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Friday, June 06, 2008

Aimee's Soapbox! June 2008: Cine-Philosophy, Part I

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Aimee's Soapbox! June 2008:
Cine-Philosophy, Part II Preface: For the May through October Soapboxes, I will be presenting a six-part series on “Movie Quotes as Life Philosophy.” In my family, quoting movies is as natural as breathing. So, I thought I would make use of this habit and wax poetic on some of my favorites. “No. Try not. Do. . . Or do not. There is no try.” Who knew, thirty years ago, that a small green muppet would become part of the collective unconscious?

In 1977, we first met a Jedi Master named Yoda, and his words of anastrophic wisdom became instantly quotable. We got to know Yoda better in “The Empire Strikes Back,” where, in the midst of training the impetuous young Luke Skywalker, Yoda sees many of Annakin Skywalker’s flaws in the son. He assigns Luke a task, to which Luke responds by saying he will try. Ooh, big mistake.

What’s wrong with Try? Try exists in many fine forms: give it the old college try, try your best, if at first you don’t succeed. . . .

The problem, I think, is that Try merely implies that you will make an attempt or put forth some effort, but you’ll not really, really giving it a go. Try says, “My head is on board, but my heart isn’t in it.”

I am paraphrasing, but there is an axiom out there that says if Head and Heart on not on the same page, you are wasting your time and even making your job that much more difficult. In order for you to believe in something truly, you need to have that emotional investment which will keep you going through any adversity. It’s too easy to bail if you only have an intellectual buy-in.

You see, “Try” lets you off the hook. “Hey, I tried. . . . “ “Try” can keep you from growing and learning and expanding your horizons. It doesn’t commit you.

For instance, I recently wrestled with An Issue which had been dogging me for a long time. OK, I’ll be honest. It was a character flaw I have been ducking my whole life. It was one of those things that you know you are not good at, but you can get away with pushing to the back burner. Well, by only “trying” to work on it, I had successfully avoided it, and really, only built it up to be something worse.

But man oh man, I was beautiful in my trying! I read books, I asked friends for advice, I wept and wailed to my husband, I did everything I could to avoid the actual DOING. So I seemed like I was really working on my Issue, but in reality I was just TRYING.

The funny thing about Doing, then, is that it often turns out to be much less painful than you have imagined. By Trying and Avoiding, you make the Doing seem very scary and unobtainable.

But it really isn’t so bad. For me, once I finally did DO the thing I dreaded, not only did I find that it wasn’t so bad, but I also learned an unexpected thing about myself. Bonus! Yay, me So if you have been thinking about tackling a marathon or getting your closet organized or becoming less stubborn or even helping out around the house more often, DO or DO NOT, for there is no try.

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