On doing, trying, and making ideas happen

“Do, or do not. There is no try.” “Stop trying to hit me and hit me.”

Lines from the movies I grew up with, yet decades later they’ve rarely rang more true.

As we move about our days, we spend a lot of time and energy trying. Trying to do something. Trying to be someone. Trying to achieve. Trying to create. We put such an emphasis on “trying” that we pull ourselves away from “doing.”

Trying doesn’t make Luke Skywalker lift the X-Wing out of the swamp on Dagobah, nor does it land Neo’s fist just shy of Morpheus’ face.

Doing does.

Trying is the force and effort you put forth when you’re so badly focused on wanting to do something. Wanting to achieve something. You desire a certain outcome so badly, all you can think about is that situation, so you focus on whether or not you’ll achieve it. You’re thinking in terms of success or failure. It’s when you’re focused on the future and not the present.

Doing, however, is when you let go of thoughts surrounding success, failure, worry, fear, and other human tendencies that cloud our minds and pull us away from the present moment.

Doing is when you’re in your zone, unaware of the world around you. You’ve shed thoughts about whether you’re good enough or smart enough, along with thoughts about the outcome you want to achieve.

Doing is when you let yourself be. When you’re free from judgment and fully in the present moment.

It’s the feeling when nothing else matters because you’re so deeply intertwined with the moment you’re in, you’re not even thinking about it; you’re simply experiencing it. In fact, you’re fully unaware of the moment because you’re so far in your zone, thoughts have faded away and you’re left with only the moment at hand. Whether work, play, good or bad, all you can do is be in it, with your full attention, without judgment.

And that’s where magic happens. That’s where happiness lies. In the present moment, without thought about the past or future, and without judgment; when we simply let ourselves be and exist, without regard for what could be or what should be. No wants and desires in that moment; only us.

Only you.