Unlearn What You Have Learned – 3 Lessons From Star Wars

Unlearn What You Have Learned - 3 Lessons From Star Wars

Unlearn What You Have Learned – 3 Lessons From Star Wars

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the need to “unlearn what you have learned” and reveal 3 lessons from Star Wars.

First a quick update:

“Why don’t you ever praise me?”
Praise is a powerful tool – it can motivate people and it can build self-esteem and productivity. Did you know there are specific strategies to giving praise? Did you also know that children need praise but if improperly given can cause dysfunction and narcissism? Read my article about praise, how to give it and what to do if you never received it. https://patrickwanis.com/blog/why-dont-you-ever-praise-me-healthy-children/

Follow me on Twitter– You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

“The Duggars, Sissy Boy Syndrome & Projection”
What do the Duggars, Sissy Boy Syndrome and Hypocrisy have in common? Watch the video and learn about the Psychologist who coined the phrase “Sissy Boy Syndrome” and was later caught using a male escort: https://youtu.be/WB3zkpZ-L3s

Now, let’s talk about the need to “unlearn what you have learned” and reveal 3 lessons from Star Wars.

It is recognized as one of the most iconic scenes of any Star Wars film – from “Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back” (1980): Master Yoda is training Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi and here Yoda is teaching Luke about faith and possibility. The X-wing fighter has sunk in a swamp, and only the tip of its nose shows above the swamp’s surface. Yoda is teaching Luke that he has the power and ability to raise the X-wing fighter out of the swamp using The Force (the life force/energy field/energy of all things.)

Yoda expresses frustration with Luke as it becomes evident that Luke is being held back by his old, limiting beliefs; his doubt is preventing him from creating new possibilities; his mind is preventing him from connecting to and harnessing The Force.


Oh, no. We’ll never get it out now.

So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.

No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

All right, I’ll give it a try.

No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

[Luke closes his eyes and concentrates and for just a moment, The X-Wing’s nose rises above the water, only to sink back into the lake.]

I can’t. It’s too big.

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmmm.

And well you should not. For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we…

[Yoda pinches Luke’s shoulder]

… not this crude matter.

You must feel the Force around you.

Here, between you… me… the tree… the rock… everywhere! Yes, even between this land and that ship!

You want the impossible.

[Luke walks away and Yoda turns toward the X-wing fighter, raises his arm and points at the ship. The fighter rises above the water and he guides it carefully down toward the beach.]

[Luke is stunned.]

I don’t… I don’t believe it.

That is why you fail.

There are 3 key lessons from this scene:

  1. When we choose to say, ‘I’ll try’ we are actually giving ourselves permission to fail; we are not focusing on winning, achieving or realizing the goal.
  2. We need to unlearn things we have learned – unlearn those things which actually hold us back from our full potential.
  3. Unless we choose to believe, we cannot achieve or realize a goal; without belief, a vision is only a fantasy.

Further, when Yoda pinches Luke’s shoulder and says that we are “not this crude matter”, he is saying that there is much more to life and to the universe than what we can physically see.

This is similar to the principle that the character Morpheus teaches Neo in the motion picture “The Matrix” (1999.)

Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.

Morpheus: Free your mind.
[Morpheus jumps from one building to another a long distance away]

Neo: Why do my eyes hurt?

Morpheus: You’ve never used them before.

In both cases, Luke Skywalker and Neo need to free their mind of the limitations that they have placed on possibility and reality; they need to see beyond what the eye can see – there is more hiding behind what they have seen thus far.

These 3 lessons can be wrapped into 1: believe you can do it, decide you are going to do it, and open your mind to its realization – to unlimited possibilities.

How do you apply this in your life?

Answer these 5 questions:

1. What is it that you don’t believe is possible?
Consider love, joy, success, happiness, health or some other specific goal that you have.

2. How did you come to believe this?
Is the belief the result of a past adult experience, a past childhood experience? Remember, the past doesn’t equal the present. A bad experience in the past does not guarantee that all future experiences will also be bad.

3.Who programmed you to believe and think this way?
Are you copying your parents? Did someone tell you that ‘this is the only way’?

4. What are the thoughts and emotions that block and bind you, and prevent you from freeing your mind?

5. What are the thoughts and emotions that prevent you from tapping into The Force?
Identify and list those thoughts and emotions – challenge them, break them down until you awaken to realize they are flawed thoughts that don’t represent reality or possibility. They are most likely steeped in fear.

Action Step 1 – Inspiration
Watch inspirational movies – not for the emotion of inspiration, but rather for the realization that so much more is possible than you previously thought or currently think. Here is a list of inspirational movies based on true stories. Consider the amazing stories of people who against all odds made significant contributions; some of those people even changed the world – The Imitation Game, Schindler’s List, The Insider,  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The Intouchables, and so forth.

Action Step 2 – Unlearning
Consciously focus on ‘unlearning’ all negative thoughts and instead choose to focus on the good side of The Force – love, peace, patience, compassion, faith, gentleness, self-control and infinite possibility.

Final note: When George Lucas created Star Wars, he said, “I put The Force into the movies in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people. More a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system.”

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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