Have you ever heard a co-worker, or an employee, say, “I’ll Try,” when given a new assignment? Maybe you have even said it yourself. It is really a defeatist attitude.  When I hear someone say they will try, what I see is someone who is unsure of their ability to accomplish the task and is distancing himself or herself from the possibility of failure.  They will argue that they will ‘give it their best.’  “You can’t do better then your best you know.”  Can you see the little smirk on the face of the last person who said that to you?
     Well I disagree.  You can do better then your best.  We do it all the time.  Usually we follow it by an astonished, “Wow, I didn’t think I could do that.”  The problem with saying we will try is that we are not buying into the assignment.  We tell our selves that we will begin working on a project, perhaps one we don’t know how to do, but when it gets too hard we will simply give up.  We have done our best.  The catch fraise ‘I’ll Try’ is an out.  When we fail we can rest easy knowing that we warned them when we started.  We didn’t tell them we would get it done. No promises were made.  No, we utterly failed, but we gave it our best and that is all anyone can expect of us.
Is that really the attitude we want to walk around with?  It that really the person we want to be?  Probably not, or I would have lost you by now.  The way we think affects our actions and our accomplishments in a very real way.  Yoda’s statement, “Do or do not, there is no try,” is a powerful statement every engineer should have tattooed on the inside of his or her mind.  In order to succeed we cannot start from the premise that we might fail.  That is different from the NASA declaration, “Failure is not an option.”  Of course we might fail.  In fact if you never fail you are not trying hard enough.  Engineering requires vision, knowledge and an attitude that we will succeed.
     By our very nature, engineers are problem solvers.  We look at the problem, challenge, or opportunity.  We collect the possible solutions in our minds, select the one with the best possibility of working and give it a try.  The difference between a good engineer and a great engineer, is that when the real world intrudes on your plans and things don’t work out the way you wanted, he or she will learn from those failures and charge on to the final solution.
Success is more then just not getting discouraged. It is about laying the foundation from the very start.  If we were going to be part of a sporting event we would think nothing of training our bodies.  We spend years training our minds at the university.  But then we hamstring ourselves at the last minute by allowing our attitudes to lay the foundation of defeat.
So the next time you are faced with a new challenge, smile and say, “I’ll get right on it.”  Then go and do it.