Alternative Spirituality Self-Improvement Hack: Try, Part Two

Recently, I was talking on the phone with a very good friend of mine. I’ll call her Anne.

Anne is a wonderful, beautiful person. She does have one problem, though: she doesn’t know how to be happy.

The other day, as we were talking on the phone, she mentioned an argument she had with her boyfriend. I asked her how it started, but she didn’t go into the details. Instead, she said, “I don’t think it was his fault. I’m just resentful.”

“Wow,” I said. “That’s very honest of you.”

And yet, I wasn’t happy for her—not as much as I wanted to be.

She understood her feelings, and her shortcomings, and that was good—very good, even. Vital.

But she wasn’t yet ready to be happy.

She hadn’t yet decided to be happy, and to try to be happy, and to do the hard work that it would take to get there.

“So since you know what the problem was,” I said to her, “What are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t think I can do anything. It’s just the way that I am.”

And when she said that, I thought, that is just the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

That is the saddest thing in the world.

She wasn’t trying.

So again, just for the sake of ending this chapter on a better note, and just because I want to, I ask you:



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  1. I was told by a wise friend:
    “Try to pick up that pencil.” When I did:
    “I didn’t say to pick it up; I said, ‘Try’. Try never did anything.”
    -Just do it-
    Not picking on your article. He can say what he wants, but until you “try” you aren’t doing anything, either. I know he meant that just trying and never doing won’t cut it. My opinion is – try until you get it or until you know you can’t, then walk away. Either way – be happy; it is done.

  2. Even though I’ve removed that word from my lexicon, I certainly understand your motivation, Mollie. That word has given me nothing but challenges my entire life. I Do now or I don’t. I’ve removed many words from my lexicon but when I realized that one three letter word was an excuse for not committing to do all I could I threw it away and I’ve found I don’t even miss it.

    As I said, however I clearly understand what you’re conveying to your friend.