Lessons about life can be learned from anywhere, even from a galaxy far, far away.
As a fan of the Star Wars universe, I’ve come across a multitude of positive messages from the movies and the shows that I am delighted to share with you on Star Wars Day as lessons that can be applied to a myriad of aspects of our own lives, inspiring us to be compassionate, understanding, positive, to take action towards our goals and realize our potential.
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” —Yoda, The Phantom Menace
Be mindful of your fear and where you take yourself with your fear. It can often disguise itself as anger or manifest as hate and lead to your own suffering. Clinging to fear means clinging to suffering and this is why it’s important to be able to let that fear go.
“The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.” —Yoda, Revenge Of The Sith
Sometimes we want something or want to keep something so bad that we create an unhealthy attachment to it. Where instead of feeling inspired and excited, we feel desperation for it and fear of losing it or not having it. Being in this state makes it much harder to achieve what we want and can even lead to unproductive or destructive behaviors that take us further away from what we really want. This is why we must learn to let go of the fear of losing what we want, to let go of our attachment to a specific outcome, to follow the path that excites us, rather than the path that keeps us fearful.
“Be mindful of your frustration, it will only hold you back” – Obi Wan Kenobi, Clone Wars
Frustration can become an obstacle to success if you allow it to be. If we dwell in frustration, we can keep ourselves stuck in a cycle of negative thought patterns which can make it far more difficult to take productive actions towards our goals.
Being mindful of our frustration means being aware of the frustration as it’s happening as well as its impact on us. This way, we can take steps to manage frustration appropriately so that we can again work with clear minds.
“I may process moments and thoughts differently, but it does not mean I feel any less than you” - Tech, The Bad Batch
We all have our own way of interpreting and responding to the world around us. Some of us may be more emotional and wear our hearts on our sleeves, while others may be more analytical and take a logical approach to things. And that's okay! There’s no right or wrong way to experience life. Remember that just because someone isn’t outwardly emotional, it does not mean they feel less than those who are more expressive of their emotions. When we embrace our differences and show compassion towards each other, we can create a more inclusive and understanding world. We can recognize that everyone experiences emotions differently and seek to understand and support them on their own individual journey.
On the Force
“I am one with the force. The force is with me” - Chirrut Imwe, Rogue One
The Force in our world can be interpreted as divine/cosmic energy, connection, God, the universe, depending on your beliefs. This “Force” flows with us, in us, through us, and is part of each and every one of us.
By affirming our connection to the Force, we acknowledge the power that exists within and around us, we recognize that we are part of something larger than ourselves, we are setting an intention to harness that energy and use it to achieve our goals. We are believing in our own abilities and our ability to access the energy of the universe to bring about positive change in our lives.
“In my experience, when you think you understand the Force, you realize just how little you know.” – Ahsoka Tano, Rebels
As we progress in life, we learn a lot of things through experience and reflection. The more we learn, the more doors we open to bigger things and to spaces. As we peek through those doors, we soon realize that there’s so much more to be learned than we had any idea about before and that each stage of learning brings with it more doors to even more places to be explored that we don’t yet know about. The more we learn, the more we appreciate the vastness of the world before us, the world beyond us, the part of the world we cannot yet see or understand. We just know it’s there.
And because of this, we must learn to be humble of what we do know. No matter how much we think we know, there’s always still more that we don’t yet know and so we must always be open to learning new information, new ideas, and new perspectives. If you think you know everything there is to know about life and its great mysteries, it’s only because you haven’t looked around or thought about it deeply enough yet.
“When you ask for trouble, you should not be surprised when it finds you” - Plo Koon, Clone Wars
Far too often we focus too much on the things that could go wrong no matter what the odds are that it would actually happen. Being aware of potential consequences is sensible, but dwelling on them not only doesn’t help, but actually harms you. When you put yourself in a negative mental and emotional state by focusing on what could go wrong, you make your body live through the stressful experience of things going wrong even if it isn’t currently happening.
Putting your mind and body through this ordeal increases the likelihood of you manifesting the exact scenario you are worried about, essentially making yourself go through that experience twice or even more depending on how long you’ve held on to that stress. And if that scenario doesn’t happen, then you would have put yourself through that experience for nothing.
“Your focus determines your reality” - Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace
What you focus on is what you attract more of. Similarly, what you resist persists because the focus is still on what you are resisting. This is why our focus should mainly be on the positive things that are important to us and the goals we want to achieve.
If you focus on the frustration or disappointment for not having it, you will go on to continue not having it. Instead, visualize what you want and create gratitude within yourself as if it were already a reality. When you feel the gratitude of having it rather than the disappointment of not having it, you put yourself in a much better position to actually receiving it.
“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi
We all operate based on our unique model of the world, our perceptions and the stories we choose to tell ourselves. 2 people can look at the same exact situation and have completely different interpretations about it.
