There is no try, but there is always the pivot.
6 min read
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There’s no denying the cultural impact of the Star Wars series. The films have been inspiring millions of people for over 40 years now. There’s something endlessly endearing about them that transcends any social, generational or cultural barriers.
A large part of their appeal is due to their universality. Despite being set in a galaxy far, far away, the themes they touch on are relatable regardless of where you’re from. They deal with issues such as family ties, friendship, legacy, identity, success, failure, redemption and holding on to hope even in the darkest hour.
It’s for this reason that the lessons taught in Star Wars can apply to anyone, including those starting their own business. Here are 10 quotes from the Star Wars series that all entrepreneurs should keep in their hearts and minds.
1. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
This immortal piece of advice was delivered by the wise Master Yoda to his student Luke Skywalker during his Jedi training on Dagobah. It serves as a direct rebuttal to the mentality of “trying” to accomplish a difficult task, rather than simply getting it done.
Doubt is an inescapable part of being an entrepreneur. It’s the reason why so many refuse to take their first step, or shy away from commitment when things become too daunting. Don’t let uncertainty get in the way of your goals. Rise up to meet the challenge and give it your best.
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2. “Never tell me the odds.” — Han Solo
The roguish scoundrel Han Solo makes this quip after the worry-prone C3PO tells him the probability of successfully navigating an asteroid field. Solo promptly shrugs off the looming prospect of failure, goes for it anyway and uses his skills to pull the group through a tight situation.
The truth about odds is that they’re speculative. They’re not meant to govern your life. Just because something could go wrong doesn’t mean it will. If the reward is great, it may be worth taking your chances.
3. “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
While first learning to use his lightsaber, Luke initially struggles to block the lasers from a remote training droid. However, after some encouragement from Obi-Wan Kenobi, he begins to improve. Han Solo chalks this up to luck, but Obi-Wan sharply disagrees.
Never ascribe your accomplishments to happenstance. You’ve gotten to where you are now for a reason. Don’t be afraid to take some credit for how far you’ve come, and acknowledge everybody who has helped you along the way.
4. “Sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us.” — Anakin Skywalker
During the attack of the clones, Senator Padmé Amidala is asked to go into hiding for her own safety. She detests the idea, but her assigned protector, Anakin Skywalker, reminds her of her responsibilities.
Too much pride can be your undoing, as it can make you stubborn and unwilling to negotiate. If you’re constantly putting on an “it’s my way or the highway” attitude, it will close a lot of doors. Compromise is often a necessity that leads to more opportunities.
Related: Will My Star-Wars Themed Product Idea Get Me Sued?
5. “There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn
Okay, so maybe this one was meant literally. Qui-Gon Jinn makes this observation after the heroes’ underwater ship is almost devoured by a giant fish but is saved when an even larger creature intervenes.
But it also has a figurative meaning. No matter how far you have come, there’s always going to be somebody bigger and more powerful just around the corner. You’re not the only fish in the pond.
6. “Pass on what you have learned.” — Yoda
These are some of the poignant last words that Yoda passes on to Luke as their time together comes to an end. He urges Luke to go forth and impart to others the knowledge he has gained.
It’s unfortunate when entrepreneurs lose sight of the importance of giving and instead turn toward selfishness. Solely focusing on self-gain will only get you so far. It’s through sharing and generosity that we truly create something greater than ourselves.
7. “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent” — Qui-Gon Jinn
This barbed zinger is said by Qui-Gon after Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy comedic-relief character, nearly gets both of them killed with a careless remark. It’s one of those classic retorts that cuts right to the bone.
There’s something important to be learned from it as well. In any industry you find yourself in, there will undoubtedly be people who can talk at great length, but say very little in the end. Don’t mistake their verbosity for insight.
Related: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Has Some Important Business Insights for Entrepreneurs
8. “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” — Shmi Skywalker
As a child, Anakin Skywalker is intimidated by the reality of leaving home in order to follow his dreams and realize his potential. His mother warmly responds by reminding him that these sorts of changes are inevitable and just another part of life.
It’s not easy to step out of a comfort zone when you’ve been in one for a long time. Sooner or later, however, you’ll find that you have to. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you remember that change is inevitable, you can use it to your advantage and end up in a much better situation than you were before.
9. “Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
In his duel with Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes this bold proclamation in the face of defeat. He’s well aware of the legacy that he’s created and has no doubt about the people he has inspired through his actions.
Try to keep in mind what your colleagues, associates and employees think about you. Think of the example that you are setting for the rest of your company. Strive to leave a positive mark on the world that will last forever.
10. “Fear is the path to the dark side.” — Yoda
While standing before the Jedi Council, a young Anakin Skywalker receives this memorable warning. Yoda senses a fear of loss in Anakin and addresses the problems it might cause down the line.
Don’t let fear govern your business decisions. It will only hold you back and limit what you’re capable of. Choose a path of hope and optimism that will lead you confidently into the future.
And may the Force be with you. Always.