Tag Archives: Jedi

Jedi Advice (Another Five List)

Define Your Focus
Your focus determines your reality.” A tried and true Jedi quote given to us by George Lucas through Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. What you chose to focus on will ultimately define your life and outlook. So before you begin anything, take a moment to really define your focus. Where is it going to be spent? Why? How? To what end? Dig into it and explore where you are putting your focus currently and what you would like to focus on from this point forward. Jedi, School, Career, Relationships, make sure you truly understand where you focus is and how much it takes. You cannot do everything. You don’t have enough time to focus on everyone. You are going to have to adjust and make the necessary commitments to the things you can invest your time and energy into. And sacrifice (at least temporarily) those things you simply cannot afford to invest in. You only have so much time and energy, so chose wisely, because where you put your focus will impact your life.

Outline Your Practice
Control, control, you must learn control.” Yoda the Green Muppet Master was ever the preacher of training and repetition. Both of which take a lot of patience, after-all practice takes time. People will say, ‘practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.’ But that is a silly and absurd way to look at things. Practice is about learning from the ground up. It means you will make mistakes, you will be sloppy, you won’t be perfect, but you will be working to correct that. Take control of your practice by outlining it. Outline what your exact goals are, long term and short term. Outline the methods you feel will best help you obtain them. Make your practice gradual. Again, you are not a superstar from day one. No one is born a Jedi Master. It will take time and a lot of trial and error to work out the problems and get to that steady level of “perfect practice.” So practice, be patient, and take control of your schedule. Time management is critical to your success in anything you do. So outline, plan, and be prepared.

Trust Your Instincts
Stretch out with your feelings. Trust your instincts.” – “Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.” Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn were great fictional mentors that inspired. When they spoke you felt you could block laser bolts blind-folded as well. These lines endure because we know them to be accurate. When we let go of the doubts, the over-thinking, and just take a deep breath and trust ourselves and that nameless force of the universe things tend to work out. When we are present within the moment and trust our training, study, and preparation we can let go and allow our feelings and instincts to help guide us to the right answers. Things don’t always go how we intended or hoped or deisred, but often we can feel good about the outcome and not have regrets over how we chose to live our lives.

Acknowledge Your Fear
There are many lines in which Jedi consider fear. But the main idea is not to ignore, banish, or bottle up your fear. You must acknowledge your fears. Then you need to seek to understand them. Why does public speaking terrify you? What can be done about it, if anything? Once you acknowledge your fear and face it head on, it loses a lot of its power. This isn’t to say you won’t feel it, or that you will stop sweating, shaking, or your heartbeat will return to normal. This simply means you are aware of it and as such in a much better place to act regardless of the chemicals coursing through your body. We can be afraid to try new things, because we are scared of failing or be laughed at. We can be afraid to trust someone because we are scared of being hurt and going through that emotional turmoil again. Without acknowledging this, we just blindly refuse these opportunities and let them pass us by. Yet if we acknowledge why we want to say no to these things, why we want to let them pass us by, then we can make a much more informed decision. And we can begin to make decision based upon knowledge and understanding rather than fear and ignorance.

Always More to Learn
Don’t get cocky kid.” A strong reminder by a grounded voice of experience. Han Solo was no Jedi, but certainly knew the price of over-confidence. He also knew the reward for trying new things and working from a confident state of mind. Sometimes you have to be willing to try new things and open to learning from experience. The character progression for Han Solo eventually shows him acknowledging that he had some things wrong. He learned the universe wasn’t exactly what he thought, but in that learning and growth he was in a position to help guide new heroes along their own journey. From Aayla Secura to Yoda the Jedi knew that learning never ended. And often when you thought you reached the top, life would kick you down to show how far you had yet to go. It is an on-going journey in which each days provides new opportunity to learning more, to experience something greater. Even if that lesson is simply when to slow down, relax, and enjoy the quiet moments.

5 Life Lessons from Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

Life is this crazy, wondrous, beautiful, and ever-changing thing. It is not always easy to navigate its fast and flowing currents and we can find ourselves a bit lost on how to proceed. Often in these times we look to areas which inspire us. People who have attained the goals they pursued. Or characters which we have come to identify with. For many Jedi that has been a lowly whiny farm boy turned confident hero, Luke Skywalker. Here we explore some quotes of the character for a little advice in life.

“It was never too late to correct a mistake.” – Luke Skywalker
It is going to happen – at some point you are going to make a mistakes. Gasp! Shock! Surprise! You will find a choice you made was not the best one and it had an affect on your life. But not everything is written in stone. Often sometimes we can adjust and make the most of a mistake. We can correct our course. We can apply the freshly learned lesson and make-up for a poor decision. Pencils have erasers because mistakes happens and sometimes we can correct them. That correction may take time, it may take years, but don’t just surrender yourself to a bad outcome. You are alive. You are wiser. You are capable of correcting past mistakes.

