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Never Mind Tony Robbins, Follow Yoda’s Lead for Real Success

The following is a guess post from Danny Brown – someone I have an amazing amount of respect and admiration for. Danny is co-founder and partner at the SRM Group, helping companies renovate their business while being socially responsible. He’s also founder of social media charity initiative 12for12k. His blog is in the AdAge Power 150 list as well as one of Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs, and won the Hive Award at this year’s SxSW festival for Best Social Media Blog. You can connect with Danny on Twitter @DannyBrown.

First, a bit of disclosure. I’ve never seen a full Tony Robbins presentation. Nor have I read anything of his, or watched any interviews. I’m sure the guy’s great but there’s something about him that doesn’t sit with me. That’s not to say he’s not perfect for many others.

So, with that out of the way, while Tony Robbins may be great, he’s not the guy to follow the lead of if you want to be really successful, at anything you do. No, that title belongs to Yoda, the Jedi Master from the Star Wars saga.

“But he’s not even real!”, you’re probably saying right about now. And you’re correct – though Frank Oz, one of the guys behind the original Muppets TV series, made the little green dude more real than many speaking superstars of today.

But correct – Yoda isn’t real. Yet his quotes are ones that you can use to take you to real success no matter what your goals are.

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

If you want to be successful and make a name for yourself, at some stage or another you’re going to have to get past the trying part, and actually do it.

There’s nothing wrong with trying new approaches and tactics to whatever it is you’re aiming toward. But trying only gets you do far – to really succeed, you have to kill it every time.

  • Say you’re going to blog twice a week? Do it.
  • Say you’re going to retire at 50? Do what you need to to make it happen.
  • Say you’re going to write a bestseller? Pick up your pen and do it.

Don’t try and do something only to use an excuse why you couldn’t do it. If it’s not working, try something else and then do that 100% better than your previous thing.

Judge me by size, do you? No – and well you should not.

Let’s face it, unless you’re a male porn star, size means nothing – it’s merely an ego boost to try and prove to impressionable minds that you’re important enough to take notice off.
Blog subscribers in the five digits? Good for you – but are you really innovative or simply pandering to the crowd? Sold 30,000 books? Nice – but a girl from Florida is showing what 30,000 really means.

So never get disenchanted because someone has more blog readers or comments than you; or more Twitter followers; or YouTube views; or dates at college. Unless these numbers really make a difference to that person’s overall success, they’re just inflated strokes to the needy.

Named must your fear be before banish it you can.

One of the things that stop us from reaching our goals is the ineptitude to overcome irrational fear. That’s not to say we’re inept – merely our conscience to overcome that fear. We allow it to overcome us, and walk (or run) away from it as opposed to facing it head on.

Yet overcoming fear is easier than you think – all you have to do is name (or recognize) it. When you know what your fear is, you can start to unravel why you have that fear. Once you unravel it, you can work out how to overcome it. Overcome it – well, the world’s your oyster then.

Give your fear a stupid name. The more ridiculous it sounds, the more ridiculous your fear can appear.

Mind what you have learned.

There are some fantastic motivational speakers, videos and books to help you get where you want to be in life. And, as I said at the start of this post, I don’t know Tony Robbins and it might be that he’d give the complete opposite advice that I’ve mentioned here and make me look like an idiot who’s quoting a green puppet.

But wouldn’t it be cool to think that a little green puppet has some of the best advice around, and all it cost you was the price of a movie ticket?

Add Your Voice



  1. “Give your fear a stupid name” I like this Danny.

    Naming fear makes it real and tangible – something that can be dealt with. Bringing fear down to size helps me to see it for what it is and affords me the confidence to begin the process of overcoming.

    Yoda is my hero.

  2. If Yoda is your hero, Frank, you and I are going to get on just fine :)

    I once had a huge fear of an old boss. He was mean, ill-mannered and built like a brick outhouse. I decided to call him Shirley Temple, and imagined him in a little dress with golden curls in his hair. Worked wonders. :)

  3. Do or not do fascinates me, and is kinda timely too. Just wrote the shortest blog post of my bloglife so far on What you say and what you do. And I'm gonna go with the fear naming convention too, maybe we should all wear fear name badges! Or give 'em to the fear dude? Good stuff.

