Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do Or Do Not - A "Recycled Scoutmaster's Minute

This will be my last of these for awhile. With this I have exhausted the ones'  that I wrote and posted for the blog. While I will definitely revisit this idea again later, they will not be "recycled Scoutmaster's Minutes", but up to date ones, I hope. Again, this one came out of my pondering some things I was reading by Larry Winget (I went on a Winget tear in 2009 and read five of his bocks in short order.


I think it's important to realize that, when we talk to scouts (or testers), these are kids that can generally take some "tough love", and actually thrive on it. That was an important lesson to learn. Make high expectations and you should not be surprised when people meet those expectations. Set low expectations, and the same thing applies :).

DO OR DO NOT!


While I was reading Larry Winget's book "It's Called Work for a Reason", I found a statement that I felt was very applicable and something common enough that everyone would be familiar with it.

"WHEN SOMEONE SAYS THEY WILL TRY, BET YOUR MONEY IT WON'T HAPPEN"

Whenever someone tells you that they will try something, they have given themselves an out. If they don't do what they said they would do, then they can always come back and say "oh well, at least I tried".

Personally, I would encourage every boy to purge the word "try" from their vocabulary. Try does not have the sense of commitment that the word "do" has. If I were to say to a Scout "I will try to hold a board of review for you after you have finished all of your requirements" they would be rightly upset with me if I did not follow through, but still, I can always fall back on those tired words "well, I tried" (notice how similar the words “Tired” and “Tried” are? I don’t think that’s an accident :) ).

There is a scene in the Star Wars film "The Empire Strikes Back" that always resonated with me. It's where the character of Yoda is speaking with Luke Skywalker and Yoda asked Luke to do a particularly hard task. When Luke answers that he will try to do it, Yoda's answer is direct... "DO, or DO NOT... there is no TRY!"

The reason this word is so popular is that we as people want to shield ourselves from failure. If we say that we will try to do something, and it didn’t happen, we didn't really fail, right? We just tried it and decided it wasn't for us. It's comforting to say it that way, but often it rings hollow. It is better to say "I intended to do this, but I found that I ran out of time and could not do it" or "I did the thing I was asked to do, and discovered that I was not prepared or not physically able to accomplish the goal". There's a lot more meat to those words, isn't there? When we do something, there is not always the guarantee of success. We may succeed, we may fail, but no matter what, we DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SITUATION. If we succeed, then we enjoy the accomplishment. If we fail at it, we learn why we failed, adjust our approach towards the goal, and do it again. It's my belief that those who keep doing, even when they fail, will eventually succeed... or they will determine that the task at hand is one that they wish to no longer do and they will set it aside. Either way, they have DONE something about it!

So boys, when you are asked by life to accomplish goals and to do the work that you need to do, commit to DO IT, or to NOT DO IT. Either is fine, but no more trying. History honors the doers of the world. Be a doer :).
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