Written By: Jeff Craig
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a HUGE fan of Star Wars. Ever since childhood, I have embraced the story that took place in a galaxy far far away.
As a kid, I loved the story made of heroes with swords made of light, who flew around the galaxy fighting for good. I remember having light saber duels in my back yard with friends. In the background played music from the movies. I imagined I was a powerful Jedi who would save the galaxy from the evil Sith Darth Vader. I would have Star Wars marathons with my friends where we would watch all the movies in succession. I collected toys, trading cards, and played all the video games. Needless to say, Star Wars was a huge part of my life.
For those of you reading who have never seen Star Wars or haven’t seen it for a long time, I suggest you watch the movies. But just in case, here is a quick breakdown. The Star Wars saga tells a story of a hero’s journey in a world far advanced from ours. There are a select group of individuals that are born with a strong power in the force. The force is an energy that is created by all living things that grants an individual with super human abilities. Those who are strong in the force are sought out by Jedi to undergo training. The goal is to train the individual to master the power of the force and use it for good. However, the force can also be used for evil. Those who embrace the dark side of the force are referred to as Sith. In the Star Wars saga, a young farm boy named Luke is faced with the challenge of becoming a powerful Jedi who must use the force to battle evil and restore balance to the galaxy. The story is far more complex, but this should help explain it a little bit.
As I got older, the obsession with Star Wars didn’t diminish, however, it took a significantly different direction. Just as any other young boy, the older I got, the imagination and obsession with the fantasy world began to fade. What emerged was something greater than I ever imagined.
I began to see the underlying messages that were built in to this epic story. It became more than good guy versus bad guy tale. It became more than light sabers and space ships. I began to understand underlying context places within the story. I recognized the philosophy behind the Jedi and Sith way of life. And most importantly, I discovered the true meaning behind the power of the force and how it related to real life.
In adulthood, I began to find parallels between the Star Wars story and real life. I started noticing that there are extremely powerful people in the world, some of which use their power for good, while others use it for evil. Although the force is a fictional idea, I noticed that similar things existed in the real world, such as chi energy. There are also schools of religion and philosophy that are similar to that of the Jedi.
Although the Star Wars universe does not exist in real life, there are many similarities that are too visible to ignore. I began seeing these similarities in my own life. Next thing I knew, I was living my own heroes journey. I began implementing many of the lessons and philosophies found within the Star Wars universe. It has helped transform my life. Here are 10 ideas I have taken from the Star Wars universe and implemented into my daily life.
- All living things are connected through a powerful energy
Although the force may not exist, it has become clear to me that everything in this world is connected. There is an invisible energy that binds us all to one another. Scientific studies have shown this time and time again. Even the way we feel can influence our environment. In a study by Dean Radin, PhD., it was found that human emotion could influence a change in the development of water crystals. Quantum Physics has found that human atoms are no different than that of an oak tree. Furthermore, science has found that every cell in the known universe is connected in some way.
- “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”
Wise words spoken by Jedi Master Yoda, this statement holds very true in real life. In every situation in my life where I have let fear control me, it has only led to pain and sorrow. I have also seen this in others. Many times in life, we feel afraid. This fear takes us over and prevents us from becoming who we are meant to be. Fear causes us to isolate and lash out at others. The consequences lead to someone getting hurt. Fear has been the root cause of many wars. Fear leads to the dark side. If we are to live in the light, we must conquer our fears and become greater than they could ever be.
- We choose the light side or the dark side daily
In the Star Wars movies, even the most powerful Jedi are tempted by the dark side of the force. This holds true in real life as well. Every day is a battle toward dark and light. Each day we must make choices that bring us closer to one end of the spectrum. Even those who have lived a life of purity and goodness are susceptible to the temptation of the dark side. There is no finality to which side we are on. It becomes a choice we must make each and every day. Whether we open the door for someone, or curse out the car who just cut us off on the freeway, each choice brings us closer to either the dark or the light. If we are to become the greatest version of ourselves, we must make a conscious decision every day to embrace actions that bring us closer to the light.
- Being a warrior of the light requires life long training
Just as in the movies, becoming a powerful force of good does not happen overnight. Those who were strong in the force, were trained by the Jedi Order from childhood to adulthood. It takes them years of training to become worthy of the title Jedi Knight. In real life, this also holds true. It takes years of practice and training to become a powerful force of good. This must be done through years of acquiring knowledge and turning it into action. The best way one can train is through a mentor, much like a Padowan would train under a Jedi Master. By finding someone who possesses the skills we wish to acquire, we can learn through their teachings and develop into the person we are meant to be. But it’s important to remember, this takes time.
