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10 Life Lessons from the Jedi Grand Master Yoda

Updated on September 11, 2014

The wisest and oldest Jedi of them all; the Grand Master himself imparts cryptic wisdom upon the Jedi High Council in the Star Wars Saga, yet here on earth we can learn from these lessons too. Yoda is symbolic of the wise old hermit that says little, but what he says has great depth. Interpret his words as you wish, as guidance and “The Force will be with you. Always.”

Judge me by my size not

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“Judge me by my size, do you?

Too often in society we are conditioned to subconsciously judge by appearances and that flaw is the first mistake Luke Skywalker makes, assuming an small, old creature could not be a wise warrior. Not only do we judge by appearance, but how we speak, where someone went to school, what their parents do and where they came from.

Clothes and makeup mask our true identities. Truth, wisdom and goodness aren’t governed by what is worn, but the qualities that person possesses. Someone may look old and frail, but have wisdom and wit and those who look picture perfect may be disingenuous with nothing much to say. Judging a book by its cover, is a trap we all fall into with marketing ploys, but substance supersedes perceived images, always.

“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

One must use power and knowledge to help others and with good intentions. It is a lesson in morality; we choose to use, what we know and how, for good or bad. In our society that means we should not use our power to bully, manipulate, cheat or betray others, but to help when we can and protect those who may need it.

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“To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night, Padawan: but choose!”

To face our fears or hide behind them is something we choose. The truth is not always pleasant and can be difficult to accept, but facing them shows courage, however, ignoring them or denying them can lead to guilt and suppressed negativity. We all have the choice to do what is right or wrong and that is the path we choose to follow. If you constantly live in denial you can never see the truth because you are in the dark.

"If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are... a different game you should play."

Acknowledging and facing the truth that what you are doing is not working and no progress is being made, is hard but you choose to reevaluate your situation. This is often the case in relationships where both parties have drifted apart on different paths, but are not happy in a compromised situation. Having the courage to change can lead to happiness once acknowledged and accepted.

Many of us have had jobs where you can see no future, with no pay rise or promotion, despite achieving and exceeding what your job entailed. Being stuck in a rut, can be hard to see and get out of when you have done nothing wrong, but if the opportunities are not being offered, then consider changing your game plan. For some moving to another company, others a career change or taking a sabbatical and rethinking what is important to you.

In friendships this is also the case when there is nothing left to offer on either side or a friend constantly lets you down. Perhaps it's the Universe telling you to find new friends and let those unproductive friendships go?

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“Already know you that which you need.”

Many of us if we search deep down already know the answers to the questions we ask, however they may not be the answers we desire and thus keep asking the question hoping for a different reply. We often know more than we realize, without knowing we have learnt and observed things subconsciously and only in hindsight do we realize things about ourselves, our hidden strengths and resilience and how to deal with situations. All experiences have a reason, though at the time we may not have understood how or why.

“Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Past failures can create fear and hold us back; sometimes we must unlearn what we have known. That requires having faith, bad experiences create fear of failure and we must put them aside and start again.

In relationships, people find it hard to trust again after a betrayal and must learn to trust again. It's like a child learning to walk; it falls down, but must forget the pain and keep trying until it succeeds. We can change our frame of mind with a fresh vision and one not mired by a bad experience. It may contradict the fact we have experiences to learn from, but negative thoughts are obstacles to growth, we may not make the same mistake again, but looking at things from a different perspective can result in different and positive outcome.

What color light saber would you have?

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“That is why you fail.”

One must have faith and belief in oneself; otherwise you have failed before you begin. There is a difference between arrogance and believing you are invincible and having faith in what you do and can do. By learning to trust and have faith in yourself is key to achieving what you want to do. Arrogance is when you believe you are better than others and displaying it. To have faith, requires humbleness and only you need to know, because you do things for yourself first and foremost.

“Hmm. In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side.”

Taking a short cut, the easy way or cheating are those who are dishonest to themselves as well as others. Those who do opt for this path will encounter obstacles, which will always result in consequences. It is best to do things properly and with integrity, rather than take a short cut and have to do it all over again and admit a mistake. Those who do not wish to do things the correct way and face challenges, will face a different type of challenge; battling one’s conscience, one day.

How well do you know Yoda?

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“Never step in the same river twice can you. Each time the river hurries on. Each time he that steps has changed.”

Similar circumstances and chances may arise, but never the same one. Things are constantly changing and so do you, how you see things and how you feel about things. This can apply in relationships, going back to a former lover, things will never be the same as both parties have changed, if not visibly, underneath. Going back to work after a sabbatical or maternity leave, it may look the same, but changes will have taken place in your absence, and so will your perceptions of work, your colleagues and the workplace.

We are only ever in the one place in the present and it can never be repeated.

The original three or the whole saga?

Do you prefer the original three films or all of them?

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Yoda statue

Letterman Arts Center, San Francisco. USA
Letterman Arts Center, San Francisco. USA | Source

“An infinite mystery is the Force. The more we learn, the more we discover how much we do not know.”

A lesson in modesty and humbleness, we can never know everything and the wise know they know barely anything. Nor can we ever understand the true meaning of life or existence—we have theories, yet we the more we learn, the more questions we have. Humble are the wise, who realize wisdom is how you use knowledge.

It's like researching a piece, the more I find, the more I discover and write something completely different from what was intended.

Yoda is an iconic, philosophic figure that people are listening to and learning from through the films in the Star Wars Saga; making us think about what we do and the consequences of the choices we make. Sometimes we just need to hear the right words—who would have thought a small green puppet would have so much influence over the world!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting and applicable in any situation or life. Thank you.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 years ago from San Diego California

      Very good advice for young Paduan hubbers and very well stated. Great hub!

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