Even though Star Wars is “just” a science-fiction, it is full of learnings what we can implement. George Lucas studied Eastern cultures and created a world where Jedi are guardians of peace and justice. Whether you like Star Wars or not, you should read the teachings of the Jedi, because the principles they apply are valid for our everyday lives.
In Episode one’s opening scene when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are waiting for the Trade Federation, Obi-Wan explains to his master that he senses “something elsewhere, illusive”. Even though Yoda taught him to be mindful of the future, Qui-Gon explains that it still means to keep his concentration here and now.
The Jedi don’t do anything by accident. They are mindful of their thoughts, feelings and actions. They control their bodies. Nowadays mindfulness is becoming more and more popular. The reason for it is that this is an effective method to deal with stress and even release pain of chronical illmesses. It’s about being present at the moment and feeling our body, thoughts and emotions. Just like the Jedi do.
Feel Don’t Think, Use Your Instincts
Before the podrace, Qui-Gon Jinn gives his last instructions to Anakin: “Feel, don’t think, use your instincts”.
Logic and analytical skills are really important, however emotions are as important as logic. We tend to forget the importance of feelings in our decision making processes. Luckily, talking about emotions in a business environment is more and more acceptable and emotional intelligence is becoming one of the most required skills for leaders.
Use Your Power for Good
Jedi never use the force to attack. Luke asks why, but there are no questions. I don’t assume you want to attack people and make them suffer just like the Emperor did, but sometimes we forget that we have the power to help others. It can be a small thing but all these small changes move forward the world. We need to process a lot of information and sometimes it leades us not caring at all about certain things. Just pick a topic you deeply care about and see what you can do about it.
Go Beyond Your Limits
When Luke’s X-wing sinks, he tries to elevate it with the force, but he says it is impossible. Then Yoda elevates it, it turns out it is not impossible. Yoda says the reason for Luke failing is because he thinks it is impossible. How many times we create limits for ourselves? “I can’t do it! It is impossible” we say to ourselves. However if we believe in ourselves and deal with our fears, we can achieve outstanding results.
Luke faced his fears and he could resist the temptation of the dark side.
It is that simple. We see almost all the Jedi meditating in Star Wars movies. It helps them to face with their challenges and slow their minds. There were many studies which proved scientifically the benefits of meditation. It is not a humbug like Han Solo would say, but a real method that works. There are many ways of meditation, try any of them. You can download apps, search for videos on Youtube, follow playlists on Spotify. Or you csn just simply close your eyes and observe your breathing for a couple of minutes. It is that simple.
What I Don’t Want to Learn from Jedi
Basically the whole movie is about how Jedi should behave and how they are supposed to feel themselves. We know hatred, anger can lead to the dark side. However, I would argue with it. We can be mindful of our emotions but we cannot control them. We are allowed to feel all the feelings we have. And in an assertive way we are allowed to express them as well. Negative feelings such as anger are also as valid as positive feelings. We just need to learn how to handle them. But Star Wars is set in a galaxy far, far away, the characters in it may work differently than us humans on Earth.
If you want to live like a Jedi you need to move forward step by step. Don’t forget that Jedi learn these teachings during many many years. Start it today with a small step!
May the force be with us!