“Do, or do not. There is no try”
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Don’t allow yourself to believe you will fail. Whether the task at hand is big or small, be determined and tell yourself that you will do it – not that you will try to do it. Even if you have to start over and try again, think of it as a hiccup along the way, not as a total failure. How you perceive your successes and your failures is important – and so is what you learn from your obstacles along the way.
“‘I don’t believe it’ ‘That is why you fail'”
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker isn’t the only one who is hit hard by this line. In addition to his swamp soup, Yoda is serving up some hard truths. We should never underestimate the power of our own minds. Although we may need outside support for many of life’s trials, believing in ourselves is half the battle. You may not be able to lift boulders with your mind like Luke does, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish other great things.
“You must unlearn what you have learned”
In order to learn a new skill or enforce a new habit, we sometimes have to unlearn what we’ve already been taught, or undo an existing habit. This doesn’t always mean that what we were doing before was wrong – it just means that we’ve got to adapt to change and be willing to grow, whether it’s personal or professional.
“Do not assume anything, Obi Wan”
We all know that “when you assume, you make an a@% out of you and me”. In all seriousness, Yoda realizes the damage that can be done by blindly making assumptions. Whether you’re a Jedi trying to find the villain behind a plot, or a team member trying to find out the best way to move forward with a project, keeping an open mind is key to figuring out the best way forward. Try getting input from a few different perspectives before you come to a decision, and try to avoid jumping straight to conclusions.
“Named must be your fear, before banish it you can”
With this one, Yoda is basically finding a more eloquent way of saying “admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards recovery”. To be the master of your own mind, you first have to know your own mind. If you’re feeling anxious, worried, or stressed, try to get to the root of the problem. Pinpointing the source of your negative feelings is a great start towards feeling better. Once you know what’s really bothering you, you can start to come up with a solution.
“Much to learn, you still have”
“Always pass on what you have learned”
One of the most rewarding aspects about being skilled in a certain area is being able to provide mentorship and guidance to others. After all, who would Master Yoda be without giving all his wise teachings to other Jedi? Pass on what you have learned to help your peers grow and improve. The more you can pass on to your team members, the stronger you will be together.
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