I was waiting in the principal’s office to have lunch with my brothers when I came across the following…
Abraham Lincoln’s Rules of Conduct:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
The fact is, truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.
Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
The way for a young man to improve himself ever way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.
Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention.
By all means don’t say “if I can,” say “I will.”
Let none falter who thinks he is right.
I say “try.” If we never try, we shall never succeed.
Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
I love these rules. They are a great list of things to live by. There is one rule that I disagree with Lincoln about using the word “try.” He used “try” as a motivation toward success, but that is no longer enough. As motivation for today, I think he is right in saying that we should use “I will” instead of “if I can.” Everyone always says they are going to try. “I will try to be at this party.” “I will try to get good grades.” “I will try to be humble.” Using “try” seems like an ok option. I mean we can’t control every outcome, but I believe using “try” makes failing an option. In this country, everyone looks for the easy way. Saying you will try to do something gives you a cop out option. It makes falling short allowed, because you never promised you would come through. It’s the sneaky way to avoid promises. It’s the sneaky way to allow compromise.
Instead of saying “try”, say you will. Hold yourself accountable to success. Make yourself vulnerable by asking others to trust you to come through. Set a higher standard for yourself. Make your yays mean yay and your nays mean nay. Be someone who stands by their word and makes things happen. Dreams don’t come true through trying; they come true through doing. I don’t just try to share my story with others; I do. We are not called to be lukewarm. We are called to be fiercely dedicated to changing the world. We are called to be on fire or ice, not wishy washy in words. Don’t be wishy washy. Don’t be lukewarm. Don’t allow failure to be an option. Get out there and DO!