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Nella Coiro

The Wisdom of Yoda

I have always loved the character, Yoda, the Jedi Master from the Star Wars movies. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you might enjoy his words of wisdom. Let’s take a look …

1.  You must unlearn what you have learned.

How true is this? We’re all creatures of habit, but sometimes our habits aren’t serving us well. What then? According to Yoda, we need to unlearn our bad habits and replace them with more positive ones. Sometimes it can more difficult to unlearn a habit than to learn something new. It takes some work.                    

2. Do or do not. There is no try.

Have you ever said “I’m really trying to (you can fill in the blank) But is trying the same as doing? According to Yoda, the issue is black and white. 

This implies that trying is not doing. It’s more of a half-hearted effort.

3. Named must be your fear before banish it you can.

We can’t fix what we haven’t acknowledged. Once we face our fears and challenges, we can work towards correcting them.

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

This is a basic tenet in all of the eastern spiritual traditions. Simply, when we obsess upon a thought, we give it  power. Anger is the defense mechanism that we often use to hid our fears. When we feel angry or resentful, we usually suffer more than the target of our anger. We are also giving the other person control over our lives.

5. That is why you fail.

In a memorable scene, Luke Skywalker became frustrated, by hi inability to conquer a task. Feeling feeling that the task was impossible, he says, “I don’t believe it”. Yoda’s response is simply, “That is why you fail.” We have to believe in ourselves to succeed. Once we convince ourselves that we can’t do something, we have already failed.

6. The greatest teacher, failure is.

Another interesting quote about failure… We seem to learn more from our mistakes than our accomplishments. Experience is the greatest teacher.

7. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.

It takes a lot of work to keep our thoughts in the present moment. We’re usually thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. This disperses our energy and weakens us. Here, Yoda is telling us to focus all of our energy in the present moment. Stay in the now.

8. When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.

This quote has always intrigued me. What does it mean? One interpretation might be that the “dark side” (negative energy) can be alluring and take on a life of its own. Your thoughts?

9. To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.

We all have choices in life. We can light the way for others and be “a candle”, or we can be darkness, live in darkness, and dwell in negative energy. 

In closing, these beautiful quotes are my favorites, and I am sharing my humble interpretations. If you like, I would love to hear your interpretations and thoughts.

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