True story: Return of the Jedi was the first film I ever saw in theaters. Despite being shy of 2-years old, my parents took me to see the movie when it came out in 1983 1.
Anyway. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan my entire life.
I’ve seen the movies. I played the games. While Knights of the Old Republic probably absorbed more hours of my late teenage years than any other game, there’s still a place in my heart for the SNES version of Empire. Great game.
I even read most of the books in the Expanded Universe and can give you a pretty specific breakdown of the Skywalker family tree, starting with Anakin and ending with Cade, along with some highlights of their adventures.
For fuck’s sake, my favorite episodes of Muppet Babies were the ones where they played out their Star Wars fantasies.
Truly, I just love all things Star Wars. I had a Star Wars lunch box. Star Wars bedsheets! Star Wars cereal! STAR WARS EVERYTHING. Merchandising, merchandising! Star Wars the Flamethrower!
My point is, Star Wars is important. To me, certainly. But also culturally.
I mean that in the truest sense in the word: Star Wars has tremendous cultural importance. Even if you don’t like it, you must see that. It’s a massive piece of our history.
It’s not just that Star Wars created cinema history with massive lines, record-shattering box office numbers, and one of the most successful franchises of all time. It’s so much more than that.
For one thing, the movie literally changed Hollywood. With his little space film that few people believed in, George Lucas single-handedly proved that science fiction was a commercially viable genre. Before that, the genre was relegated to B-movies and fairly low budget TV shows.
But Star Wars showed that with the right story, moviegoers would buy-in, and there was money to be made with sci-fi. Forty years later, nearly every blockbuster falls into that category.
The aside, Star Wars was the movie that really showed Hollywood the value of Campbellian storytelling. And that’s why we’re so rapid for it. It’s why I’m so rabid for it.
I’ve written about Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey before, perhaps ad nauseum, so I’ll make this brief.
In essence, Campbell shows us that all stories are one story, told a thousand different ways–that every great legend has at its core the same pattern and the same characters.
Which is why Star Wars speaks so strongly to us: it’s the perfect story. It has everything you would want, everything the human psyche actually needs to be fulfilled.
We’ve got an ancient order of Knights. A hero with a shining sword. A wizard to help guide him on his way. A princess in need of rescuing, who turns around to rescue her rescuers. A swaggering pirate with a heart of gold. A Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-esque pair of droids for comic relief. The ancient battle of good versus evil. A quest, not just to save the world, but to save a soul.
It’s got love. Friendship. Betrayal. Redemption.
Characters have their past come to haunt them. They are punished for hubris. Rewarded for sacrifice. And none of them are perfect.
Like all great stories, Star Wars speaks directly to the core of who we are. It follows the model of struggle and growth we all go through: the call to adventure, the ordeal, tests and trials, seizing the sword, and finally return with the elixir.
The Original Trilogy is a perfect story. They’re not perfect movies–but they’re a perfect story.
So it’s really no wonder that all of us were caught and held by it. It’s no wonder that from the moment we saw a small projection of a princess label with an all but forgotten warrior as her only hope, we bought in.
It’s no wonder from the moment we saw a young boy standing on a small rise outside of his farm and staring at the binary sunset on the horizon, we felt what he felt: the longing to be more, to do more, escape the confines of home and mundanity and reality and even the Galaxy.
And Star Wars gave us that.
Which is why it’s no wonder forty years later, we still want more, need more, to the extent that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as this new entry are already are smashing records. Not only did The Force Awakens break every single ticket sales record Fandango had, it also broke Fandango itself, crashing the sites serves with the demand.
So. Yes. Star Wars is important. To all of us. And I am so excited to see this Star Wars: The Last Jedi that I could another five hundred words talking about the emotion in the process.
As you’ve seen, I am a full on geek, and as such I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to be part of the Star Wars universe. In particular, how to be a Jedi.
Which bring us to the second piece of this.
Below, I’ve outlined the essentials for being a modern-day, real-world Jedi. While I can’t guarantee you Force powers, I can promise that if you follow the guide below, you’ll be able to master the forces around you and impose your will on the world.
Being a Jedi is the same as being anything else: it involves developing certain skills and meeting certain criteria.
In the Old Republic, Jedi trained for years, progressing from Padawan Learner all the way to Jedi Master.
We don’t have that kind of time. So you’re about to get a crash course in the absolute essentials.
The Jedi of any era are peacekeeping guardians and advisors, but they’re also accomplished warriors. And that means training.
Starting from their earliest days at the academy, Padawan learners undergo rigorous physical trials to hone their skills. However, getting into Jedi shape doesn’t mean following a highly structured curriculum.
The real-world Jedi follows a great program as often as he can, but sometimes that’s not possible, and he’s got to make due training in the swamps of Dagobah.
Today, I’ve got a Jedi workout in the spirit of the latter–the type of workout you’d do with a tiny green Jedi master coaching you through it.
The Jedi workout looks like this:
While doing Jedi workouts are important, when it comes to being a Jedi, brainpower is king. It’s necessary for the most important tasks a Jedi will need to perform–the alertness needed for combat; the wisdom needed to provide counsel, and the mental acuity and required to access all the various Force powers.
Mental training is a huge piece of the Jedi puzzle. A big part of this is meditation, which allows Jedi to hone their skills, and commune directly with the Force.
