Yoda’s Life Lessons For Business & Raising Children

You must unlearn what you have learned.”- Yoda

I am not the first person to use Star Wars quotes and or references to make a point or to tell a story, nor will I be the last. The Empire Strikes Back is one of my favorite movies for a multitude of reasons not the least of which is because as a father, writer and person I see more than a few lessons to be learned from it.

Sift through the quotes in this link and you’ll find more than a few nuggets of wisdom worth writing about.

Where is Your Focus?

Yoda: Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. 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. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.

That subhead and the quote that follows are easily applicable to me and I suspect to many others. If you listened the audiopost I addressed several different things in it. I talked about childhood memories, keywords, concern about people who hurt children and my desire to be wealthy enough to own a castle and a private jet.

If you’ll forgive the egocentric nature of it all I’ll my best to tie it together in a neat little package. My children and I often speak about dreams and what we want our futures to look like. We talk about the need to plan to live our dreams and not dream our lives away. And we talk about the importance of not allowing the fear/insecurity of others prevent us from doing these things.

My focus with my children is trying to provide them with more than a great education. I want them to believe in themselves. I want them to have confidence in their abilities and to know that some people don’t distinguish between their fear and what is possible. Some people let their insecurity provide undue influence upon what they are willing to do and they will extend that outwards.

Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now – if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.”-Yoda

Several years ago I turned down an opportunity to start a business because I was concerned about stability, or so I thought. What I realized later on was that I let other people unduly influence me. They have no entrepreneurial spirit and the thought of doing something like that scared them so badly that they couldn’t endorse it.

I made a mistake in listening to them. I made a mistake in not taking the chance. I don’t wear a sweater when others are cold, but in this case I did. Even a Jedi Master like Yoda can be mistaken. We can’t say what would have happened had I gone for it, but I feel like I could have been successful at it.

Set Your Standards

In business and in life I set my standard. I try to write my posts as if we are having a conversation. Some conversations are short and some are long. That means that I don’t write short posts because I fear short attention spans. My community and my readers will read the words they find here because they find value in them. If they don’t they’ll go elsewhere and that is ok with me.

It is ok because I have my standards. I know that if I did things differently I could grow the blog much faster than I have. I know that if I did more data mining and focused on the keywords I could build more traffic.

But I do things that drive my passion and fuel my fire because that is the only way you last in this game. And let me reiterate, if you are the person(s) who found my blog by searching for “I can’t stop hurting children” you MUST get help. There is no excuse, no rationale for hurting children. I am sorry if you were a victim but you need to break the cycle.

Castle Durnstein (with YPaul)

Castle Durnstein (with YPaul) (Photo credit: muppetspanker)

Of Castles and Private Jets

Why do I want a castle and a private jet? Well, I think it might be kind of cool to own a castle. I just like the idea and besides when you own a castle you don’t look as silly walking around in a suit of armor. Nor do you get in trouble for referring to the women in the castles as wenches and every man wants a wench. Ok, as a PSA let me clarify that I suspect some women might not like being called wenches, do so at your own risk.

Also I figure that a castle is easily large enough to hold a very cool library and that is something that I really want.

The private jet part is simple. I like to travel and I hate commercial airlines. I have flown in small planes like Cessnas before but never on a jet. It would be very cool to have access to one and to avoid some of the hassles that come with travel.

Castles and jets cost quite a bit of money so in order to make that happen I would need to really step up my game and earn quite a bit more than I have.

Choices and Decisions

Life is filled with choices and decisions. When you take the time to think things through you start to understand the distinction between what you need and what you want. As you figure that out it helps you to determine what choices to make in the future so that your decisions are based upon your standards.

What do you think?

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  1. Bill Dorman March 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Interesting; as I’m reading your post and got a call from the Guardian ad Litem office wanting me to take a case w/ 5 kids 5 1/2 and under and have been removed because of severe neglect….and I mean severe neglect. My plate is very full right now, but I did agree to take it; it will probably be my most challenging case to date.

    I’m the daydreamer; the short attention span guy. However, I do like to read and if it’s compelling I can read the whole thing.

    From since I first started hanging around, it appears to me you have grown and done a great job with your community. I still remember trying to comment and your comment space was so far down the page it was hard to find…….:).

    Had a real life meeting with Shonali and Adam Toporek last night; your name did come up you every day poster you…….:).

    Hope all is well my friend.

    • Jack March 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Things aren’t too bad- crazy as usual. 2011 was pretty awful and 2012 has been better, but there is still a ways to go.

      Of course on the scale of “suck” my life is still worlds away from others.

      I am just impatient and frustrated that the changes aren’t coming faster.

      If you want to improve your understanding of tech try breaking your blog. It is a mixture of educational and frustrating.

      That stupid comment box issue made me nuts, but that is the way it goes sometimes.

      Good to see you.

  2. Gina March 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I’m going to pick up on a few of the things you covered here. You must have standards, boundaries that help define what you will and won’t do. In the end, it’s about integrity, at least to me. Living my life and my dreams to my satisfaction without hurting or offending others. Our kids learn by example.

    Needs versus wants is a challenging concept for us…I would really like a private jet and island to aid in my enjoyment. Do I need them? Still can yearn. Some of the happiest times in my life were when we had nothing. Expectations were low and simple games and things made us laugh unendingly.

    Communicating thirds ideas to my kids is a different matter. One gets it and the other is so exuberant in life that he can’t see it clearly quite yet.

    • Jack March 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I want and what I need. I can articulate it and for me that is important.

      It is a subjective matter so it is going to be different for everyone but that is ok. It is part of what makes life interesting.

      Agree with you about the need to have standards for ourselves and our children to see.

  3. Julie March 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm


    I hardly know where to start. Obviously ’tis true that people who follow your blog are not of the short attention span variety as not only did I listen but amazingly I read the whole thing…

    I also put my money where my mouth was and started finishing writing my course. Only thing is now I have 100,000 words and I haven’t covered all the subjects yet. Do you know any good editors.

    I believe that we are led where we need to go, when we need to go there. Also, all steps aren’t given at the same time so maybe you’ve gone from A to B to C but the castle is down yonder at F. One never knows but I do know that to limit the imagination and say no out of fear is a sin. At least.

    • Jack March 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Julie,

      In spite of appearances I have an organized mind, it is just covered in clutter. 😉

      I know several editors but I haven’t clue what their work schedule is.

      A hundred thousand words is a decent chunk. Sounds like you have quite the course on hand.

      If we are led where we need to go than I am enjoying Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and that is ok with me.

      I am just doing my best to go with it.

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