Growing up, you either dreamed of being a Jedi or think of Star Wars as nothing more than a trashy film filled with bizarre creatures and a little green imp. You either get it or you don’t. For those who have yet to comprehend its values, the real fascination behind this successful franchise goes beyond the theatrics of a sci-fi trilogy, surrounding Jedi-worthy wisdoms and valuable lessons that unfolded a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
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These are some of the best lessons we’ve learned from the Force.
1. Develop a can-do attitude in everything that you do
Yoda to Luke: “Do or do not, there is no try”
During Luke’s Jedi training in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda reacted to his apprentice’s half-hearted attempt on a difficult task by saying, “Do or do not, there is no try”. The philosophy here is that when you made a commitment and decided that there is no plan B, you’ll do whatever it takes and find whatever means necessary to achieve your goals. Trying means you are more likely to give up or just stop at the first obstacle. Anything less and most people find all sorts of excuses and reasons when the going gets tough. Remember, success favors the persistent person who won’t take no for an answer. So stick to plan A and leave no room for plan B.
2. You can achieve whatever your mind can conceive
Luke to Yoda: “I don’t believe it” Yoda’s reply to Luke: “That is why you fail”
In the same scene above, Yoda did the seemingly ‘impossible’ task where Luke failed and moved the ship across the swamp. Looking on in shock, Luke said, “I don’t believe it”, to which Yoda replies, “That is why you fail”. Always remember, our thoughts (for better or for worse) determine our reality. Success often begins with self-belief. And nobody really cares about your dreams more than you do. Henry Ford’s version of “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right”, carries the same wisdom.
3. Roll up your sleeves to overcome your fears
Yoda to young Anakin: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”.
In the Phantom Menace, Yoda’s message here is never to let fear cripple us or worst, take us down a path of regrets. The reason why most people never realize their potential is because they never had the courage in them to take the first step. It is also said that fear, when fueled overtime leads to poor choices and sometimes, those choices pay a heavy price. Ruled by fear, former Jedi Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side and eventually became Darth Vader.
4. Take the stairs because there is no elevator to success
Yoda to Luke: “Ready are you? What know you of ready?”
It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And it’s easy to fixate on success without truly realizing the effort that goes into it. Nothing is more commonly heard of people who are always searching for shortcuts without having any regards for making sacrifices. The truth is, shortcuts usually end in disappointments rather than quicker success and you have a better shot of achieving your goals by taking smaller steps. Remember, every master was once an apprentice. So, be prepared to work twice as hard for your dreams or else someone will hire you to build theirs.
5. Be a leader that people want to follow
Think Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. The difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate and influence the people who work or follow them. Leaders encourage people to make things happen, rather than enforce his way of getting things done. And part of being successful means learning to inspire those around you to support your vision. A leader listens and takes feedback constructively so he knows where his shortfalls are before it’s too late. In Star Wars, Darth Vader ruled with absolute fear. If Vader were a leader, he wouldn’t be choking his troops whenever they stepped out of line. Had Luke listened to Yoda and avoided Vader before he completes his training, he would not have lost an arm during the confrontation. Now, that explains the father and son resemblance.
6. The best way to learn is to teach someone else
For years, researchers show that students who tutor others generally perform better in tests than those who keep to themselves. Why? Because the ability of explaining something to someone else requires a complete understanding of the subject matter and thus, in the process, helping you retain information more effectively. So, the best way to test whether or not if you truly understand a topic is to explain and teach it to someone else. Yoda’s last words to Luke were, “Passed on what you have learn”. Clearly, Yoda was on to something.