“Wishing that things were otherwise does nothing to erase memories. Wounds do not heal by ignoring them.” – Luke Skywalker
There are plenty of things in life that can leave a mark. Times we want like to change. But none of us have a time machine. Dreaming and wishing you could change things doesn’t affect anything. You cannot live life looking backwards. It is like driving a forward while staring in the rear-view mirror. Torturing yourself over the past only serves to blind you to what is in front of you. Learn from the past. Eventually accept and come to terms with the past. You cannot change it, but you can use it to help build a brighter future.

“Having more experience doesn’t mean making difficult decisions are easier, but it does let you know that sometimes the tough decisions must be made.” – Luke Skywalker
I have been doing this Jedi thing for, well, longer than most – lets just say that. And there are times in life when it is still difficult to Jedi-up and do the Jedi thing. When you first begin the training you’ll find plenty of obstacles and hurdles, but eventually a lot of those become easy and second-nature practices. Yet no matter how long you live, how long you are a Jedi, there will always be a time when you are faced with a tough decision and it is still a tough decision to make. But experience does remind you of one important thing – not making a decision is still making a decision. When presented with choices, you must move forward as best you can. Use your experience and training and make a decision you feel best.

“It was good for a Jedi to question… Discipline was necessary, but unquestioning obedience was a limiting thing, not a growing one.” – Luke Skywalker
When one first starts out on a path they are taking a lot of things on faith. They are assuming the practices and lessons are made out of experience and will lead to positive and beneficial changes. So not every little thing is questioned and faith is put into the instructors. Such is nice, but one should never follow blindly. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you do agree with soemthing, talk it out. If you something just doesn’t seem right, then discuss it. You can respectfully question material, methods, and practices. You can question traditions and why things are. This is a great tool in learning. Any real instructor will appreciate the questions because not everything is always covered in the lesson plan. Exploration is necessary. So dig into it and should you ever have a question – ask.

“Your overconfidence is your weakness.” – Luke Skywalker
It is absolutely important to believe in yourself. It is important to your know yourself. Your weaknesses, your strengths, and your limits are all core self-knowledge items. Some people will mistakes confidence and self-knowledge as arrogance and over-confidence. Know yourself and hold to it. Humility is knowing your strengths and using to them, not bragging about them. Still you will need to be careful of over-confidence. It blinds a person not only to their own flaws and weaknesses. It starts to rely heavily on assumption and begins to ignore information counter to your own belief. A small danger can become a huge one if you start to believe yourself infallible and untouchable. Over-confidence is a weakness that will cause you to get blindsided a harsh reality. Assume you can do anything and you’ll quickly find out how incorrect that is. Know yourself and know your obstacles and you will always overcome them (one way or another). So be objective, honest, and fair with yourself and you will grow into a very capable person.

Five Steps to Jedi Acceptance

 


First understand that there are different levels of acceptance. This isn’t an all or done sort of thing. Understand that acceptance doesn’t mean passivity. Acceptance does not equal inaction. Just because you accept your boss is a jerk and accept that is who they are, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your situation. The first step to correcting any problem is accepting that there is a problem. You need to acknowledge and accept the issue then you can begin to work on it. This is the first level of acceptance – that there is something you need to address.

Next step is to understand not everything is about you. When someone is a jerk (using our previous example) that is about them. Even if they seem to only be a jerk to you specifically, it is still their issue. They are the one with the problem and inability to express and communicate like a rational adult. Instead of addressing whatever -their- issue may be, they have decided to act out in a childish manner. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own issues. Once you can accept that it isn’t about you then you can focus on what you can do.

The next step is a bit tricky, because it does have something to do with you. More specifically you have to be aware of your motivations. A lot of our inability to accept something is because we have a very strong desire to be something else. We cannot accept that this person is a jerk because we expect and want them to be better. We expect them to be someone of quality and hold them to our own standards. It is not allowing people to be their normal messed up selves. So we find we cannot accept a situation because we have this expectation. The question then is – why do you have this expectation? What is motivating this desire to see a different reality then the one being presented to you? Try to let go of those expectations and simply accept what is presented to you and work from that rather than an idea of what it “should” be.

This brings us to our next step which is probably the most helpful. Your focus determines your reality, right? So adjust focus on solutions, not problems. You have probably heard that presented to you a bunch of times. The reason being is because it does wonders. When faced with a tough situation turn your eyes toward solutions rather than blame. Don’t look to blame anyone, including yourself, it is wasted effort. Instead find the solutions to the issue. There are usually many options available so look for them. Work through them. Find the best option for you. And if there is no solution to be had – look for the things within your control. What can you do? Where can you put your time, energy, and focus? Accept that you have control over you and where you put your time and energy and then use that ability to focus on more productive and happier things.

