We are less than a few days into the year, and I’ve heard it too much already: “This year I am trying to…” “This year I will try to…” We’ve blogged about New Year’s resolutions and New Year’s Plans before. Every time I hear those words, or watch another New Year’s resolution float past, that most famous of the Star Wars quotes echoes in my mind:
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
– Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
While I wouldn’t generally advocate taking lifestyle advice from fictional film characters, I do think Yoda has something with this one. There is no try, only do. Almost every time I have heard someone utter the words “I am trying to…” what they usually mean is either: a) I have failed at X, but have not yet been brave enough to admit it to myself, or others. or b) I have yet to take the action that will enable me to succeed at X. And I’ll include myself in that.
Last year involved a fair bit of dealing with the differences between English and other languages, as SocialOptic laid the foundations of going international. I was frequently reminded that the continuous present tense is fairly unique to English. The application isn’t “loading” it has either loaded, or it is not yet loaded. Most languages (at least the ones I am familiar with) have no simple way of expressing the phrase “I am trying.” You can say “I will” or “I have” – sitting on the fence is less of an option, at least linguistically.