Chapel Talk Archive, January 2015: How to Find Happiness After ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ – Mrs Mann

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, hit the UK screens over the Christmas break and has broken records around the globe. Are we surprised? Well we’re not, considering Star Wars is one of the greatest films of all time and what’s more there are lessons that we can all learn.
The stories of a galaxy far, far away are filled with nuggets of Jedi-worthy wisdom. All the best stories teach us lessons and Star Wars is overflowing with them. Although the events that unfolded a long time ago involve Jedi, clone troopers, bizarre creatures, and many more elements that seem much more exciting than anything happening in our world, there are several takeaways.
Star Wars has taught us about the importance of friendship, the value of being patient, and the dangers of being afraid. These are just some of the many things we have learned from the saga:
1) As members of a School community we cannot underestimate the Importance of Good Guidance
Luke Skywalker chose an ugly swamp to attain peace and stir his spiritual potential. With the help of his guide Yoda, Luke emerged a stronger, calmer and wiser person who could take on any challenges in the universe. So make the most of the experience and advice being offered to you whilst at the Royal Hospital School.
Grand Master Yoda was a great teacher and mentor and he is perhaps the Star Wars character who offers forth the most lessons for life, with his legendary witty and prophetic one liners there is much to be learnt.
3) Yoda suggests you should stay in tune with your feelings and “Go with your instinct” He advises Luke: “you must feel the Force around you”. It’s good for us to be in tune with our inner-self and to recognize what we really feel. Our intuitions are often right and we should value and trust ourselves. Don’t just trust your 5 senses, search your feelings too. As Obi Wan Kanobi said “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. Stretch out with your feelings.” Your feelings are a guide for making the right decisions in life. If it feels good, move forward, if is feels bad….stay away!
Yoda suggests “Unlearn what you have learned”. There’s a whole lot of junk in our precious minds. We’ve learned how not to use our abilities to the fullest. How not to do extraordinary things. How not to be super. “Unlearn what you have learned” so you can free your mind and do anything. Anything is possible.
4) Yoda once advised “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,” A variety of studies have demonstrated that people would, all things being equal, prefer to avoid a loss of £10 as opposed to gaining £10. So get past your natural tendencies. Don’t be afraid to lose in the face of a prospect of bigger gains.
In the Phantom Menace Yoda suggests “Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” The lesson being don’t let fear guide your life and drive you to becoming a Sith Lord.
Fear cripples us from doing what needs to be done. It prevents us from becoming the people we’re meant to be. It isolates us from others and makes us scared of those we do not understand. Historically speaking, fear has fueled many wars, genocides, persecutions, and riots. Clearly, Yoda was onto something here.
5) Another bit of classic advice that Yoda gave to Luke when he said he would try to do something was – “Do or do not. There is no try”.
Of course, you can’t expect to actually succeed all the time. But it’s always a good idea to approach tasks with a confident mindset. The bulk of research shows that when people are put in situations where they are expected to fail, their performance does plummet… When they’re expected to win, their performance shoots back up.”
So it’s important to approach tasks with high expectations for yourself – don’t set yourself up to fail. That said, you do want to beware of overconfidence as well. As ever balance is always important.
6) On another occasion Yoda states “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” When you approach every situation with a beginners mind, you learn more. You are less likely to have preconceived notions and rigid viewpoints.
In the huge Star Wars universe, so many planets stick together and exist in harmony. So this epic film gives out a big message, learn to live and co-exist with other civilizations or groups. Avoid prejudice and preconceptions.
Jar Jar Binks was exiled from his home for the silliest of reasons. He was sent away, more or less, because of his clumsiness. But, he managed to find his way and play a part in shaping the future of the entire galaxy. Every being from Gungans, to Ewoks, to RHS students is equally important in our universe.
7) Yoda recognised the importance of loyalty to friendship. The best friends stand by you through thick and thin, happiness and sadness, success and failure. Maintaining friendships involves work, but they are so worth every ounce of sweat and every second of time invested.!
We see this demonstrated in Star Wars from the squeals of the stumpy R2-D2 and his mate CP30. Although he speaks in droid throughout the films, his sentiments are clearly understood.
And then there is the huggable Wookie warrior, Chewbacca, who continues to help humans restore freedom to the galaxy in past and present trilogies. Han Solo’s fuzzy side-kick only speaks Wookie (which sounds like a series of groans, grunts, and growls) but is armed with a big heart and an unwavering loyalty that translates easily; reminding us that friendship and loyalty transcend language.
Ask yourself: would you risk your life to help your friends destroy a Death Star? After all good friends who stick together can take down a corrupt empire.
8) Star Wars also teaches us that hat bad things can happen. Luke has to watch Obi-Wan die. Han has to be captured by bounty hunters. Anakin has to be recruited as a little kid. Qui-Gon Jinn has to die. Yoda has to go into exile.
But if you follow many of the lessons taught by Star Wars you will also find that bad things happen in cycles and often good is derived from the bad. So trust that the kindness you are putting out there is compounding in a secret bank accountant and there will be payback
Often success does stem from overcoming failures. Obi- Wan Kenobi said “Strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Struggles and defeats really can make you stronger and another line from the movie makes it he point – “Life is hard at times. But when I overcome more challenges, I become much stronger then. So I’m going to embrace them.”
Success cannot flourish without hard work; it is found only through trial and error, profound dedication, and the ability to see setbacks as stepping stones towards later victory.
Finally a closing lesson – I urge you all to prioritise your health. For in all of the Star wars movies I never saw an out of shape Jedi. They are jumping out of spaceships, fighting with light sabers, and they can probably run a four-minute mile. Even Yoda at the age of 800 is jumping all over the place. If you can stay physically and emotionally healthy you can focus on living life and getting the most out of it.