Now, personally, I never thought I’d be the type to meditate. I tried it when I was 22 until I realized that no matter how much I meditated, I was never going to be able to Force Choke someone. At the time, I was sort of frustrated with the idea that I’d have to settle for just like…regular choking people. So I gave up on meditation.
Eventually, I realized that perhaps there are benefits to meditation and mental discipline apart from the potential to telekinetically asphyxiate another human being. Things like increased concentration, enhanced productivity, and easier access to the flow state necessary for the creative process.
All of which is to say: when it comes to meditation, 22-year-old Roman was wrong. Just flat out, completely incorrect. So, twelve years later, I’m back at it. And, while I still can’t access the Force or project my spirit to the Astral Plane, I have to admit…it’s pretty awesome.
I wrote an entire article post about my experience with meditation, so I won’t go too in-depth here, but I will say this: all Jedi, modern-day or otherwise, need to be able to impose their will on the wilds of their psyche, and explore the inward frontier of their own minds. Mediation is the fastest route to all of this.
Mental training is important, no doubt about it. But, like all training, it can be made more effective with the right tools.
I’ve made clear that, for me, a good mental state is vital for every aspect of what I do. It’s necessary for success as a writer, business owner, fitness professional, and all-around Jedi. Not to mention being able to perform various Mind Tricks on those unskilled in the way of the Force.
To that, I’m fairly well known for my experiments with nootropics and other brain drugs. And as much as I like things like Adderall or Provigil, the fact is that they are not without risk or consequence. I’m not nearly as cavalier with my usage of those drugs as some, which is why I use them sparingly.
Think real-world Limitless supplementation, using all-natural ingredients from across the corners of the galaxy.
Alpha Brain is a fully-balanced nootropic, or cognitive enhancer. In other words, it helps you think better. The main ingredients—Alpha GPC and Huperzia Serrata—contain nutrients that help your body turn up acetylcholine levels full throttle while other ingredients assist in elevating neurological components vital to remaining calm, focused, and mentally driven.
The result is an extraordinary combination of lucid dreams, mental drive, focus, and mental acuity. Like any Jedi, I use it to enhance my Force powers and be better at my job; I take it whenever I need extra energy or focus, but I also use it to write articles like this one.
Alpha Brain, in many respects, is better than Adderall. Obviously, it’s not nearly as potent–but it’s safe, and gives you the effect you need without exposing your systems to amphetamines or drugs designed to treat narcolepsy. There are no side effects at all—no jitters, no crash, no headaches, or withdrawal-like symptoms; just a clean focus.
Now, I’m out of my fucking mind, so rather than take the standard dose of 1-2 capsules, I only use it when I need it, and take at least 3 capsules alongside some yohimbine HCL. For me, there are no ill-effects, and I’m crushing life, so I feel good with that.
ONNIT also just released Alpha Brain Instant, which I’ve found to work even better. It’s a powdered version of Alpha Brain, which comes in small packets you just mix into a bottle of water. It comes in two flavors (I like the peach), and I typically add two packets to a 25 .oz bottle of water.
That said, please don’t be an idiot–whichever version you choose, be judicious with your dosage and start with one serving, working your way up. Jedi are known for exercising both patience and wisdom, after all.
If you want to be truly great at anything, I believe it’s important to take your development into your own hands…and that sometimes means placing it into the hands of others.
What I mean is, as much as I value the ideas of self-study, self-improvement, and self-edification, I firmly believe that the simplest way to get better at anything, to become great at anything, to achieve anything is to study under those who can help you.
And that means finding a mentor. Mentorship is, I believe, the most valuable tool in the world. And I believe that it’s necessary to achieve true success in any endeavor.
No matter what industry we’re in, we all stand on the shoulders of giants and make greater strides when we place ourselves in a position to benefit from those who know more than use.
This model of learning from others and rising through the ranks is present in real-world crafts (from apprentice, to journey, to tradesman, to craftsman, to master), just as it’s present in the Star Wars Universe (youngling, to padawan, to apprentice, to Jedi, to Master).
It’s necessary for everyone to have a mentor, which is why the role of the mentor is one of the most important in the Campbellian structure. The mentor archetype is always present—it’s not just Obi-Wan; it’s Merlin, or Dumbledore, or Mr. Miyagi, or Splinter.
Every single successful person I have ever met can tell you who their mentors have been, what those people have contributed to their development, and how that’s made them successful. In my case, it’s been guys like John Berardi and Alvin Batista.
In terms of business, I have been a mentor to guys like Mike Vacanti, and dozens more through writing mentorships.
Mentorship has given me so much of what I have, in both directions; I would not be where I am—personally, physically, or professionally—without my mentors, and I would not be as emotionally fulfilled if not for my own role as a mentor.
The Jedi may be fictional, but that doesn’t mean we cannot strive to be as they are. Like any proud order of Knights, the Jedi are inspirational and aspirational, helping us see that we all have it in us to be better. That inside all of us, the farm boy (or girl) has it in them to save the Galaxy.
This article can help you do that, and aid you on your quest to be a real-world, modern-day Jedi. You’ll be able to look, act, and perform the way a Jedi would.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this — and may the Force be with you.