What “Jedi Mind Tricks” Have Helped In Your Professional Career? #StarWarsDay

Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)

Today is May 4th, as in “May the 4th,” as in “May The Force,” aka #StarWarsDay. Hell yeah. It’s like an internet thing.

Probably the first time any of of us saw “The Force,” in action, was when Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi said that infamous line, “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”

Although Obi Wan’s first demonstration of his force powers is, arguably, an example of deception – known in the Star Wars geek universe as a ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ – the lesson for Luke was that mental fortitude was key skill on his path to becoming a Jedi.

Now, unlike the planet Tatooine, St. Louis is no “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” but I would venture to say that the City has it’s fair share of latter day shamans, or Jedis (the fastest growing “religion” in the english speaking world – fun fact), who have explored the concept of mental fortitude in some depth and can speak from personal experience as to the types of shift in mind set that have made a difference in their careers.

So, EQ decided to reach out to the reader community and asked them to share some of their “Jedi Mind Tricks.”

A more current phrase might be “Mind Hacks,” which Brian Dixon (COO, Capital Innovators) and Nina Pal (CEO, Manifest Ventures) discuss in their new book, Intuition to Innovation, just published in April 2018.

Ultimately, Jedi Mind Tricks are about mind-over-matter type principles and beliefs that tend to invoke a “perception is reality” mechanic, which helps you approach a problem in another way. Here are some of the Mind Hacks, EQ reader’s shared.

Explore What’s Possible

John Launius, Executive Vice President, Vidzu
Whether you are a startup or a multinational, working your personal Jedi mind tricks for success are a must! One of my personal Jedi mind tricks is to engage in the process of always exploring what’s possible. The way I language it with clients and staff is that if we do not explore what’s possible, we will surely inherit what’s probable. Probable, is more of the same. More of the same, can be death in a business, a relationship, any agreement that is transactional. By exploring what’s possible, we will be better off than if we had not.

Tap Your Own Body Knowledge and Intuition

Brian Dixon, COO, Capital Innovators
I believe that intuition is one of the highest forms of intelligence. I believe that everything is connected and we all draw intelligence from the same infinite source. I’ve learned to refine and enhance my intuitive capabilities which has provided tremendous value in both my personal and professional life. Some amazing tactical steps such as daily meditation and removing meat and dairy from my diet, have helped me improve my intuition. I recommend that everyone tries to get in tune with capturing their own body knowledge to perform at its best.

Stop Thinking. Information is Processed in Emotions

Ben Burke, Director of Entreprenurship, Arch Grants
The entire western managerial and business culture is fundamentally based on ideas of “the logical” or “a rational” perspective towards life. And, of course, this makes sense.

As managers of people and processes, we’ve literally been trained and rewarded on ideas like the Socratic method, quantitative reasoning, evidence-based decision making, critical thinking, etc. We commonly pride ourselves in being skeptical of new information and “investigating” it from all angles before bringing it into practice.

However, as I have awoken to the idea of valuing and communicating emotions, I have seen how valuable the INFORMATION is that is contained within the feelings and intuitions that we all experience. That information is real.

Truly, what is more real than how you feel when you close the biggest sale of your career? When you see your company’s bank account filled with enough cash to pay all of the expenses for three years of growth? When your technology is featured in a top publication of “what’s next?” When you experience the joy of your employees expressing to you how much they love the work that they are doing?

Those feelings of excitement, peace, fulfillment and joy are actually more formative and fundamental to our experience than the 1’s and 0’s behind the products that we’re building. From this perspective, you are no longer relying on the outside world to validate you; you are not requiring “change.” You are in a place of understanding that whatever you are trying to create naturally has momentum towards your goals.

This perspective, practically, has brought about faster and more joyful events and outcomes in my life. It also has allowed me to truly enjoy the process, and not be so focused on the outcome, waking up each and every day being happier than they day before; all of which leads me to better decision-making.

Surrender the Time and Money Equation

Michael Lamb, Founder & CEO, NativeMSG
Energy moves all things. When too much energy is forced on something — whether it is a personal relationship or a business — they break. There are numerous examples where people have exerted pressure and tried to force things to happen – growing too fast, acquiring too many companies, bringing on too many customers too fast, etc.