- Our mind is our most powerful asset
Numerous times throughout the films, mindset plays a crucial role in a character’s destiny. During Luke’s training, he is given to task of lifting his X-Wing ship out of a swamp using the power of the force. When he finds the task too difficult to accomplish, Yoda uses his force power and pulls the X-Wing fighter out of the swamp. Luke exclaims, “I don’t believe it” to which Yoda responds, “That is why you fail.” Our mind is what controls our reality. Negative thoughts typically lead to negative outcomes. When we doubt ourselves, we hold ourselves back from reaching our full potential. Whenever a Jedi faced troubling times, they would look toward the practice of meditation for clarity and guidance. In real life, meditation has been proven to help individuals gain clarity, reduce stress, and even change their physiology. By mastering our minds, we master our reality.
- Our failures make us stronger
In the film A New Hope, Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi faces Darth Vader and says, “Strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” In life, it is through our failures that we gain our strength. We are only defeated when we admit defeat. When we fall, we have a choice to get back up and try again. Through trial and error, we become more powerful than we ever were. Failure is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to embrace because failures help us grow into who we need to become in order to be successful.
- “Do or do not. There is no try”
Being one of the most famous lines in the Star Wars saga, “Do or do not. There is no try” holds a powerful significance in real life. To try is to admit defeat. It is only through making a conscious choice to see things through that we can accomplish our goals. Try simply is not enough. We must commit to what we want 100% or not at all. This quote brings us to the present, alleviating all fear and doubt. It allows us to let go and move forward with a level head and peaceful mind. It is only when we make the conscious choice to embrace the certainty of reaching our goals that we can accomplish them.
- It is never too late to change
In the prequel films, the viewer is shown the story of Anakin Skywalker and his journey that led him to becoming the infamous Darth Vader. We see him as a young boy walking the path to becoming the most powerful Jedi who has ever lived, only to find that his fear and pain pulls him to the dark side. One could easily assume that once Anakin becomes Darth Vader, he has completely turned his back on the light side of the force for good. However, we later find out that even the biggest baddest Sith in the galaxy still has some good in him at the end. This expresses a powerful message of hope. In life, we all make mistakes. We all fall from time to time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t turn things around. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. No matter how far we have wandered off our path, it is never too late to turn around. As long as we are still breathing, there is hope. No matter how bad things get, we all possess the ability to change. This message is something that we can use to pull us out of even the darkest of days.
- Nothing is impossible
While approaching an asteroid field, droid C-3PO tells pilot Han Solo, “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.” Han Solo keeps his focus on the impossible feat ahead and confidently responds, “Never tell me the odds.” The truth is, everything was impossible until someone did it. Hundreds of years ago, the idea of flight was impossible. Then the Wright brothers proved the world wrong. Nothing is impossible. It is through imagination and magical thought that ideas and innovation are born. We should never let the world tell us that our dreams are too big. Even when the odds are stacked against us, we still possess the capacity to reign victorious.
- Even a poor farm boy can save the universe
Luke Skywalker spent the beginning of his life as poor farm boy. And then, in one day, his whole life changed. He soon became the savior of the galaxy and returned balance to the force. The hero’s journey in the Star Wars saga is in my opinion, the most important part of the story. It expresses that no matter where we come from, no matter who the world has told us to be, we all have the ability to become someone greater than we could ever imagine. We are all challenged with our own hero’s journey. We all must make a choice to rise into greatness, or step back into the sarlacc pit of mediocrity. Every lesson taught by the Jedi leads to this. Overcoming fear, mastering the mind, believing in ourselves, making the impossible possible, it all plays into us becoming our best self. We must summon the courage to make our destiny our own and become who were always meant to be.
Star Wars will always play a big part in my life. Although it may not be for some, the messages and lessons found within the context of the story are something everyone should embrace. There is so much to learn from these films that will help us become the best version of ourselves. Although the fantasy ends with the credits, what I have gained from implementing these lessons into my own life has become invaluable. While some may laugh in doubt as I hold my light saber up in pride, I can simply smile and say to them, “Laugh it up, fuzzball.”