The Wisdom of Star Wars

As a tribute to May the 4th Be With You and all of my geeky Star Wars friends I wanted to share a quick post on the wisdom of Star Wars. First off, Star Wars holds a special place in my heart. It is one of the first movies that I remember seeing in the theatre as a little kid and it’s just something that I grew up with. And then they had the three prequels that I got to enjoy as an adult and recently the 7th episode came out, and while it did fall short in some areas, it was fun and entertaining.

And a lot of us love Star Wars. It’s the classic story of good vs. evil and so much more. I mean look how far they’ve come with racism. Have you ever seen such a bunch of culturally diverse people hanging out and working together? There’s no, we don’t like this guy because he has a fish face. You’re either good or evil and that determines if we like you or not.

It’s also a story of hope, perseverance, and faith. A small band of rebels going up against the omnipotent Death Star. Luke Skywalker knowing he was meant for something more in his life. And then having faith that against all odds, good will prevail.

One quote that always stuck with me from Star Wars is…

“Your focus determines your reality” – Qui-Gon Jinn Click To Tweet

Such a great quote and so true to life.

In case you forgot, this was in one of the newer Star Wars movies, Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, which if you’re a Star Wars fan, this makes sense to you. Anyway Qui-Gon Jinn is the Jedi played by Liam Neeson who was mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Ewan McGregor. We meet young Anakin Skywalker when he was just a sweet, innocent kid and Qui-Gon saw something in him. He was giving young Anakin some guidance and Jedi wisdom and told him…

“Your focus determines your reality”

What is your focus? I know for me there have been times when I have negative recurring thoughts running through my head. This is a default for many of us. This is the path of least resistance. We don’t have to think, it just happens.

And this is totally natural. It’s our brain’s way of looking out for us. It’s kind of like your brain saying, don’t worry I’ve got this. We’ve been through this before. I’ll just play the same tape from the last time this happened when you were scared, or were hurt, or things didn’t go your way, or fill in the blank. If we don’t watch it we can give these thoughts too much attention and they become our default. We focus on the wrong things. Beware of the dark side.

This is our brain on autopilot. It’s easy. We don’t have to think about anything. As Obi-Wan said to Anakin…

“Be mindful of your thoughts. They’ll betray you.” – Obi-Wan Click To Tweet

And Yoda taught us…

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

Part of the path to becoming a Jedi is taking control of your focus…your thoughts…your attention…your behaviors. Would a Jedi ever use autopilot in his X-Wing fighter? I don’t think so. If you recall, Luke turned off his targeting computer when he blew up the Death Star. He had focus.

Jedi’s have the ability to control, create, and generate their thoughts and behaviors at will. How do they do this? They set an intention to focus on what serves them…they ask better questions of themselves.

If you want to improve the quality of your focus pay attention to your thoughts. Set an intention to focus on that which serves you. Throughout your day stop and ask yourself, what am I thinking…where is my attention? Are my thoughts serving me or hindering me? If your thoughts are serving you then great. Keep focusing on those thoughts. If they are not, then redirect your focus and attention to thoughts that do serve you.

If you need some help then ask yourself better questions. What am I grateful for right now? What can I do to make someone I care about feel great? How can I be more loving? How can I demonstrate excellence right now? How can I make someone smile? Who has showed me an act of kindness and how can I show that kindness to others?

Ask yourself the right questions throughout your day. Redirect your focus. Set an intention to have your attention on the right thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

Is this hard at first? Could Luke raise his X-Wing fighter out of Yoda’s swamp the first few times he tried? No. It takes practice. But we’ve all seen what Jedi’s are capable of when they learn to focus on the right things. It soon becomes part of who they are.

Don’t believe me? I find your lack of faith disturbing 🙂

May the 4th Be With You!

And please share your favorite quote or bit of wisdom from Star Wars below…

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