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Sunday, 20 November 2011

800 Years Old Yoda? Who He? (I’ve Never Seen Star Wars!)

One of my Vistage members recently left the group after nearly five years membership during which we went through some difficult times together.  The group undoubtedly helped him to stay afloat and successfully stay afloat he did.

At his final meeting he very kindly gave me the gift of a shirt with a picture of Yoda, who I understand is an 800 year old mentor character in Star Wars (which I have never seen).  Some resonance there.

On the front of the shirt is a quote from the aforementioned ancient which also resonated with me:

“Do or not do: there is no try”  Master Yoda

Now that is a great thought.  How many times do we hear someone say “I’ll try to....” or “I hope that......”  as examples.

It isn’t so much a matter of indecision; it is more a lack of confidence in an ability to deliver the goods.       At one level it is fear of failure and at another a genuine uncertainty as to an innate ability to deliver.

In the end it all comes down to belief in oneself.  Belief that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it.  Belief is at the core of every successful athlete; without that belief they can only rely on their athletic talent alone to take them there.

It is not enough; the great coaches certainly do not need to have the same level of technical ability as their charges.  The coach of the great swimmer, Mark Spitz who won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics, not only could not swim but apparently had a morbid fear of water.

What he could do (and did successfully) was to implant in Mark Spitz the unwavering belief that he was the best in the world and the results were evidence of his success.

Do or not do: there is no try.  Make the decision. Either do it or don’t do it (whatever it is) or not but just saying that you will try is of little value.  In my Vistage group we call it the JFDI Syndrome.

I will wear that shirt with gratitude.  Thanks Mike!

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