Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't Try. Seriously

Have you asked a question and heard a reply "Ok, I'll try".

Maybe I should ask how many times you've heard that statement... for it has been used so often, so much so that it becomes a standard reply to most questions that require one to think or make a commitment.

And the keyword here is commitment. I've read this in a book (A Different Chinese) that one giving such a statement is just
buying his/ her way out (ie in other words creating a back door)...
that no matter what, do or don't (or succeed or not) - he/ she has at least tried. Meaning, such people place less importance on the results...

In fact before I read that book, I must admit that that was also in my vocab... But not anymore. And this seems to be a positive effect.

So today, if I hear this statement, first, I'll smirk... then follow up with a question (well to people I think place an interests in me btw):
"Ok, seriously, don't try... is it a yes, or a no?" (btw this is asked nicely - sometimes with a smile).

Most would seem a lil startled when they first hear me making those words. Many are not used to making a decision or a commitment. And now, they have to.

Some I know opt for the easier way out and just say "No" - even though they actually can do the job/ task. Well, to me,
that's still better than a lukewarm response of "I'll try"
- which is a big maybe & big likelihood of disappointment in the end.

But I'm not complaining. Even though a NO may sound negative, but it actually gives a positive effect, allowing both parties to move on.

So, I do suggest anyone reading this to eliminate this 2 words from your vocab and see the difference it can make in your life & others :)

*The book A Different Chinese mentions that Malaysian Chinese seems inferior to other Chinese overseas because of their usage of the words "I'll try", which clearly indicates a lack of commitment.


  1. Nice observation there.

    I'll (erm)try to be more conscious of using those words.

  2. Yeah! Sometimes a straight at your face NO is better than a lukewarm....OK~LAR, i'll try. :D

  3. QuaChee, I will try not to use the word try : )


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