The Attempt Trap

  • 2 mins read

Tell me if you’ve heard this

I did ‘X’ – but it didn’t work out – so now I am gonna try ‘Y’

The ‘Attempt Paradox’ – let’s coin it

Attempting and Trying – when it comes to career – need to be separate things.

They are very close concepts, but one has to understand that just because you attempt a bunch of skills that does not mean you tried them.

Attempt vs Try

Attempt is when you upskill for the sake of pure learning. 

The goal you set was to explore a new domain, or a new vertical – you just want to broaden your horizons. 

See what’s out there.

Trying is when you learn a skill with the explicit purpose of:

– Generating a non-zero amount of revenue from the skill
– Have work/social proof to show progress of the skill you honed
– Or, upskilling to provide more value to your existing core competency

You need to have an outcome, a goal, in mind before you put the effort into trying a skill

Attempt is short-term – not serious, not focused
Trying is long-term – is serious, is goal-based

If you attempt many things
You gain knowledge

If you try many things
You gain experience

If you mix them
Well, you gain wisdom

At the end of the day, you can call this tricky semantics

But do understand, as you grow, in age, and in your career – your time needs to be allocated appropriately.

Don’t fall for the trap of making progress when you haven’t made any.
Set goals, place systems, and execute based on results, not flukes.

Before you jump onto the next shiny “Y,” ask yourself:

– Am I attempting or trying? Am I just curious, or do I have a tangible goal in mind?
– Is this a long-term play or a short-term fling?
– If it is long-term – then what is my success metric?

Remember, knowledge without application is like a library without books – it’s full of potential, but gathering dust.

Choose your “tries” wisely, set clear goals – and follow systems to execute.