Just do it for Chrissake…quit ‘trying’ and just DO IT

There is no try. There is only do.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

A little while ago I went over to the Catholic Church here in the barrio where Ale and I live. I thought I would be able to get some shots and a story about the relief effort for the folks who have lost nearly everything in the floods.

Instead, I had a great conversation with a guy that works there as security.

I got to the church grounds, made sure the camera was dialed in and started to look around. As I did, I stuck a cigarette in my mouth and reached for the lighter. Only one problem.

The lighter didn-t work. So I strolled over to this security guard and motioned that I wanted to borrow his lighter. He smiled, handed it to me and in English better than mine said, “Here you go.”

Surprised but smiling, I asked him where he had learned English so well. That question turned into a pleasant hour long conversation.

Somehow the conversation got around to trying to stop smoking. As we each lit up another smoke I realized something.

It’s impoosible to try to quit smoking. You either do it (quit) or you don’t. But you can’t try.

The first time you try something, you may not do it perfectly, but you didn’t try – you just did it.

Let me put it like this.

Can you ride a bicycle? If you can, think about to those very first few rides when you hopped on the bike, got the pedals half way around and fell over.

You didn’t try to ride the bike; you rode it. I’ll grant you that you didn’t ride it far, but distance wasn’t the goal. Just staying upright on it was.

Maybe you rode it 6 inches before you fell over, maybe you rode it three feet before you did a nose plant onto the sidewalk. Distance doesn’t matter.

You SUCCESSFULY rode the bike!

You had a choice though. You could’ve cried and bellyached saying, “I’m a klutz! I can’t ride a bike. I can learn this stupid thing”. If you had’ve taken that route, you never would have ridden again.

Instead, you picked yourself (or had someone pick you) up, got back on the bike and this time, you rode it, just a little farther before you started smelling the dirt rushing up at you.

The same is true with everything in life. Everything.

As long as we “try” we will never “do”.

What adventure in life are you missing out on because you’ve trying and not doing.

What passion in life has taken a backseat to everything else because you “tried” and didn’t do?

Your challenge for today? Throw the word “try” out of your vocabulary and just go DO.

According to The World Bank report of 1994, one time the great inventor, Thomas Edison was asked about all of the failures that he experienced while creating the light bulb. Edison looked at the questioner and said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist.  Currently living and working in Argentina he focuses on social justice issues.  Known internationally for capturing events in a documentary style with an eye towards the aesthetic, his work has appeared in CNN, USAToday, Huffington Post and others.  A nomad at heart, he is always looking for that next gig which will take him over the next hill or around the next curve.  Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or visit his website, JourneyAmerica.org or email him today.

4 thoughts on “Just do it for Chrissake…quit ‘trying’ and just DO IT

  1. Jerry, this is Brian from Hot Springs, Virginia. Hope you are well and happy in your world. You don’t know me. but I am a friend of your mother and knew your father well. Buddy Cauley mentioned an unusual article you wrote. He was taken back not only in being startled by seeing the words, “I hate Buddy Cauley” displayed on the Internet, but also, taken back to a time that seemed to be a lifetime ago. He and I just spoke this evening about this article and he asked me to read it. Well, I saw where I could write to you here. I told Buddy I would mention that you sure stirred a few emotions both good and indifferent. Just wanted to bring it all full-circle. Life is strange and wonderful… and then back to strange again. Keeps the dust from settling, though.
    Cheers ~
    Brian

  2. Thanks for writing Brian! I hope the article was taken in the vein that it was meant. Mr. Cauley is someone that had a tremendous (good) impact on my life and it was just my humble way of acknowledging it. I realize that it can be very hard to communicate through words alone, so if I have said something that inadvertently caused pain, I’m sorry. Please let me know and i will rectify it to the best of my ability. Blessings

  3. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  4. Jerry, absolutely… I do/did know your intent and I know it was all good and that you wrote that article in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I thought Buddy understood that, too. So, first, I have to thank you for your reply which I only got to read tonight because I had no idea you had written back until I just received a phone call from Buddy Cauley. As you know, being an artist, creating through photography (which you do so effortlessly!), or through words or through music… it is all left up to interpretation in the end. So I had no idea you would take my letter as anything but a full-circle moment until Buddy called me tonight expressing indifference with me. Let’s review for a moment: Buddy called me that first night when he read your article and express his throughts to me and then he asked me to read your article and then I explained to him that it was all complimentary. Therefore, since he didn’t have a working computer computer in his home, I wrote to you and expressed those thoughts to you, which he agreed on me doing. I want you to know that not one part of my message intended to stir anything or cause anything but a “coming together” for Buddy after all these years. As I stated in my message, Buddy’s initial response was that he wasn’t sure at first what “I hate Buddy Cauley” meant. When your message was fully read and thought over, he realized it was a complimentary and thought-provoking piece of the past. I only wrote to let you know that Buddy did read it and I was just a bridge of his thoughts, hoping it would make you smile. Tonight, having known Buddy for years, he clearly didn’t understand my letter to you and contacted me at 11:00 PM, concerned that I had made waves with you. I would never ever do that and I am sorry if you misinterpreted my intended play on words. For example, “Keeps the dust from settling”, meaning, “Keeps the memories alive”. A play on words. The bottom line here is I respect your work and felt I would brighten your day with my message coming out of the blue about speaking with Buddy, his reaction, and also the fact that I know and grew up with your parents. That was all that was meant to be. Buddy should have known me better than to think I would say anything disrespectful, but he made it clear that he doesn’t after all. That’s ok. Just know from me that I meant well and was speaking metaphorically and playing messenger for someone I considered a friend. I only wish I could tell you this in person. Please accept my apology for speaking for Buddy, as he surely wanted me to know all about this interesting article you wrote. I tip my hat to you respectfully, hoping you now understand my good intentions. If ever you are in Hot Springs, please ask your mother about Brian La Fountain. She knows my character and knows that I would never want to share anything but cheer.
    Very sincerely,
    Brian

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