The myth of Yoda’s No try only do vs the Power of YET!

Yoda and the invisible barrier

No try only do myth vs the power of yetStar Wars fan or not, we’ve all seen and heard Yoda’s Quote which often is accompanied by a comment that certain languages don’t even have a word equivalent to “try”.  Like all truth’s it is a truth and certainly has its own veracity.   As always it will be the subjective interpretation wherein lies the potency of the idea.  One could certainly say to their teenager, clean up your room, and after the weekend has come and gone and the room was still a mess you could certainly whip out the quote.  However on the other extreme you wouldn’t pull out that quote if a teenager or anyone else for that matter had a goal of ending poverty,  homelessness or starvation.  At best you could go through a “S.M.A.R.T.” Goal model and get them to define more specifically what they mean.  However the finite do or not do becomes a bit of its own problem when our minds are conditioned that a solutions might not be possible or even that it is simply out of the grasp of the average person.

Do becomes the destination, try becomes the journey.

Edison quote 10,000 ways that won't workSo in a world cultured with winning the trophy, being the best, having the most and in all cases reaching the podium it is all about the destination.  We teach either you win, or you lose.  In 99.9% of all sports events we watch there is only 1 winner, and the other team is the loser. (More & more sports are doing away with a “tie”). Who can be the fastest, win the highest mark, and the “you’re in the club” or “you’re out of the club” is all 100% out come focused and creates a world where the end justifies the means with the emphasis on “being exclusive” vs “inclusive”.  Ah but the other end of the spectrum gives us Lao Tze, and “A Journey of 1000 miles begins with but one step”.  It’s all about the journey.  Surely we should know from previous examples that we must change the paradigm and understand that the continual trying is the journey, and if you don’t succeed you have not failed.  The journey is all about perseverance.  Keep on keeping on.

So what’s the solution?

the power of yetIn order to change from a finite paradigm ,we need to create a culture of infinite possibilities.  Our education system is built on the yes or no formula we need to build a yes or yes scenario.  What we have now is the “you passed, you failed”, and while there is a blatantly obvious truth to that, for a few people that scenario inspires them to work harder and over come the obstacles, but for many it affirms a weak self image and creates a self imposed limitation.  We know from decades of performance based research that a self imposed limitation can be deadly, yet we don’t correlate that idea with our evaluation system.   As we learn about the brain and how it works, research is providing us with insights as to how to keep the “possibilities neuron circuits firing”, simply by using the power of the word “YET”!  So take about ten minutes and listen to Sanford Professor and Psychologist Carol Dweck and her research on what she calls the “growth mindset”.  It’s a simple yet profound idea that we can in fact “grow” our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems.   After all, the very notion that years ago had educator’s and scientists believing we had a fixed IQ takes us from the finite to the infinite. 

Carol Dweck is also the author of the book; “Mindset” the new psychology of success. 

So remember on this issue, like many issues there is no one truth, and some truth has many perspectives.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and think it has to be all one way or the other…. that of course would be “finite thinking”, but rather be open to the possibilities that as we learn more and more on how the mind and brain works we can employ a multitude of approaches to help us evolve!  That’s the Positive Living Imperative!

Have a positive & happy week!


Victor Sinclair founder of Positive ImperativeVictor Sinclair


Positive Imperative/Positive Music Imperative

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