Yoda’s Top 3 Words of Wisdom

“Luke: I can’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.”

Back when I was younger and first watched the Star Wars movies my favorites were Yoda and Han Solo.

I recently watched the two latest Star Wars movies again and thought they were better than I remembered.

Again, one of the best parts was definitely Yoda.

I guess he was an early introduction to personal development and spirituality long before I had much interest in this stuff.

So today I’d like to share three of my favourite words of wisdom from that green little awesome guy.

You could do very well in any area of your life by just focusing on these few tips. Things don’t really have to be that complicated. Get these things handled reasonably well and your world opens up big time.

1. Don’t try. Do.

“Do or do not… there is no try.”

When you tell yourself and/or someone else that you will try you are in my experience more likely to give up or just stop when the first obstacle shows up.

When you say that you will do something there is more determination and power behind that decision. When the inevitable obstacles that always show up start to block your path you are determined. You will do this. So you find ways over, under, around and through the obstacles. And that’s what you have to do most of the time to actually get things done. Smooth sailing with no problems at all is pretty rare.

By making clear choices to do or not do something – and putting power behind those choices – you are more likely to actually get things done and succeed.

2. Overcome your fears.

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

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”

Overcoming your fears is one of the most important things to improve yourself and grow. If you don’t you will just get stuck. But how do you do it? Well, first, as Yoda says, you have to stop avoiding your fear. You have think about it and see what is you really fear.

After you have brought some clarity to the situation, here are three of my favourite tips for actually overcoming that fear.

Face your fear.

Maybe not what you want to hear, but in my experience and from what I have learned from others this is the best way to overcome your fear.

And if you have to handle a big fear, whatever it may be, and later realise you actually survived it, many things in life you may have feared previously seems to shrink. Those fears become smaller. They might even disappear. You may think to yourself that what you thought was a fear before wasn’t that much to be afraid of at all.

Everything is relative. And every triumph, problem, fear and experience becomes bigger or smaller depending to what you compare it to.

Be curious.

This frame of mind makes it easier to face what you fear. When you are stuck in fear you are closed up. You tend to create division in your world and mind. You create barriers between you and other things/people. When you shift to being curious your perceptions and the world just opens up.

Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens you up. And when you are open and enthusiastic then you have more fun things to think about than focusing on your fear.

How do you become more curious? One way is to remember how life has become more fun in the past thanks to your curiosity and to remember all the cool things it helped you to discover and experience.

All is one.

The ego wants to divide your world. It wants to create barriers, separation and loves to play the comparison game. The game where people are different compare to you, the game where you are better than someone and worse than someone else. All of that creates fear.

Doing the opposite removes fear. That there is no real separation between beings, that we are one and the same, might sound a bit corny.

But one thought you may want to try for a day is that everyone you meet is your friend. Another one is to see what parts of yourself you can see in someone you meet. And what parts of yourself you can see in him/her.

There is often an underlying frame of mind in interactions. Either it asks us how we are different to this person. Or how we are the same as this person. The first frame is based in how the ego likes to judge people and create separation to strengthen itself (either through feeling better or more like a victim). The second one creates warmth, an openness and curiosity within. In that one there is no place to focus on fear or judgement anymore.

This is a bit similar to the previous tip. Use both and see what works best for you.

3. Your world is a reflection of you.

“You will find only what you bring in.”

That’s what Luke is told in “The Empire Strikes Back” before he goes into the cave on Yoda’s home planet. Inside the cave Luke battles his demons – more specifically an illusion of Darth Vader – and are confronted with his owninner darkness. The darkness he brought into the cave and that could pull him over to the dark side if he allowed it to.

I think this is relevant in our world too. You find in your world what you bring into your world. And in your world you can see yourself – your thoughts and behaviours – reflected. By observing the world around you can gain insights into yourself and what you may need to improve.

Because even though there is big, big world out there with many possibilities and people in the end big change in your life comes down to you changing yourself.

It’s very easy to get stuck in thinking that your perspective, the lens through which you view reality is reality itself. But you can’t really see reality. You can only see it filtered through the lens. And the lens is you.

Changing, for example, a very negative attitude to a very positive one changes how you view yourself and your entire world. But it’s very hard to convince anyone of this. You just have to choose to try another perspective and use it for a month or so. Even though old thought patterns may want to draw you back to the comfortable stability of your old viewpoint. Which may cause you to rationalize that this positive attitude stuff is uncool or cheesy.

