What do you think about the Jedi Code? Should we do away with it? I am a Star Wars fan. I can remember standing in a long line with my dad that stretched around the corner when Return of the Jedi was first released. And I often tend to make correlations between stories and real life… after all, as John Eldredge keenly points out, our life is in essence a story – in fact our stories are part of a much greater and larger story. So take this multi-connected journey with me and let me know what you think.
But I’m not here to talk about technology just yet. I want to talk about one of the greatest lines, in my opinion, from Star Wars, Episode I. Qui-Gon Jinn is giving insight to Anakin Skywalker and says, “Your focus determines your reality.” This statement speaks volumes, which I won’t get into here, but I do want to bring up a few points.
What Do You Focus On?
If you think about it, many of the things you have focused intently on have gotten accomplished, whereas those things you say you want, but don’t focus on just kind of dwindle away.
What Do We Believe?
I was surprised when the Hip-Hop, Rap and Urban Fashion mogul, Jay-Z was being interviewed on the November 29th airing of Nightline, where he talked about growing and maturing from a street thug who sold Crack to a Hip-Hop star and beyond. What he has promoted has often been murderous, blasphemous, misogynistic and materialistic. But what struck me was how his worldview and belief system were changing, not only because he was older, but because he had visited Africa and encountered a greater reality – poverty. He was no longer just a Hip-Hop mogul… he was now an individual who was using his resources to make a difference. Where will he end up? I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that the encounter on his beliefs caused him to begin to change his actions.
As we grow, so should our belief system. As we mature, so should our understanding and our beliefs are modified as we seek to understand the world around us. Some beliefs of old have been invalidated, while others have proven true throughout the ages. When I was little I believed in Santa Clause, Superman and Peter Pan. But as I grew up, I realized that no matter how badly I wanted them to be real, there were never going to be. After 9-11 a little boy asked his mother, “Where was Superman?” Adults asked an even greater question, “Where was God?” When the reality we have always known comes crumbling down… our beliefs are tested to see if they are real or not.
What do you believe?
We all approach life with a belief system which influences everything we do. Much of what we believe comes from the people who raised us and as we grow we adopt some of the beliefs of friends and others who have made an impact on our lives, whether negatively or positively. But how are our beliefs framed? How often do we stop to examine our beliefs and see if they are still valid, or if they were ever valid?
I remember growing up and believing that the world was a great place, full of wonder and excitement! It was a fun place and a safe place. This is true on many levels, however life-experience has revealed additional information. And when I further consider a growing world-view I realize that there are scores of children who live in surroundings of constant war, poverty and abuse.
What comes to your mind when you hear the term “Self-Help”? Perhaps you see an image of a well-dreesed, clean-cut individual who is very enthusiastic about life and has overcome tremendous obstacles… and now this person seems to have everything together. Maybe you can hear the voices of “self-help” language: you have the power within you to create your world! All you need is to harness the power of positive thinking! Speak the right formula of words and you will have all of your dreams for success to come true!
Sometimes I don’t think very positive. Sometimes I don’t say the “right” things. There are times when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the facts of life… completely overcome by bad situations and circumstances… overpowered by bad personal habits. What about you? Have you ever felt like no matter what you did, you just couldn’t seem to get everything in your life together?
There were 3 questions that were asked of me this past weekend at a leadership retreat. Theses 3 questions blew me away and I believe, if answered honestly, they have the ability to begin to bring transformation to our lives.
What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What is your passion?
The setting for these questions was one of deep introspection, sitting across from another individual – holding their hands and looking into their eyes – the beginning of a level of intimacy that many of us may not feel comfortable with. When posed with these questions, our first inclination may be to just give surface answers. However, I believe that the first part of true growth is for us to be honest with ourselves – to be able to verbalize what we are truly feeling and thinking in our heart and mind. Facades look great on television, in the movies and on theatre stages – but when the lights are turned off and the production is over – all that is left are empty shells.