Lessons from Yoda

Mrs. T and I watched Rogue One the other night, which is probably my favourite Star Wars movie. After watching Rogue One we then decided to continue watching A New Hope.  After we finished watching A New Hope over a span of 2 nights, we then continued watching Empire Strikes Back.

When Luke Skywalker started his Jedi training with Yoda, the following conversations caught my attention:

Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.
Yoda: No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.

[Luke’s ship sinks into the mud]
Luke: We’ll never get it out now!
Yoda: So certain are you. Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

[Using the Force, Yoda effortlessly frees the X-Wing from the bog]
Luke: I don’t, I don’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.

Lessons from Yoda

How the heck does some cheesy dialogues between an 800 year old Jedi master and a ~20 year old student have anything to do with personal finance and financial independence?


Listening to what Yoda said during the training, I was reminded that…

  • There’s no trying in doing something. You are either doing it, or you are not doing it. Trying is just a half-assed word for giving up eventually. For example, you don’t try to get out of debt. You are either in debt or out of debt. Another example, there is no trying to become financial independent. You are either financially independent or you are not. When you are on the “not” side, it should only make you even more motivated to get to the “are” side in the near future.
  • Stop focusing on the cannot and making excuses. Rather, focus on the end goals. If one of your end goals is to have dividend income exceeding your expenses, focus on that goal. Belief a very powerful force. If you believe in something, it will happen. Imagine how you would feel when you finally achieve this goal. Use this feeling to motivate you and keep you focused. Emotion is a powerful tool. Emotion = Energy + Motion, both of which we need to create results.
  • Having enough passive income is great but you must also learn to develop yourself as a human being. All the money in the world wouldn’t matter if you can’t grow as a human being. Spend time reading personal development books, take personal development courses, join a mastermind group, and create a circle of close friends that will help you to develop as a human being.


On a completely side note, what sequence would you watch Star Wars? Rogue One followed by Episode IV, V, VI, VII, then I, II, III?  Or would you watch the movies in chronological order?



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34 thoughts on “Lessons from Yoda”

  1. Great post. I really like all the Yoda sayings. I think the best way to retire is debt free if you can swing it I say swing for the fences. FIRE all the way. One of the best ways to get there is by paying off and staying out of credit card debt. May the financial freedom bug be with you!


  2. Although I loved ‘Rogue One’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ remains my favourite Star Wars movie and Yoda is my favourite character.

    It’s funny, when I had decided that I was going to go aim for FI, I had in my mind Yoda’s “Do or do not, there is no try” quote!

  3. “Do or do not…there is no try” is one of my favorite Star Wars lines.

    I used this one on my daughter the other day. She said that she wanted to ride her bike to the park instead of riding in the wagon. I’m 100% supportive of this but I also don’t want to end up hauling the bike halfway back while also pulling my other kids in the wagon, so I told her that if she was going to ride she needed to do it the whole way there and back.

    Her response was “I’ll try”. And then my yoda voice came out 🙂

  4. I think they should be watched in the order they were produced. In the new releases they really skimp on the character and story development because most of that was already done in the original releases …so the best order is 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 7.

  5. It’s obvious Yoda would have been a millionaire by 30 and probably a billionaire with his wisdom. The guy gets it! Way to mix in Star Wars and money, I like the creativity.

    • Haha thanks! Well if Yoda takes advantage of power of compound interest, he’d be a billionaire given he was around 800 years old in these Star Wars movies.

  6. Junior likes watching in chronological order. He likes the prequels just as much as the original. His favorite episodes are III and VII. I like the original episodes better, but I can see why little kids enjoy the prequels too. Now, we’re waiting for Rogue One from the library. 🙂

    • It’s interesting that IV, V, and VI that we watched recently have been modified even more than how I remembered (when I watched on videotape). At end of VI I noticed Anakin Skywalker’s projection was changed from the original character to the young actor from episode III.

  7. When I was teaching, I used this quote quite regularly with students when they sighed, “Okay, I’ll try . . .” Unfortunately, they were too young to have seen the movie and always looked at me with puzzlement.

    • But I, II, III are so poorly done and crappy. I like the idea of watching Rogue One then IV, V, VI, VII to see the impact of Darth Vader then go back and see how he turned to the dark side.

  8. It’s amazing how I grew up loving Star Wars, must have watched over a hundred times by now, and it has so many real life applications. I wish I had the funds to buy a position in Disney at the moment. Between Disney and Marvel they have a cash cow on their hands.

  9. Hi Tawcan!

    Star Wars movies can provide a surprisingly great approach to life in general.

    I also like Disney’s philosophy and what they are doing with the Star Wars franchise. In fact, I think their stock (DIS) will continue to post very nice results. I have confidence they will cope with their recent ESPN problems in the long run. Meanwhile, these hiccups can provide more affordable buying opportunities.

    I like the original trilogy a lot and so I would tend to start watching them first. But with Disney’s implication, I now like the more recent movies almost the same…

    Very nice post!


    • That’s neat you watched in chronological order, makes it easier to follow the different characters I suppose. We’re doing Rogue One, IV, V, VI, then probably VII again. Undecided whether to watch I, II, III as they were terrible. 🙂

  10. I have an executive I work with who’s favorite saying is “Hope is not a strategy”. Very similar to what Yoda is trying to say. Attitude is one of the key drivers of success. Sure you might still fail, learn from it, get up, and go at the problem a different way. The point though is you give it your all and keep at it until you succeed.

    I just saw Rouge a few weeks ago on a plane. 1,2,3 were so bad I largely walked away from the franchise. Rogue was good.

    • That’s a great quote, I’ll have to keep that in mind. 🙂

      Attitude is extremely important.

      You’re so right, 1, 2, 3 were so terrible I don’t know if I’ll watch them again.

  11. Love the starwars quotes. He does make very valid points. Back when Luke was with ObiWan, he also thought he couldn’t block the training droid’s shots with his blaster hood down and couldn’t see. Wrong again Luke. Never know where or when you will learn a valuable lesson. On the side note, would I watch them all in order? Let’s just say I already have haha. Thanks for sharing.


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