Last step is the over-used let it go. Don’t hang onto the past. You do what you do and then move forward. You make your decision and move forward. You don’t have a time machine. You cannot go back and change things, but what you can do is live in this moment to your fullest. You can learn from the past and use it to help create a brighter future. Shouldn’t have skipped that workout? You let that guilt go and when a day comes and you don’t feel like working out, you do a light workout knowing at least you did something. Stepped in some gum? Deep breath, done deal now, scrap it off, and move forward. Should have taken that job offer a couple years back? Keep an eye for a similar opportunity, never too late to take a new direction in life.

Acknowledge, Accept, Act (inaction counts, sometimes patience is the best action), and Move Forward. Acceptance is about realizing that we are always in motion, always moving forward. We have no reverse in this life. So deep breath – what is done is done – the question is now what – then go do that smarter and wiser for it.

When You Fall (Fail at Being a Jedi)

 

http://mattmoylan.deviantart.com/art/Mace-Windu-94693537

Forgive Yourself. Yes, acknowledge the mistake, but remember that being a Jedi is a process. It takes time, training, and application. It doesn’t happen overnight and even the most experienced Jedi still stumbles. There is a lot to the Jedi Way and you are not infallible. Beating yourself up over it serves no good. In other words, don’t be sorry, learn and grow from it. Save the self-pity, focus on moving forward and being better for it.

Get Back to the Inspiration. Find your passion and enjoyment of the Path again. If that means a Clone Wars (tv series) binge or a Machete Order Movie Marathon then go for it. If it means putting some your Jedi costume and doing some charity work – handle business. If that means lightsaber practice with friends, get it done. Find your enjoyment of the Path once again. Find what makes you smile when you think of being a Jedi.

Remind Yourself of Your Goals. Adjust your focus to why you do what you do. There is a process, a path, a point and purpose – what is it? What are you striving for? Remembering our goals and where we are looking to go can really help motivate us to pick p the challenge once again and help us get to the finish line.

Don’t Make It Hard on Yourself. Don’t try to do what the Jedi with thirty years is doing. Start small, keep it simple, do what works for you. Difficulty with meditiation? Use one of the 10 minute youtube guided ones. Difficulty with working out? Use a simple 10-10-10-10 routine (e.g. 10 jumping jacks, ten push-ups, ten sit-ups, ten squats). Don’t drowned yourself with trying to be the best and doing it all in one day. Understand it is a process and to work your way up. When training for a marathon you don’t start out running 26 miles, you start small and work up to that distance.

Begin Again. Deep breath. Keep the Basics at Heart. And pick up your practices and lifestyle once again. And know that when it happens again you have a system in place. There will be growing pains. There will be slips and stumbles along the path. That’s Okay. Acknowledge, Accept, and Move Forward. No such thing as a perfect Jedi. Take one step at a time and be willing to repeat the process if you need to.

Photo Credit: http://mattmoylan.deviantart.com/art/Mace-Windu-94693537 Great stuff. You can check out more from Matt Moylan at www.lilformers.com

Four Tips to Improve Your Jedi Training

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1.) Exercise: Mind and Body. You probably hear this advice all the time. Get out and get some exercise. Chemically you produce endorphin which, awesome. It provides a time to focus and clear the mind. A it addresses point number three by punishing the past you, gives a good experience for present you, and a nice gift for future you. Exercising is just good for you. But don’t forget that muscle in your skull. Exercise by reading and studying. Fictional or otherwise, pick up some books and experience and explore some new ideas, feelings, and concepts.
2.) No Days Off: Jedi is a lifestyle, not a job. You don’t get a weekend to forget being a Jedi. This doesn’t mean no fun of course. Plenty of fun to be had as a Jedi, of course. And there will be days where you just don’t want to do ANYTHING. But just before you go to bed a bit unhappy that you in fact didn’t do anything. Stop. Do one push-up and one sit-up. Pick up a book and read one sentence. Recite the Jedi Code in your head just once. Take a deep breath and remember point four. Now you can go to bed. Just one, you can do at least that. Because one is not nothing.
3.) Honor All of You: The Past, Present, and Future all factor into our lives. Acknowledge your past self. While you may not agree with past decisions, they have helped lead to to this moment. Be grateful for that. You are alive and in a position to doing something. You can drive towards your goal. Secondly, we hear it a lot. Focus on the present. Embrace this moment because it is very important. Indeed, “keep the mind here and now where it belongs.” Vital and plays a part to the person we usually hurt the most – our future self. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be kind to that future you. Understand you will be there, your next moment depends on this one, so do right by it. Give your future self something to be grateful for. Stop hindering and harming yourself and start building the steps that you’ll use to get to the next level.
4.) Accept It: This is most important. Some might label this – Forgive Yourself. Either way the point is the same – realize that what is done is in fact done. You will make mistakes. You will have days where you do one push-up, one sit-up, and read one sentence, because you just couldn’t get going. We all have bad days, rough weeks, and sometimes horrible months. Do not let it define you. Do not get so down on yourself that you give up. Accept it. Forgive Yourself. Move Forward. Right now. You can make the decision to simply let go and move forward. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Of course not. Will it take time? Yep. Effort and hard work? Yep. Will it be worth it? Ab-so-Forcing-lutely. So accept and continue towards your goal Jedi.

