The Star Wars franchise has inspired no shortage of memes, quotes, dreams and followers over these past years. In honor of May the 4th (be with you), let’s take a look at the top five financial lessons we can draw from this world of iconic heroes, dreaded villains and explosive action.
1. Unlearn Bad (Financial) Habits
On the planet of Dagobah our hero, Luke Skywalker, failed to levitate his X-Wing fighter. “It’s too big,” he complained. We may all feel like that at some point in our financial journey. Our goals may seem too huge compared to our ability.
That’s when we need to unlearn bad financial habits that keep us stuck. For example, minimal payments on credit card debt, buying beyond your means, or taking out additional loans – these are some habits that can lead you to the Dark Side. You may need to start small, then work toward larger goals. But, don’t let that discourage you from continuing on your personal path to becoming a financial Jedi.
2. Seek Out a Good Mentor
All characters who wish to conquer the ways of the Force seek out masters and train under them. The teacher-student relationship is a theme that permeates the Star Wars universe.
Don’t be lured to the dark side by temptations of quick fortunes and easy wins. For example, playing the lottery or dodging bills do not make good financial strategy. Many people mistakenly rely too much on the advice of salespeople or friends.
Instead, seek out the wise counsel of someone you trust that you consider to be a financial mentor or coach. They will need to take time to understand your financial situation and needs – and they’ll have to have your interests in the forefront. The guidance may need to come from someone with experience and training, but the strength to put it into action still comes from within you.
Plan wisely, you should.
3. Beware of Scams
Jedi mind tricks persuade individuals, who lack forethought and good sense, to do unwise things like ignoring droids or taking bets.
You should be aware of advice from unsolicited emails and online marketers. They may try to push a product that may not be in your best interest. Think about what you read or hear and ask yourself what you think motivates your sources. Is it good for your future or theirs?
4. Do Not Be Overconfident
After the rebels demolished the mega-sized planet-destroying space station twice, the Empire should have learned. You would think they would try to avoid having a single vulnerable spot that can be easily blasted, but they did not. The galaxy saw more fireworks as huge space stations continued to blow up.
Making the same mistakes, again and again, seems silly, but it’s actually quite human. How many people lose money, yet continue using the same methods?
Having some success early on can cause one to be overconfident, even if it was pure luck. When Luke Skywalker shoots down a pursuing TIE fighter, Han Solo quipped: “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” That’s often good advice.
Continue to learn and listen. Review your plan regularly to ensure weaknesses in your defenses aren’t detected. This way your strategy keeps pace with your situation. Don’t neglect small details. Keep your space station safe.
5. Do or Do Not, There Is No Try
These immortal words from Yoda were good for Luke and they make sense for your finances, too.
The earlier you begin saving, the more the power of compounding helps you over time. Don’t keep putting it off. Don’t give excuses. Persistence and commitment to achieve your goals is the difference between victory or defeat.
All the best on your epic journey, and may the Force be with you!