I was a nine year old kid when I heard this 800 + year old, little green man, tell the hero, Luke Skywalker, whom I met 3 years earlier (yup at the ripe and impressionable young age of six) the facts of life.
Maybe Yoda paid a visit on Earth to Mr. Henry Ford who exclaimed, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Either way the fact remains, and it is a fact, whether on Dagobah or right here on Earth, that we are indeed the creation of what we do. Or what we do not.
The practice of taking action had been part of my leadership repertoire, since earlier than I can recall. I took action (and some may consider risk) when I saw a situation or opportunity arise. The difference between myself and others in similar roles, was that I took the initiative and did something. I made mistakes, I did the wrong things, I’ve been disciplined for those actions, and you know what kind of percentage those instances were, generally less than 10%, yup less than one out of 10 decisions, over time and experience.
In the beginning it was higher, I made more mistakes and I LEARNED from them. Yoda knew that. He knew that if Luke didn’t lift his ship out of the swamp, then he wouldn’t. There is no middle ground on inaction. Failure is the key in taking action, it is “The Force” that motivates us further until we do succeed. The actions and the mistakes are the “Do’s”, sitting on the sidelines are the “Do nots”, there are no ”Trys.” In business and in our personal lives, we all have a choice, the decisions that we make define our outcomes. If I write that book, I will be an author, If I think about it, I won’t be.
Not only is it vital to lead ourselves forward by doing, but doing it being clearly purposed and with intent. That is what our journeys are about, learning from doing, pivoting, then doing again, honing in on our purpose. In retrospect I realize my eyes were opened and not only was there a fork in the road that I took, but yet another unseen path, I went that third way, to the stars and towards my goals. And that, my young Padawans, has made all of the difference.
Photo: Flickr/Gonzalo Martín