a test. A judge conducting a trial is trying the case. Trying one’s luck and trying out (or for) something (like a team) is putting to test or trial – for the purpose of assessing, demonstrating, or proving something. “Try” once even meant to purify, refine, render, or melt down and procure in a pure state (as in trying out whale oil from blubber).

If at first you don’t succeed….try, try again (with patience and persistence)? Or DO something (different)?

Those receiving medical care are often referred to as patients – because that’s what they usually need to get better (lots of patience). Time may not heal all wounds, but like compound interest, “results” usually occur over time. Given enough time, patience, and “attempts”, almost anything can be accomplished, improved, understood, or appreciated.

Most flies found dead on window sills tried, and tried, again and again – without successfully passing through the glass. Insanity is sometimes said to be doing the same thing and expecting a different result – yet there is often a difference between being insane and “crazy” (or just committed) enough to succeed.

It usually helps to pay attention to the feedback and results of each and every trial/attempt, learning from and possibly modifying what is done in the future – but sometimes what is needed most is just “more of the same” (with little or no change). Many women are familiar with this concept in regards to experiencing an orgasm.

While there is certainly a difference between power and force, final “triumph” sometimes depends less on skill, technique, or “luck” than just a little (more) “umph” at the end of a “try”. A useful angle of approach is usually a try angle.

Not sure about something? Try it, you might like it. If not, at least you’ll know – which you won’t unless you try.

Is the third time a charm? Perhaps. It often takes a few times to get used to something – or be able to really assess it. Trying things (on) at least three times (in a try-athlon) is a good way to judge consistency of both outcome and attitude.

The first time you try something it is new; you may not know what to expect. It is very common for people to fear or react negatively to things what is unknown and unfamiliar. The second time you try something, there is an expectation that it will (again) be like the first time – which it may not. It often takes three or more times to really get sense of what anything is like (over time). Repetition is the mother of mastery. Initial failure often leads to eventual success – for those who don’t give up but keep trying – with patience.

That’s my perspective. What’s yours?

© 2010 – 2012, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

Oren Pardes

Oren Pardes has written 70 post in this blog.

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4 responses to Trying my patience


  1. Darlene Davis

    Hi Oren,
    When it comes to “attempting” to do something, I have taken “try” out of my vocabulary, ‘cuz if I say “I’ll try to do X, Y and Z,” they’ll NEVER get done. After a while it becomes a habit and whenever I start to use “try” I laugh and recommit to making that plan of attack happen by using another word. Maybe it is just habit forming. Then again, maybe it plants a seed in the subconscious:)
    .-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..Mega Lessons From Ted Turner =-.

  2. Oren Pardes

    Trying (with little to show for it) CAN be trying – when producing (specific measurable) results is the goal, but a lot can be learned from anything done (or even “attempted”). I think the issue is less about semantics than intent, commitment, and follow-through. While it is probably impossible to always “succeed” (especially on the first “try” or “attempt”), “failure” tends to be mainly about giving up (“trying” any more/further “attempts”). If giving up or substituting certain words or habits helps increase desirable behavior, productivity, and accomplishment, it is certainly worth doing. No matter how a dictionary may define them, words only have the meanings and significance we give them. I have not found not doing something to be any “better” than just trying and not succeeding. The end result is the same regardless of language.

  3. Justine Simard

    Hi Oren,
    This is indeed definitely about intent! It’s about knowing that we will try and try until we do succeed! How can we not ‘try’ if we’ve never done something before and cannot be certain of the outcomes? As parents, we always encourage our kids to try – even if we know they won’t get it the first time. It’s about achieving success step by step, and refining the process until we reach the productivity and results we want, working towards the greater goals. Even better, failed attempts are ALWAYS an opportunity to learn and grow. Thanks for an inspiring post!
    .-= Justine Simard´s last blog ..8 Positive Thinking Tips for the Online Entrepreneur. =-.

  4. Oren Pardes

    There’s really no such thing as “failure” – if you learn something (even if only what NOT to do). All we get are “results” – with “opportunities” to correct and continue. A “mistake” (or other unintended outcome) is often a future benefit – the full value of which is yet to be realized. Besides, “contrast” contributes to “appreciation” (of meaning and value).

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