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Every Star Wars fan will have at one point in their lives said the following Yoda quote:

“Do or do not, there is no try.”

Back when I was a wee little Rax, watching Star Wars for the first time, my initial thoughts were more or less: “Why is Yoda being such a jerk to Luke!” After all, plenty of people attempt something and do not succeed, but that should not belittle the attempt. Its not like they cover how to move rocks with your mind on the Galaxy-Far-Far-Away equivalent of Sesame Street. If my elementary school math teacher had tried to tell me to “feel the numbers coming together” instead of teaching me multiplication tables, I would certainly have not succeeded!

But of course, when we are young, we tend to think more of the short term rather than the long term. If given the choice of a single cookie now, or two cookies if they wait half an hour, a younger child will tend to choose the single cookie while an older one will have learned to think ahead for a greater reward. It should therefore come as no surprise that the real meaning of these words was completely lost of mini Rax. A sign of a truly great story is whether you can approach the material at different stages of your life and glean different things. Star Wars was no exception during the course of my development.

The quote is not specifically talking about a single event, but rather the approach to the task. In the long run all that matters is whether we succeeded or eventually gave up. It may take an hour, it may take a year, but every mountain that we climb is still an accomplishment. The only way that we fail is by giving up or not putting in our will to succeed (half-assing it, if you will). Life is not a race; it is a journey. Those who approach it like a race inevitably stumble and have difficulty proceeding unless they start a new race. A journey, however, presents us with challenges that we work to overcome, presents us opportunities to grow, presents us with the tools we need to become our best selves.

Do not be hasty. The keys to doing (as opposed to not doing) are patience and perseverance.