Yoda's Top 7 NLP Quotes

Powerful. Wise. A great teacher.

Master Yoda is perhaps the quintessential wise mentor.

In service to the galaxy and the force, Grand Master Yoda invested eight centuries training Jedi. His wisdom teaching young padawans applies to NLPers just as much.

Here are 7 of my favourite Yoda quotes.

As you read this, anytime you see Jedi or the force, think NLPer…

#1: “A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense. Never for attack.”

NLP offers a very powerful toolset. The best there is, in many domains.

Over the years people have emailed me saying “this stuff is too powerful to be shared with everyone.”

They tell of stories of the force being misused and abused to control and harm others.

And sure there are plenty of students who learned NLP solely to become more powerful, to try and control others.Yet, this is not the way of the force.

NLP is never used to attack and control. To hurt or to harm.

When you do so, you have drifted to the land of the ego and the dark side.

And as Master Yoda says:

“When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.”

#2: “Always pass on what you have learned.”

Yoda was a lifelong student and a lifelong teacher.He was not above or beneath anyone.

He held himself with grace and dignity (but he also didn’t take any crap.)

Like the Jedi, as a student of NLP you have been exposed to and trained in powerful tools for using the force.

If you’ve practiced with the technology at all, you are already so much further along the path to greater personal mastery and a higher level of consciousness than many of your fellow brothers and sisters in the population.

Use your knowledge for good. Pass on what you have learned.

There is no shortage of people with problems and challenges they currently can’t see a way out of.

Or those who would love to behave differently but don’t know how to.

NLP is about creating more choice for yourself and others.

You don’t need to be a mega master guru to be of tremendous service.

The titles we have in NLP; “practitioner”, “master practitioners”, “trainer”, “master trainer” etc. are the least important part of the technology. They do not equate a certain level of skill but a level of training someone has been exposed to. Remember that.

If you know something that can help others, you can be a force for good, should you decide to pass it on.

#3: “PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE my young padawan”

We all want things fast. Yet the most rewarding things take time.

NLP is no different.

Yoda highlighted what is required to become good fast and also the fundamental problem why so many students fail to get better, quicker.

Heed his wise words:

“A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. [The present - on practicing.] Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things.”

#4: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

If you’ve got a pulse you’ve got the potential to feel fear, anger and hate.

This is the path to the dark side. To mental health problems.

While all emotions can be useful in some context, to fixate on fear, anger, hate is to create suffering for yourself and others.

Emotional mastery is central to way of a Jedi.

As Yoda pointed out “You will find only what you bring in.”

So bring in emotions that fulfill you. Cultivate peace, patience, discipline, fun… and of course a healthy disrespect for accepting the status quo. Blaze your own path.

#5: “Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”

This one is massive when you REALLY get it.In NLP we say it as “the map is never the territory.”

Yoda encourages us to seek out and find the point of view behind what we cling to.

When you let go of your grip that things must be a certain way and explore beyond what you think you know… you discover the world is far more amazing and exciting than you thought possible.

#6: “[Luke:] I can’t believe it.  [Yoda:] That is why you fail…”

Dagobah. A remote world of swamps and forests, it was here that Luke Skywalker received advanced training in the ways of the Force.

Yoda gives Luke the task of recovering his X-wing ship from the swamp, using just the force.

Luke tries and fails. Several times.

He complains:

“Master moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.“

Yoda responds:

“No, only different in your mind.  You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Luke tries again and fails.

Despondent he say to Yoda.

“I can’t believe it.”

Yoda replies:

“That is why you fail.”

Luke walks away shouting:

“You want the impossible!”

Yoda, forever patient, proceeds to demonstrate it is not impossible.

He lifts the X-Wing out using just the force.

When you first learn NLP, most of us practiced in the training room, yet so many students when they return to their ‘real life’ fail to apply what they have been exposed to because they perceive that somehow using NLP on ‘real people’ in ‘real situations’ is totally different!

They have created a wall in their mind that they cannot climb over.

It seems as impossible to do as lifting a X-Wing out of a swamp, using just the force.

Anytime you find yourself taking this position remember Yoda’s words:

“[It is] only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Believe you can and you are far more likely you will.

#7 Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

My all time favourite quote by Master Yoda.

In NLP we recognise that there is no try. There really is Do. Or do not.

Try sets you up for failure. It connotes the possibility of attempting, not doing. Of talking, not acting. Of pretending not proceeding.In short, giving far less than your best.

Is it possible to set the intent to do and yet not achieve?

Sure, and with that comes the opportunity to learn. To become better. To discover new things.

But to try is to open the door to giving less than your best. To catalysing less than the required resources.

To inviting in whatever “shows up” rather than using the force to create through powerful intention a new, better, richer reality.

Don’t try.

Do or Do not.


You may not always like your choices. You may not always feel like giving your best.

But the moment you choose to do, to give up the game of ‘trying’, you open up access to the force.

In closing remember:

“To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, of the night.”

May the force be with you.

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I'm Tom.

Everyone has something they’d like to change in their life. I’m here to help you transform the behaviours that get in your way so you can have the life you really want.

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