Truth is life will never be as in your dreams if you don’t change and correct yourself. No one is coming to save you. No book or personal development guru, not your parents, no knight/lady in white armour. Yes, people around you can of course be a big help.

But as an adult in this world it is time to grow up and save yourself. It is time to do things. To face your fears. Not just because those things are the right things to do. But also because these things are what actually work.

Image by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metrojp/ / CC BY 2.0

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ah, famous words from the little green dude. Brings back memories.

    We could all learn a little from Yoda.

  • Great analogy from Star Wars. I know that trying is a word that implies that failure is possible, whereas if you just do, you can’t fail. FEAR= False Evidence that Appears Real according to Tony Robbins. Great post.

    • Thanks! Good points about fear. And that’s a very helpful quote from Tony.

  • How about “Great Warrior?!? Wars not make one great!”

    of course, there’s the other side of Yoda…when he’s drunk.

    “I shall now use the Force to squeeze your buttocks!”

  • Yoda I think is simply a green version of Buddha. They even sound the same (kinda). All very zen. And all top notch words to live by. Thanks for the great article as always!

    • Yeah, the similarities to Buddha is certainly there. They have similar ideas and both express them in a simple and direct way.

  • Any article that quotes everyone’s favourite little green Jedi master as learnings we can all benefit from is certainly alright with me!

    “Do or do not… there is no try.” has to be one of my all time favourite film quotes in context.

    • Thanks, Graeme! I agree, it’s one of my favorites too, very simple and memorable.

  • N

    Another awesome post to help me become the person I want, thank you. No more fearing the feared for me :)

  • This is great, I love Yoda. As a kid I missed a lot of the eastern wisdom behind Yoda’s character, but I did recognize that he was very smart.

    “You will find only what you bring in.”

    This one I didn’t remember from the movies. I’ll have to see Empire Strikes Back again, of the three original movies it’s the one I’ve seen the least number of times. But what a gem of wisdom it is.

    May the force be with you, Henrik.

    • Yeah, it’s a less known quote for sure, not like the first one in this article. But it’s as you say, a gem.

  • Great wisdom, Henrik! Tweeted and Stumbled…

  • Wow! These are great insights here. I’ve seen any of the movies (I know, I know, terrible!) but I most certainly think these three pieces of advice are stellar. Great stuff!

    • You should check out the first three movies then, they still hold up very well. Fun and sometimes dark adventures with a bit wisdom in there too. :)

  • Ha as lighthearted as this is, Yoda most certainty had some great advice in a galaxy far, far, away.

    “You will find only what you bring in.”

    That quote is one of my favorite, as i find that perception is projection in any walk of life. I am glad Yoda agrees with my sediments ;)

    • Glad you liked it. And yeah, perception is really projection to a very large degree just about anywhere.

  • Sun-shine

    it is wonderful, this post!
    “don’t try,…..do.” “I’ll try !” is the sentence used to cover for failing or not wanting to give 100%. ” I told you so !” follows -to prove that it relly is not possible to do , though you tried.
    Now , what if I ” did” giving 100% and failed then “did” again 200% and failed again—now ,doI “try” again or do I ” do” again. Where do I get the spirit to”do ” again! When do i know I should stop or it is beyond me!?

    thanks for the thoughts !

    • Well, actually I don’t know a good method for knowing when to stop. I usually do it a bunch of times and learn what I can from what goes wrong. Then I modify my approach and do it again. But if I do too many times and nothing works then I might stop and start focusing on something else instead. Or I do some more research and then start doing again.

  • Shazam

    Great great article, I will carry what you say through my day-to-day life to help me get through the days :)

  • Nica

    Great post! Very inspiring as always.

    I am especially turned on by this:
    “It’s very easy to get stuck in thinking that your perspective, the lens through which you view reality is reality itself. But you can’t really see reality. You can only see it filtered through the lens. And the lens is you.”


  • Rob

    My fave is “face your fears”. My huge fear is moving to a foreign country because I had an experience where it all went horribly wrong before. But, today I just booked my ticket to New York! Woo! Bring it on fear! :o)

  • John

    Great post!
    Find value in Yoda’s words I do, heed his words we all must.

    I would add one thing to your conclusion; you write that “people around you can of course be a big help” – I would add that the people NOT around you can be a big help too. We must be very careful who we share our time and thoughts with if we are to grow. Sometime we have to put distance between those who don’t have our best interests in mind.

    • Thanks for the comment and for adding that very important point, John.