Biggest Loser Lessons for Creatives: The ‘I’ll Try’

As I sit here, watching NBC’s The Biggest Loser, I felt compelled to do a rewrite of a recent post… kill that loser enemy.


“I’ll try.” They’re demon words.

Just say “I won’t and I can’t.”

‘I’ll try’ is a disease…

I often feel a bit guilty watching The Biggest Loser.
Shouldn’t I be burning some calories, learning something, working on that project, I’ll think.
Heck, at least I’m not downing chocolate and pizza… yet. Anyway, there are a couple big losers on the show and I’m not talking about their weight; I’m talking diseased minds.
My blood boils when I hear one of them say “I’ll try.” As in:
  • I’ll try to do the workout.
  • I’ll try to finish.
  • I’ll try to eat better.
  • I’ll try to make a change.

One of the participants just ate 37 mini doughnuts. Thirty. Seven. Doughnuts. That’s where the “I’ll try” willpower gets us–nowhere.

As creatives, let’s harpoon the “I’ll try” from our vocabulary and our mindset.

I’ve had a number of readers mention the encouragement they get from these posts. Fine folks who’ve hung up the paintbrushes, the pen and paper, the auditions etc. As they say in High School Musical, “We’re All in this Together.” I’m so sorry I just wrote that last sentence. My apologies.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to spear the “I’ll try” every time I seek to ideate and create. That’s why I’m writing this right now. I will write. I will contribute. I will inspire.

No more “I’ll try.”

I will. I can.

I have something to share. I can bring a change. My work comes to good.

A heck of a lot different than “I’ll try.”

Why do you think we like to say “I’ll try?” What’s your new mantra to replace your “I’ll try?”


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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • A buddy of mine used to say ” ‘can’t’ means ‘won’t'”.
    Too many quotations in that last sentence, but I do believe it is grammatically correct.
    “I’ll try” to make it look better next time!

    Seriously, it is frustrating to hear that from people (especially those you care about) when they start a sentence that way. “I’ll try” really means, “I’ll put in a little effort just to say I did, but don’t expect too much from me.”

    • Andrew Zahn

      Note 1: I always avoid those ‘multiple quote’ situations entirely. I can’t handle it. Really. So kudos to you for being so brave!

      Note 2: Thanks for the comment. Now, I WILL study up on my quotation mark rules. . . maybe.

  • Awesome post! With applications far beyond the realm of creativity–it applies to all of life. The only thing you forgot is Master Yoda’s #1 rule: “Do, or not. There is no ‘try’.” šŸ˜‰

  • Michael Hyatt posted on this very topic today. Yoda reference and all!
    I guess you never know who’s reading!

    • Andrew Zahn

      I guess we’re in good company then!

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