“Great. I’ll never get it out now.”
Luke Skywalker had a problem and it was a big one. In seeking his new master to complete his Jedi training, he crash-landed his ship into the Dagobah swamp. The ship was stuck and he had to get it out if he were to ever leave the planet to help the rebellion against the Empire.
Master Yoda turned Luke’s crisis into a teaching tool for the young Jedi. The ship started to sink further into the swamp. Luke lamented he would never get it out. Yoda challenged his pupil against such a certainty. Luke turned toward the swamp and said he would, “try.” Then Yoda responded with one of the most iconic phrases in the story, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Luke reached out his hand and began to focus. He put all of his mind onto the sunken ship. It began to move. Tribulations were exclaimed by Luke’s droid, R2, as the ship began to emerge from the water. After a few moments, Luke lost concentration the ship sank back into the swamp. This time becoming fully engulfed by the putrid waters.
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Luke’s story sounds very familiar. We have this overwhelming task ahead and we are not sure if we can prevail. Sometimes it feels like we are trying to lift a massive starship from predator-infested waters using only our minds. It appears to be impossible if we allow ourselves to think this way. At the time, it was hard to know if Luke had the ability to Force lift the ship from the water when Master Yoda did it so easily. The true problem was not with Luke’s ability; it was with his mindset.
He set out to try but not to succeed. We knew his attitude before he faced the swamp as he said, “Okay, I’ll try,” in a sarcastic tone. The moment Luke placed his mind on the ship, he set himself up for failure. Yoda’s words were not just an NLP-pattern interrupt but the true to key to success. If Luke truly believed he could lift the ship from the water he would have done so, and he would have further advanced on the path to becoming a Jedi. The feat of lifting the ship from the water was not the true test. It was a test of Luke’s mindset.
What Is Your Mindset?
Now, what about you? What is your mindset? Do you “try” expecting to fail or do you jump headlong even if the chances of success are slim? I am not questioning if you are reckless, but when you try something do you expect to succeed? Do you lay out a business strategy that can be executed with clear tactics or just hope for the best? Do you “try” to build brand equity with your customers with the thought of your message falling on deaf ears or are you trying to make an impact?
Stop trying and do something. Even if you fail you will succeed because your mindset was in the right place. You will have learned something and set yourself up for a better move next time.
Stick around, coming up at noon is a special Star Wars edition of Friday Fiction Breakdown.
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