We have/had some amazing gurus in our world. While I have the highest respect for Confucius, Deepak Chopra, the Dali Lama, and many others, I find that Yoda is my most quoted guru. (I’m a simple type of person). The inspiration for my writing today sits within his words to Luke in The Empire Strikes back.
As Yoda lifts Luke’s X-Wing fighter from the swamp with the wave of his hand, Luke declares “I don’t … I don’t believe it.”
To which Yoda responds so simply, yet so powerfully, “That’s why you fail.”
When Rj and I decided to leave our corporate jobs to start our own business in our mid-forties, we were met with a chorus of friends, family and strangers serenading us in disbelief.
OK, sure, the idea was a bit crazy. And admittedly we thought we were just a little crazy too.
But we believed we could change the course of our lives.
We’d done it before. When I was in college, and in desperate need of a summer job to pay my tuition, I decided that I no longer wanted to be a resort waitress – making great money in tips shoveling corned beef and cabbage at my guests every week. (I worked in an Irish resort in East Durham, NY).
Nope, I wanted to make minimum wage as a bank teller.
A bank teller? Why? What? Really? All extremely good questions that would take much longer to explain than I have in this blog. Suffice it to say that I really wanted to wear office clothes and work with money.
Becoming a bank teller was a steep uphill challenge with little hope for summit for a junior in college. But I wanted to be a bank teller!
So I decided I could do this. I would do this! With some well written ‘please hire me’ letters, a new outfit from Jamesway (the Walmart of those times), and an overriding desire to be a bank teller, I put myself on the path to success.
Yup – I became a bank teller! And, by the end of the summer I was promoted to head teller! And yes – I did have to pick up a waitressing job on the side because minimum wage wasn’t going to pay the bills.
Here’s my point.
If there is something out there in life that you want, you CAN go get it. You CAN decide to believe you will be successful. You CAN change your mind.
Because if you don’t, you will stay exactly where you are.
What I love most about this ‘change your mind’ approach? The concept can be applied to just about everything in life – from small habit changes to big life changes.
I do a lot of coaching work, individually, with teams, even on this blog. We are all the same – looking to make the lives we are living the lives we want to live. Whether that is getting healthier, sleeping better, exercising more, finding time for the important things in our lives, changing our careers, asking for promotions, becoming a more patient person, developing our leadership skills, giving back to our communities/families/the world as a whole.
Everyone has their ‘life-thing’. Unfortunately very few of us think we can actually make that life-thing happen.
We don’t believe. Therefore we fail.
I know, I know – we try! But sometimes things just don’t happen even if we believe for a moment that they can.
Let’s revisit Yoda and Luke in the swamp. Why exactly did Yoda fish Luke’s spaceship out of the lake?
Because Luke was trying to use the force to fish his ship out himself, but then stopped to wine to Yoda that he was ‘trying’ but nothing was happening.
And we all know what Yoda says next.
“Do or Do Not … There is no Try”
The first step is to change your mind.The second step is to do something.
Take a moment to think of something in your life that you don’t believe you can do. Or don’t believe you have the time to do. Or don’t believe you really need to do. Or something that you really want to do but for whatever reason haven’t done yet.
Small thing, big thing, doesn’t matter. But we all have something. Maybe something you’ve ‘tried’ before.
Now just for a moment, believe you can do this thing. Visualize yourself on the other side of achieving your thing. Enjoy ‘fantasizing’ about how life could be. (Oh yea, I see that smile creeping across your face).
Change your mind to see yourself doing your thing. Believe it can actually happen for you.
I’ll leave you there. But encourage you to maybe try a little doing as well. (Nope – I don’t even want to hear the word try!)