Moving too quickly makes things break too. There are so many examples in the business world where this is the case.

Remember, society created time and money – two of the worst inventions of all time! When you pay attention to the natural rhythm of your business and energy in the industry, you will see that things just fall into place.

A square peg does not fit into a round hole no matter how hard you try. Trust your gut and instincts to create the path you must follow and it will materialize before your eyes.

Zoom Out

Tyler Kelley, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Slam! Agency
Sometimes we get so involved in the problem at hand that its nearly impossible to find the answer. We just go deeper and deeper into the problem and can’t see anything but it.

Say, I’m at my desk and my mind has been in my computer – on my problem – and I can’t find the answer. It’s in these times, I know I need to just zoom out. I need to approach the problem from a different point of view – another angle.

I do this by literally zooming out. So, I imagine floating to the top of the room and looking around and looking down on myself from outside myself. Most of the time, in this moment, I am able to see the problem from a different perspective and that’s when I find the answer.

So the next time you find yourself stuck in your problem and there seems like there’s no way out – zoom out – and see what happens.

Authenticity

Darren Jackson, Founder, CREO
My Jedi Mind trick is authenticity. I found that the more real and honest you are, the more likely people are to trust you and trust is essential to building healthy relationships. Throughout my entire career authenticity has helped me to inspire those around me, obtain some of the best mentors, and close deals for my company and the companies I’ve been involved with. I feel like I have a lot more I would say but, I think that authenticity is the source.

Love Is The Killer App

Jonathan Allen, President & Co-Founder, Longneck & Thunderfoot
The maxim “Love Is The Killer App” has continually helped me at networking events. Years ago, I read a book of the same name, by author Tim Sanders, who shared an idea I have carried with me throughout my professional career.

The concept is so simple, at first, which is that the least one can do in business is always strive to be helpful and a be a connector. Think of your network of contacts as an essentially helpful resource to solve other people’s issues. If you can’t help someone directly, or don’t have the right knowledge, maybe you can refer someone else who can – and then make that introduction.

That’s when that simple idea becomes incredibly powerful: by easily facilitating introductions and not trying to “hoard” relationships, you not only maximize the ability of everyone to find the right solution faster, but you discover that literally everyone you meet is doing cool stuff and has more in common than you might expect. This naturally creates an abundance of practical, authentic and down to earth, reasons to stay in touch and reconnect, even years after a brief meeting.

For me, in the early days of “going it alone,” putting the concept that “Love Is The Killer App” into practice made networking so much more rewarding and fun, and ultimately stopped me from being a wallflower at crucial time in my life.

Respond Rather Than React

Nina Pal, CEO, Manifest Ventures
My Jedi Mind Trick is that other peoples’ words and actions stopped controlling my mood and state of mind. I’ve realized that there is never a need to get into a frenzy, take anything personally or be upset about anything anyone says or does to me at work.

This has been a very liberating feeling. I’ve been learning about emotional intelligence and have mentally disciplined myself now to respond rather than react. This applies to people, emails, encounters, meetings, comments, anything at all.

My trigger is when I feel a loud, negative, harsh or mean response wanting to come out. It is in this split second that I mentally switch myself over and mentally say to myself, “Nina respond don’t react. Be the bigger person here and take the higher road RIGHT NOW!”

There is a huge difference between reacting and responding. A reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive. A response is thought out, calm and non-threatening. A reaction typically provokes more reactions – perpetuating a long line of hatefulness with nothing accomplished.

It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but it works every day for me now and has made all the difference in my life both personally and professionally. I stopped imposing my beliefs or opinions and thoughts on others in the workplace. Instead as a leader, I learned to accept all of life’s perspectives and realities and do my own thing in peace without judging anyone else. This has led to peace of mind and authenticity.

Following my heart without assuming others’ expectations of me has also empowered those who work with me to do the same. It’s allowed everyone in the workplace to grow and evolve and become very engaged with their work and exceptionally positive and eager to come to the table with solutions and a get it done mindset.

May the 4th Be With You!

If you have any of your own “Jedi Mind Tricks” to share, please Email Us, Tweet Us or Ping Us on Facebook, and we’ll embed your answers here!

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Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. He is also the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in NYC. After winning an Arch Grant, he moved to St Louis in the summer of 2016.