Star Wars is loaded with spiritual jewels and life lessons. Do not underestimate the knowledge and wisdom you can gain from a creative work. On entering this New Year you could look to Star Wars for inspiration and approach your goals with a Jedi-style mindset.
Peace, love and may the Force be with you throughout 2016

1. “Do or do not… there is no try.” — Yoda
You gotta commit and just go for it!
2. “Wars do not make one great.” — Yoda
Need Yoda say more?
3. “Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” — Yoda
Be true to your luminous awesomeness.
4. “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” — Darth Vader
Surround yourself with people who are supportive and believe in you, otherwise you will want to choke them.
5. “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
What needs to be seen isn’t always on the surface.
6. “Already know you that which you need.” — Yoda
Don’t lie to yourself; you usually already know what the right thing to do is.
7. “Never tell me the odds.” — Han Solo
Don’t let tough odds hold you back — even if an asteroid field is hurling towards you and your odds of success are 3,720 to 1.
8. “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”
— Yoda
Commit to your values and be true to yourself.
9. “Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder.” — Princess Leia to Han Solo
Don’t discount that scruffy-looking kid — he might turn out to be a hero.
10. “You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Don’t be closed-minded; your “truth” isn’t everyone else’s.
11. “I can save him. I can turn him back to the good side. I have to try.” — Luke
12. “It’s a trap.” — Admiral Ackbar
Don’t get caught off guard; you never know if that battle station is fully operational.
13. “Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me, only money.” — Watto
Sometimes we just gotta pay up.
14. “Impossible to see, the future is.” — Yoda
Don’t stress about the far off future, instead work to make it the future you want.
15. “Who’s the more foolish, the fool? Or the fool who follows him?” — Obi- Wan Kenobi
Stand up for what you believe in, don’t just follow along. They might be following an idiot.
16. “Yeah, I’m responsible now, the price you pay for being successful.” — Lando Calrissian
It all comes at a price; success and failure.
17. “Strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” — Obi- Wan Kenobi
Our greatest successes sometimes stem from overcoming obstacles and failures.
18. “All mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” — Padme
Take your corrections in life and learn from them.
19. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” — Yoda
Haters suck!
20. “Twilight is upon me, and soon night must fall. That is the way of things.” — Yoda
Seize the day and cherish the time you have with important people around you.

1 thought on “Chapel Talk Archive, January 2015: How to Find Happiness After ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ – Mrs Mann

  • March 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    A chapel after my own heart, except not enough appreciation of Lord Vader who is the real focus of it all!

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