Just recently I was working with a client and we worked out between us that most things my client said to herself were negative… Even basic stuff like tutting and saying “typical!” in a frustrated manner, finding fault and resisting niceties when given… Most importantly though, the internal dialogue, beliefs and thoughts of this client were nothing short of incredibly limiting.

Upon realising how she was being all the time, we worked on changing it and she mentioned afterwards how much she did it, just accepted it in the past and how as new cogs were turning in her mind, she resisted being like that… It is a classic sign of negative self-hypnosis occurring and so many people that I encounter (in and out of my therapy rooms) are using negative self-hypnosis on themselves regularly. Soooo….

Now let me set the scene… In the murky depths of the planet Dagobah, Yoda is there in hiding from the Emperor and Darth vader… He’s been there some time.

Luke Skywalker has tracked him down and is now being tutored in the way of the force by him…  Luke’s X-wing fighter has sunk into the marshes, and only the tip of its nose shows above the surface of the grey looking water… Oh what to do?

LUKE: Oh, no. We’ll never get it out now.

Yoda stamps his foot in irritation and curls up his face, frowning…

YODA: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Luke looks negatively and worryingly out at the ship.

LUKE: Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.

YODA: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

LUKE: (focusing, quietly) All right, I’ll give it a try.

YODA: No! Try not. Do. Or do not!! There is no try….

Yes indeed, get in Yoda, well said.

The lines from the second Star Wars film; The Empire Strikes Back. I have told many a client and student to hire or buy this film and watch this scene in particular… I also tell them to look out for the grumpy, whiny tone of Luke Skywalker and to note how they feel about him as he learns in the swamps.

It is a great way to illustrate how people defeat themselves and would go on defeating themselves if someone is not around to pick them up and steer them in a different direction.

It’s easy for many people to dismiss science fiction and other genre films, TV shows, books and games as mindless entertainment… yet surely, the immense popularity of the Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (as two examples and my two favourites) can’t just be attributed to people desiring vacuous adventure stories to kill time, can it?

One of the reasons I think we consume these modern epics is because it gives us some inspiration and often gives us a welcome break from ourselves and the way we communicate to ourselves.

The constant negative thoughts so many people allow to stream in and out of their minds serves to create much ill-effect. What’s more, how many people truly pay attention to the message of the more traditional institutions these days? The modern church with all its dogma, court cases, conflict? The family unit has changed greatly for many of todays society and government once handed over fairly rigid instructions on how to be a good citizen, neighbour, spouse or parent, yet with all the scandal and sleaze, they are not exactly a model instituion anymore, are they?

People seem to be tired of traditional instituions and often tired of themselves and the constant self-hypnosis that tires them out.

I have written about it massively already… Whenever anyone asks me to think of a wise person… I dismiss in a nanosecond every other real-life human being to have ever existed… And opt for Gandalf the wizard! In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf wisely says to Frodo, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

In just those two nuggets from Yoda and Gandalf, there is some mighty fine advice. So why not go get your dose of inspiration, update the self-hypnosis of everyday internal negative chatter and watch some of those golden nuggets to help you on your way to personal development? I know I certainly do.

And look, here’s a picture of the Shire set (the Hobbits home) in real life, just to round things off today… Aaaahhhh….

The Shire