Don’t Try. DO.

A killer whale jumping out of the water.
A killer whale jumping out of the water.

Through my library and Overdrive, I’m reading Amy Sutherland‘s book, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers. Don’t freak out. As I see it, Amy Sutherland’s point is to acknowledge and reinforce the things we appreciate in others and ignore the things we don’t. Enjoy the positives, stop focusing on the negatives. Wouldn’t this make most relationships better?

From her book, I’m also learning something that applies to my writing and other tasks in my life. Don’t try. DO. This is what Amy writes when she observed a trainer and the beluga whale who almost got on a scale:

“The beluga had given it a shot, but the trainer’s whistle [part of the whale’s reward] was silent. Not a single fish was tossed. To a trainer, trying does not count–only doing.

Why not? Because the trainer wanted the whale on the scale. That’s, as a trainer would say, the criterion. If the trainer had tooted and pitched the beluga a herring in the pool, he would reinforce the whale’s trying to get on the scale. It doesn’t matter if the whale tried in earnest or made a lazy, half-hearted attempt. Either way it’s still just trying.” [bold emphasis mine]

So what does this mean for me? Don’t INTEND to write, but let it be crowded out by everything that shows up in my day. Don’t ALMOST finish a blog post. Soldier on, finish and post it, even if it takes more time than I’d expected, or I have to leave some priceless pearl for another time. Don’t do NOTHING towards organizing my room, just because there’s so much to do. Do something, because little somethings add up.

What about you? Where will you DO something, rather than just trying, today? We can. Let’s root for each other.



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