It’s been 33 years since Yoda first appeared to Luke Skywalker in the swamps of Dagobah, but his sage advice has lived on ever since. His words of wisdom have been applied to business, love and politics, but there is a reason why this tiny figure’s following has grown through the years – he speaks the truth.
One of the first lessons in public relations I learned was to be truthful, sincere and honorable in your work, so it’s no wonder that I have always had a penchant for the judicious Jedi master. His words of wisdom, part spirituality and part personal development, are applicable to so many areas of life but none more so than my professional life in public relations. So here are five of my favorite nuggets as they apply to public relations:
“Adventure, heh! Excitement, heh! A Jedi craves not these things.”
And neither does a PR professional. Anyone who has been in the business for awhile knows that we rarely get any attention because we are buried behind the scenes. Most PR practitioners are perpetually chained to their desk writing, researching, pitching, and strategizing while their clients are the ones in the limelight. If you got into PR to be famous and travel the world, you are here for the wrong reasons.
“Impossible to see, the future is.”
No matter how much we plan, things frequently don’t turn out the way we expected. That may be a good or a bad thing, but the important lesson is to not stress yourself out over it. All we can do is plan for the future and hope for the best.
“Judge me by my size, do you? Well, do not.”
Sometimes our preconceived notions about people, companies or events can cloud our judgment and cause us to either make mistakes or pass on a great opportunity. Keep an open mind. You never know what surprising benefits someone may have to offer.
“No more training do you require. Already know you that which you need.”
I love this one for the PR graduate. You’ve earned your degree. You’ve completed multiple internships. Now it’s time to go out there and get that job, yet you are paralyzed with feelings of fear and inadequacy. Have a little faith in yourself! You are stronger and more qualified than you realize so don’t sell yourself short (nor should you fudge about your skills). Put all that practice to work and trust that you are finally ready.
“Do or do not… there is no try.”
The most enduring quote of all from Master Yoda is this – get off your butt and quit making excuses. How many times have you heard someone in the next cubicle complain that they “tried to call this reporter” or “tried to message this blogger” or “tried to talk to so-and-so” but they just couldn’t do it? Excuses are for the weak and feeble-minded. A true Jedi gets it done and doesn’t whine about it. If you want to make it in this industry, you’ve got to make the commitment and go for it!