What Star Wars teaches us financially

23 Nov 2015

By Darren Higgs

I must confess, I love the Star Wars movies. Over the last few weeks, they have been playing all of the original movies on TV and I am loving it. When I was a child, I always wanted Luke, Leia and the rest of the gang to win. While watching as an adult, there are fantastic life lessons and moral values in these movies. There are even terrific financial lessons in the messages. Here is my take:

Use the force, not the dark side

  • Everything required to make yourself better lies within you. You must discover this power within you. Do you simply fall into the rat race, work in a job you may not like, pay bills and just exist? Or do you chase your dreams and align your life (including money) to the things that are important to you? Part of your journey in life is to actually ‘live it’.
  • Conversely, the worst enemies you will face are those inside of you. Your world is a reflection of you. If you view the world in a negative light (such as fear or greed), this is what you will see in others. Always look for the good. When you connect with the world around you, you gain insights and potential ways to improve yourself and your financial position.
  • Learn to overcome your fears. As Yoda said, ‘Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering’. Overcoming fear is important for your personal growth and financial position. Otherwise, you will get stuck in a rut and never achieve anything. One of the best ways of overcoming emotions such as fear is to stop avoiding it. Get a disciplined financial plan and follow the steps. It will take emotions out of play to a large extent.
  • Fear and greed are negative energies. You may have some financial wins by using negative energies, but at what price? It is far better to remain calm and follow your financial plan. If you can remain focussed, your financial position will take care of itself.

Get the job done

  • The size of your goals and what you want to achieve does not matter. As Yoda said, ‘Size matters not’. If you have a goal that you wholeheartedly believe in, and you focus 100 per cent of your energy on it, anything can be achieved. This definitely applies to your financial position.
  • If you want the job done, you need to be willing to enlist others. Even Yoda could not defeat the Empire himself (although I would have been interested in those odds). Yoda had to help and provide service to others so they could get the job done.
  • No matter what your goal in life, there will always be somebody who does not like it and is willing to let you know. You should certainly absorb information from others, but do not let this distract you from what you need to achieve.

Be the best person you can be

  • Always be there for your friends and family. With our journey through life, you want to share it with good, honest companions. Align your finances so you are not worrying about money, but focussing on the things that are important to you.
  • Everything you see and hear is true….from a particular point of view. Remember, we are all raised differently and have different values. We must learn to respect the way others may think or feel. Therefore, when you hear others’ opinions about money, remember that people are simply seeing life through their glasses. Do not let this distract you from your goals.

Mentor correctly

  • With anything in life, you need good mentors. As your financial advisers, we also try to help reinforce important life lessons. We have built a certain level of financial experience, knowledge and wisdom. It brings no greater joy than to impart this wisdom on to you.
  • Money, especially during good markets, can easily distract people from what they need to do and achieve. Therefore, it is vitally important that your adviser impart philosophical lessons in all meetings and keep the focus on the long-term plan. If not, we may be producing a Darth Vader (easily succumbed by power and greed).
  • The work of a financial adviser is never done. Yes, our meetings finish at a certain time. However, no good adviser ever leaves their thoughts about your situation in the office. We want to see you excel in every aspect of your life. The work of an adviser is unending.

Yoda (just because I think he is great)

  • ‘Do or do not. There is no try’. This is one of the best movie lines of all-time. If you are simply trying things, you are more likely to give up at the first hurdle. By making clear decisions on what you will do, and then putting effort behind these choices, you are far more likely to succeed. This especially applies to your finances.
  • Speaking of movie lines, my favourite is when Luke says, ‘I can’t believe it’, to which Yoda replies, ‘That is why you fail’. Touche! If you do not believe in your financial plan (which is always based on your goals), how are you going to devote the energy to get things done? How will you get others (such as your advisers) believing in you? Develop an unshakeable belief that things will get done.

Finally, we can impart all the of the money lessons in the world on you, but at the end of the day, IT IS UP TO YOU! Only you can control your future. There are boundless opportunities for you to achieve your aims in life. Be patient, focus your energies on all of the things that are important to you, trust your mentors and your time will come.

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