The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Jedi

The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Jedi
by Paul Salzer

Okay, I will admit it.  I’m a geek!  This doesn’t mean that I enjoy doing math problems in my bathtub at 8 o’clock at night on some boring Thursday.  But being a geek does mean that I can enjoy reading fantasy novels and the occasional sappy supernatural romance without worrying about being labeled with some less desirable moniker.  It also means that I can “geek it up” in the theater with my bag of Skittles, bucket-o-popcorn, and the 54-ounce mega-cup of Mountain Dew, watching the latest big budget superhero or sci-fi movie from time-to-time.

One of my favorite movie series of all time would have to be Star Wars, of course.  I remember growing up, begging my parents to take me to the theater to watch Return of the Jedi.  And years later, I was one of those people that you read about in the newspaper who camped out to watch the release of Episodes 1, 2 and 3.  By the way, I was the one that made the Jedi stew for everyone there.  It was sad that my Yoda doll from Japan got mentioned in the paper and not me.

I know that doing these geeky things might seem like a colossal waste of time.  Then again, most would say the same about blogging.  But I would have to say that there is much to be learned from movies like Star Wars.  Good movies, really good ones, usually contain lessons that, with a little bit of effort, could and should be applied to our daily life. These lessons are like ointment for your soul.  Let’s look, for example, to the great Muppet (now computer-generated) sage himself–Yoda.  His many movie quotes are the stuff of…well…the stuff of quotes.

Here are but a few quotes that have helped me in my life’s journey.  I hope they will help you in your business and daily life as well:

  • “When 900 years you reach, look a good, you will not.” – This is reflecting on our apparent need to value outward appearance over character.  Some of us seem to judge others by the makeup that they wear or the clothes that they pick out.  Some of us even just classify people by gender, by race, and by age, often stereotypically, without ever really knowing much about that person and who they really are.  And as Yoda said, we all will eventually get older, and we will not look as youthful or glamorous to the next generation.  Eventually, that generation will get older too, and they will be judged by that “next generation”.  And so on.  So just get over it.
  • “Always in motions is the future.” – You cannot predict the future, for it is always changing.   You should not dwell too long in the past or present, otherwise you will let the future go by.  Don’t dwell on the failures either.  Fix the problems and move on.  Like the city bus, the future doesn’t wait for you if you are not ready to hop on when the opportunity arrives.
  • “Grave danger you are in.  Impatient you are.” – Those that do not plan will most likely get themselves into trouble.  Try making a shopping list before going to store.  Write down some task items on a piece of paper before opening your email and starting your morning.  In the fast-paced world we live in, it is easy to say, “I don’t have time to plan things out.  I need to do it, or it won’t get done.”   You need to remember though, if you do something wrong, it will take additional time to make corrections.
  • “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.” – I’m going to steal another Sci-Fi quote to explain this one.  E.T. said, “Be good.”  That’s pretty much it.  Be good or you will forever start down a path that will keep you doing bad things.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot be redeemed though.  If you make a mistake in life or do something unethical, admit to it and work to correct that mistake or unethical act.  Even Darth Vader redeemed himself in the end.
  • “Try not.  Do or do not, there is no try.” – This seemingly straightforward quote is a hard lesson to follow.  I myself am guilty of saying, “I will try my best”.  And I’ve often wanted to repeat this quote to wedding DJ’s when they say, “I’ll try to play that for you.”  I know that this usually translates to, “No, I can’t play that song, but I don’t want you to think I won’t, so I’ll pretend that I will, so that you leave me alone.”  In truth, you will either do it or you will won’t.  You will fail or you will succeed.  So you might as well do everything with gusto, and not make half-attempts at doing something.
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