On December 20, 2019, The Rise of Skywalker, the eleventh movie in the Star Wars franchise, will be released. The most quoted character of all of the Star Wars movies is Master Jedi Yoda.
When George Lucas released the first Star Wars movie, forty-two years ago, he had no way of comprehending the long-term impact of the Star Wars franchise or how many times we would reference Yoda for wisdom.
One of the reasons why we continue to quote Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back is the underlining theme of the Hero’s Journey. Lucas loosely based the first two movies on Joseph Campbell’s writings about myths and ancient hero’s themes. Since the beginning of humanity, for thousands of generations, we have been retelling and repackaging the Hero’s Story to anyone who would listen.
Yoda served as Luke’s mentor, sharing with him powerful nuggets of wisdom. The most famous and most frequently used quote is also the keystone of Yoda’s enduring advice.
Learn You Difficult Lessons, You Must to Be a Jedi Master
“Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?…You must unlearn what you have learned. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Yoda concisely highlighted three key challenges individuals encounter. For business owners, founders, and leaders, leaving these areas unresolved, can create negative consequences. These sentences explained why Luke continued to fail in his pursuits. When we do not believe what is possible, fail to unlearn negative or unproductive habits, and shy away from definitive decisions, our organizations are at risk of becoming stagnate.
For Luke, his fear of the Dark Side was shutting him down, his thoughts always traveling to the future, searching for a way to reduce the uneasiness of the fear that was forever present in his mind. Luke was unsure of himself and was afraid that he would follow his father to the Dark Side. Part of Luke’s training was facing his fears as he navigated the cave on the Dagobah planet.
Overcoming Fear – Choose or Choose Not to Proceed
Launching a startup, pivoting your business, or expanding a non-profit is like walking into a Dagobah cave, fearing what you will find once you are inside the dark, unpredictable space. Will you find a competitor that feels like Vader? Or will you discover a new technology that will make your business obsolete? Or will you find, hidden beneath your fear, an untapped market that needs your products or services?
How we view the future determines our future. How we think and describe our businesses determines how our customers and potential clients view us. Yoda would advise, “mindful you must, your words that you choose or choose not for they determine your destiny.”
Earlier this year, I chatted with a life coach who said, “there are no good or bad decisions, some decisions we make, based on the information at that moment in time, are better or worse than other decisions. She works with business owners who have become trapped by the fear of making a “bad” decision. Her advice was to take lessons from the less favorable decisions, create a plan not to repeat, and move forward.
Eliminate Try – Form a New Habit of Thinking
Five years ago, I stopped using the word “try” and install a new habit of making definitive statements. I would or would not, do or do not. As the practice took hold, I noticed a difference; my definitive statements created a new level of confidence and clearer communication with others. I encouraged our team to adopt the habit. We no longer try on projects – we learn, make decisions, make mistakes, correct, and keep going.
Effective business leaders understand the importance of continually reevaluating their thinking. These individuals schedule alone time to dissent areas that are not working to develop a strategy on how to proceed.
Our businesses and organizations depend upon us to be focused, to believe we can reach our goals, to stand firm when encountering challenges, and at times face our personal and business fears instead of wishing these internal feelings would disappear.
May the Force be with you, your team, and business as you discover opportunities, secure new business with an engaging website, and develop strong customer loyalty.