Remember that scene in the original Star Wars movie when Obi Wan says, “These are not the droid you’re looking for,” and the storm trooper says, “These are not the droids we’re looking for.” Lucas portrayed it as a Jedi mind trick, but I bet you know people who have that power.
They walk up to hotel clerks and get a room when none are available. They enter restaurants 90 seconds before closing time and get friendly, gracious service. They get a warning instead of a speeding ticket. And when they walk up to the airport security screener, passport or customs officer, they think “I’m not the one you need to check,” and the officer thinks, “She’s not the one I need to check.”
Is it magic? Is it “the Force?” Is it even conscious awareness?
Well I have some interesting thoughts on this. I would answer the three questions above: no, yes, and sometimes.
No it’s not magic, but it is definitely a hard-to-define force. And while some people are aware they have it, others possess it and don’t even have a clue. They just carry themselves with such confidence and poise, they create a perception of gravitas and respect. They exhibit self-mastery. I’m thinking now about a certain waitress at Lester’s Diner. She’s not sophisticated by society’s standards, and she doesn’t have much education. But when you walk in the diner, you are now on her playing field. I’ve seen a table of raucous drunks instantly subdue into respectful quiet upon her arrival. I’ve seen her tame my rowdy softball team like a lion tamer at the circus. She is not wealthy, or famous or well schooled, but she handles her job with such competence and confidence that others defer to her presence. That’s The Force in action.
Now if you put her in a chess competition, she might not be so self-assured. In fact, she’d probably be quite uncomfortable. And would exhibit none of the quiet confidence she possesses on her home turf in the diner. Likewise, Rafael Nadal might look silly playing baseball, and Lionel Messi might fall over on ice skates. Most everybody has some area or areas of competence, in which they feel quite comfortable. The secret to success and prosperity is finding what those areas are for you, then developing mastery in them.
So how do you do that? That’s where I want to pick up on the next post. Would love to see what you think in the meantime.