Reality is a subjective experience molded by our experiences, needs, desires, beliefs, values and how we interpret the things we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. It’s important to remember this so that we can cultivate understanding towards one another’s points of view with thoughtfulness and respect, knowing that if our circumstances were different, we might hold different perceptions as well.
This is not to ignore objective truths, but rather to encourage seeking to understand one another instead of immediately labeling others as wrong for holding different opinions.
"Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it, you'll never make it through the night." - Leia Organa, The Last Jedi
Let your sense of hope be so strong that you can still believe in yourself even in the darkest of times. Life has its ups and downs. It’s easy to be hopeful when things are good. It can be a bit more of a challenge when things don’t go so well. If you continue to have hope through the hard times, you’ll be able to weather any storm. On the other hand, if your hope fades once things get hard, you’re more susceptible to giving up on what you were working towards thus preventing you from ever actually reaching it. Hope does not only from situations or other people. Hope is something you can always give yourself.
“There is always hope, my friend. Though it often comes in forms not looked for. The key is knowing how to see it and seizing that opportunity.” - Qui-Gon Jinn, Clone Wars
Sometimes the most unexpected things can inspire hope. Failure can illuminate the path to success and give us hope. Moments of sadness can also give way to awe and gratitude, that is if we choose to see it that way. We can all cultivate a mindset that is resilient and positive where we learn to see the hope in every situation no matter how dire it may seem and use that hope to drive actions propelling us forward.
On the way forward
“You can’t stop the change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting” - Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace
Change is the only constant and it is something we must all eventually embrace. Instead of fearing and fighting it, it is better for us to be flexible and agile so we can adapt to new developments in our lives. This helps us to thrive in an ever changing world rather than keep ourselves stuck in one that no longer exists.
“The value of moving slowly means that one can always clearly see the way ahead.” - Tera Sinube, Clone Wars
In this day and age we tend to move a lot faster and become impatient for the things we want. When moving too quickly, we can become reckless, overwhelmed or miss out important details that could impact our decisions, actions, and results.
Slowing down and moving deliberately allows us to be more focused, observant and gain clarity about the path ahead of us.
“Stand up together. Because that’s when we’re strongest — as one.” – Ezra Bridger, Rebels
When people work together towards the same goal, they all move forward together. An unstoppable force united for a cause. Beyond strength in numbers, we tap into the power of community and our connection with one another, supporting each other, empowering each other, and lifting each other up. Remember this power when you’re trying to achieve something great and meaningful. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the community for support and work with people who share your passion as we can accomplish so much more and drive change more effectively together than if we go alone.
On being who you are
“You don’t have to look tough to be tough” - Ahsoka Tano, Clone Wars
Strength comes in many forms. How strong you look is irrelevant to how strong you really are. The toughest looking person can be the most fragile within while the person who seems weakest may have the most resilient spirit.
We must all work on building strength from within rather than creating a façade of toughness as true inner strength is what counts the most.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
We are not human beings going through a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings going through the human experience.
We are not just bodies walking around, we are beings of light, energy, and consciousness. By embracing our true nature as luminous beings, we can lead lives that are meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling, and transcends beyond the limitations of our physical form.
On taking action
“It’s not about whether or not we choose to fight, it’s HOW we choose to fight that matters” - Kanan Jarrus, Rebels
When we face obstacles or challenges in our lives, we may feel a natural urge to fight back or resist. And that's okay - it's a natural part of the human experience. But the key is to be intentional and mindful in how we choose to do this.
Fighting with anger, aggression, or hostility may feel cathartic in the moment, but it often leads to negative consequences and can cause harm to ourselves and others. Instead, we can choose to fight with grace, compassion, and empathy. We can seek to understand the perspectives of others and approach the situation with an open mind.
It's not just about winning or losing, it's about approaching the situation with integrity and respect for ourselves and those around us. It's about standing up for what we believe in while also recognizing the humanity in others. By choosing to fight in a way that aligns with our values and beliefs, we can not only achieve our goals but also inspire others to do the same. We can create positive change in the world and lead by example. 18
“Do or do not. There is no try” - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
You are either doing something or not doing something. There is no sense in taking half-hearted measures towards your goals. When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we must fully commit in our actions and words.
Furthermore, the word “try” implies the experience of difficulty in our efforts. As we tell ourselves that we are “trying”, we create a story in our minds that tells us that being on this journey feels particularly hard, which can negatively impact our level of motivation to take real action.
The way to prevent this is by eliminating the word “try” altogether from your statements.
“I’m trying to study” becomes “I’m studying”
“I’m trying to get promoted” becomes “I’m working towards getting promoted”
“I’m trying to let go of the negative thinking” becomes “I’m letting go of the negative thinking”
Do you hear the difference? Notice how these statements sound more focused and active once you drop the “try”?
So stop trying and start doing.