The “T” Word – Language According to Yoda

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One of the most important things about being a success in negotiation in business, employment or life is being cognizant of the language we use when we communicate. Whether it’s communicating when speaking, writing or the thoughts in our head, how we communicate and the choice of words we use are so important for creating our success.

Using uplifting positive words will bring us closer to success rather than using words that are negative and bring us down. Words like Try, Hope and Want are harmless words when used in certain contexts but in relation to our goals and commitments they are words that set us up for failure or allow us an out to not complete the task and use the very words as the excuse for why we didn’t complete the task.

Let’s take the word “Try” for instance. Here’s what Yoda has to say about the word try.

[pb_vidembed title=”Yoda – Do, Do Not, There is no Try” caption=”” url=”” type=”yt” w=”480″ h=”385″]Yoda Video

What does that mean exactly; “do, do not, there is no try“and what is wrong with the word “try” anyway? At my 3 day TLN Live training, this was a topic of that sparked a productive conversation about that word in particular.

I don’t use the word try in my vocabulary and talk about this being a disempowering word when used in communication for the most part. Anytime anyone has ever told me they were going to try to make it to an event I am putting on, that has proven to be a definite no. Based on results, not one person who has ever told me they would try to make it has ever made it. 100% of the time!

“Try” sets you up for failure in my humble opinion. Why? Because when you say you will try to do something, you already give yourself an out and make it ok to fail if you don’t make it. “I said I’d try to be there” or “I tried to do whatever.” Energetically, it takes the power out of your purpose. Think about it. If you said you would try to do something and you didn’t do it, then you can simply say you tried. It’s not a full commitment on your part when you say you will try to achieve your goals or try to get the task done or try to make it to the event.

The word try added in front of your intention sets the energy at less power than if you made a solid commitment. The reason people put it there is that they don’t want to make a solid commitment or intention for what they are setting out to do, either because there is fear involved or they are not totally committed to it in their heart or mind or both.

It could possibly be to make a commitment and then fail is worse than half way committing with the “T’ word and failing because you can have an easy out saying you tried.

Now in some instances, if someone is in such a place where there is so much fear or inability to progress and they make a commitment to at least try vs previously saying they would not do it. That could be looked at differently and objectively to consider that as progress in the expansion of their thinking. For example if someone refused to ever speak in front of a group due to their fear and made a statement that they would try to speak, that might be progress in that instance, but that is the exception rather than the rule and not what this is primarily about.

The intention here is to get you to look closely at the language you are using around your commitments whether is be your goals, your commitment to attend an event, help a friend, read a book, take a course, do something for a family member, whatever the case may be. Now that you have heard about the “T” word, pay attention to how many times it comes up in your language.

The definition of try is actually to make an effort, unfortunately the effort most people make when they use that word is to not make the effort and simply say they tried. Use powerful language to accelerate your success.



Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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