Jediism = Real Jedi

Watch Out

It is an interesting thing to me. I understand and advocate the need for classification and the use of proper organizational titles. I find these are useful and beneficial elements in any group. Especially one which works off a ranking system for educational purposes. It simply makes sense. You join a new Jedi Group. You’d like to know which Jedi is writing the lessons and been living it for ten years or whatever. As well as much Jedi is like you, fresh, new, and perhaps someone who can relate to your experiences a little better. So titles are given to help people navigate this at first glance. Student, Knight, Instructor, all pretty clear indicators. So I support this type of classification.

Where I find difficulty is when that begins to devolve into unnecessary titles. “I am a Jediist, not a Jedi Realist.” What? What does that mean? “It means I follow Jediism, not Jedi Realism.” What is the difference. – Now here is where many in the Jedi Community miss something important. To the rest of the world there is no difference. To the Media, News, Magazine writers, Filmmakers, your curious cousin, makes absolutely no difference. This is because it all means the same thing to them. Jediism = Real Jedi. Or at least people who think themselves real Jedi.

To be clear, people in the Jedi Community will say there is a difference. And this has been true in the past. Originally Jediism meant Jedi Religion. And Jedi Realism meant religion was left to the Jedi. But that difference has been on a losing battle from day one. Every day more and more people coming looking for “Jediism” as an all-encompassing term. Thsi is due to above. The people giving real Jedi any coverage do not adhere to the petty Glass Walls the Jedi Community create for themselves. In the end the word with the most use wins and currently that word is Jediism.

I have been against colors, isms, and other various little lines drawn in the sand since 2000. They are irrelevant. Either you are a Jedi or you are not. Jediism shares the same core ideals as Jedi Realism. These share the same core as Jedi Pragmatism. The question is always the same – are you or are you not living your life as a Jedi? If yes – doesn’t matter your ism. Now most people take this stance as me saying – “You are not allowed to have any ism. Stop calling yourself this or that.” Which is incorrect. Say you follow Jediism or Jedi Realism. Cool deal. I will shrug and view it 100% as relevant as your hair color. It is simply another feature which is a part of you. But ultimately doesn’t affect whether you actually live as a Jedi.

I have, even in the popular days of Jedi Realism, stuck to simply Jedi. It is my focus. Grey Jedi, Purple Jedi, Jediist, all unnecessary additions which simply prop people up in their own little corners declaring who is better than who. “Jedi Realism is role-players and fakes because they don’t have the courage to complete to the Jedi as a Religion.” Yes that has actually been said. “I am a Jedi Realist. Our training is just way better and doesn’t focus on religious overtones.” Said. Silly little who is better than who non-sense. Tribes fighting over a hill and failing to see the mountain. It is this segregation I have argued, fruitlessly, against for however many stupid years it has been. And it continues. To me it is simple. If you love Jediism or follow Jedi as your Religion. Cool. That is about as important as your race, gender, or sexual preferences. Other words – doesn’t matter.

Now I get it. Minority voice here. Give the people their bread. Let them hold onto their security blanket of isms. Which sure. I am all for you picking your poison. Love your Jedi Religion with a hint of catholic flavor. Temple of the Jedi Order is for you. Like your Jedi Religion heavy period? Church of Jediism it is. Jedi Religion not your thing? Institute of Jedi Realist Studies perhaps? Maybe you want some offline stuff? Near Chicago? Chicago Jedi has you covered. California Jedi might be able to offer you some face time. It is the groups that you chose to grow with that make the difference – not the ism. Not even whatever ism that specific group promotes. What matters is finding a place that you feel comfortable growing as a Jedi with. A place you feel is positive and beneficial to your growth. Don’t worry about whatever ism is attached. It doesn’t matter. In the end the important tile/word is Jedi. And all you need to worry about is finding a group that helps to obtain that goal.

 

 

“Wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope and redemption, not because readers like happy endings, but because I am an optimist at heart. I know the sun will rise in the morning, that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.” – Michael Morpurgo
Photo Credit: http://davidetarabo.deviantart.com/