Trying is All That Matters – Did You Try Your Best?

How many times have you heard this swill?

  • “Sorry, but I tried.”
  • “Trying is All That Matters”
  • “At least he tried.”
  • “Doing your best is what matters.”

I call BS!  The amount of “try” that someone has is rarely relevant.  If you try really really hard not to punch me in the nose, but you do – I don’t care how hard you tried.

If you tried to keep your word on a commitment you made to me, but you lack integrity and go back on your word, I really don’t care how hard you tried.

If you tried to find a job, but didn’t get a job or find another method of getting income, you failed and the amount of ‘try” is not relevant.

How sweet, you tried not to cheat on your spouse?  So you tried not to molest any children?  You tried to get in touch with someone on the phone to get some information for me?  Trying is all that matters.  How cute.

If I need some bricks loaded onto a wagon, and I hire two men to do so, and one man loads the bricks quickly and with seeming ease, while the other man tries really hard, but only loads a couple, which man should I respect the most?  Who is useful, who has the most worth?  I don’t care one bit if the loser who “tried” tried hard or not.  He did not produce.

Life is made good by producers.  Some producers try hard and some don’t.  In the cold hard real world, new-age cute crap like excuses are of no worth.  Some people don’t have to try hard and they create excellence.  Others try very hard but fail repeatedly.  It doesn’t matter if the person is a surgeon or a French fry shaker, I want excellence, not substandard junk that had a bunch of wasted effort put into it.

Are there any exceptions?

Maybe.  If you suffer a stroke and lose your muscle memory and find walking very difficult, and you walk 10 feet after weeks of therapy, I will be very proud of your success.  Might you then argue that I am a hypocrite because the PT walked more than 20 feet effortlessly and with a better gait, therefore according to my logic the patient is a loser?

No, the goal was different.  If I was hiring a person to stack bricks and my goal was to get the bricks stacked quickly and well, and the professional of able body was available, as was the stroke patient, guess who I would hire?  Of course.  On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with setting achievable goals, and making small goals that are stepping stones along the way.

Whether you are a lazy and formerly materially worthless hunk of flesh, or if you are a recovering patient with huge challenges, I DO want you to achieve great things, I DO want you to win!  If the goal is personal development, the measure can be different that if the goal is cold, hard sterile “production.”

If you have failed in diet control, and you weigh 500 pounds, and you try hard and maintain a 1200 calorie per day diet for a year and as a result get down to 350 pounds, I will be very proud of you.  If on the other hand, you “try” to stick to the diet, but you fail and frequently eat more that your goal, and as a result you have worse outcomes, I am not as proud of you.  I don’t care that you suffer from depression, had bad experiences as a child, broke your ankle or lost your enabler’s love.

Achieving great things matters.  How much “try” you used to get them done is not important.