  4. You know a fear dude? Awesome! :)

    Just read your post – love this quote:

    “What you say.

    What you do.

    Where they overlap, you get trust. That’s cool.

    Where they don’t, you get trouble. That’s what you deserve.”

  5. I really appreciate you popping by the site, looking, and more importantly, enjoying. Thanks Danny. Love from Doug and The Feardude.

  6. My mantra has always been Do or Do Not. There is no Try. So simple but yet so true! Great post – I'll have to begin incorporating the other sayings into my daily life. Thanks!

  7. this girl from florida is grateful for the shoutout ;) and i couldn't agree more with your point. i think our fascination with numbers distracts us from what should be our real aim: to create real impact ;) thanks danny!!

  8. I'm pretty fond of the “Mind what you have learned” one. Too many times we learn something, promptly forget it and make the same mistakes next time round. Here's to knocking that on the head! :)

  9. I've always loved Yoda's secrets of wisdom. I like how you related it to current life though, really clever and useful!

  10. Yoda is quite wise (and cute too), so thanks for sharing some of his wisdom. My favorite is the one about naming your fear before you can banish it. It's like how acknowledging you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. And who knows, maybe by identifying your fear, you'll realize that it's not quite as bad as you thought.

  11. I think that's where George Lucas got it right (at least in the original trilogy) – everything was kind of tied to “reality” and you could relate it to your situations. Not so much the new stuff, though ;-)


  12. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurate he famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Even though that was almost 80 years ago, it still rings true today and ties in perfectly with what you mention here. Thanks for sharing :)

  13. Indeed he did say that Danny. Fear is a chronic curse, here's a little piece a good friend of mine wrote about the debilitating effect of the feardude. And what we might do to ease him towards the door in the workplace. Great discussion, love it that sameve thinks yoda is (quite) cute!

  14. Congratulations on everything. I love “Do or do not”
    Thanks for the blogging perspective advice – Sometimes we get caught up in the culture of bigger better.

  15. Hi Shirl,

    Agreed – I've been guilty of it in the past where I've “aspired” to be someone, or like them, as far as blogging goes. Then I realized I was only kidding myself, and that if I really wanted to be better, then just be myself. People will either like or not – and that's okay :)

  16. Thanks for the post Danny, Anthony Robbins did teach something similar with our lil green friend =D
    Everything you said is true.

  17. Love this post. Resonates for me as just before Christmas my son got into Star Wars for the first time (he is 6) and we had to sit down and watch the lot. I loved the wisdom of Yoda and “Do. Or do not. There is no try” has become one of our family sayings. Love all the things we can learn from unlikely sources as not a big fan of the whole follow “gurus” like sheep thing that seems to happen these days.

  18. As someone with a passion for personal development and science fiction, this post Rocks! I don't think that Yoda's wisdom can be overrated. If you've read any of the Star Wars books, his wisdom is pretty rad there too. Thanks for the awesome post :0

  19. Hey there Ali.

    You have to be one of the best moms ever – you get your son into Star Wars for Christmas? Awesome!

    And agreed – never really bought into the whole guru thing. We're all our own gurus, and we should never forget that.

  20. I think I stopped reading the Star Wars books after the Jedi Council series, Jonathan, so I might have missed a lot of his good stuff. Although I did like the new Clone Wars animated series :)

    A lot of my own personal development has actually come from sci-fi. If you've never read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, I highly recommend it. Great example of morals, self-belief and the will that all comes good in the end to those with the power of conviction.


  21. The links between science fiction and personal development are actually what inspired me to start my blog! The word “grok” (hence Grokkery) comes from Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein – probably one of the best sci fi / human experience books of all time.

  22. Saludos a todos,
    Definitely a great post, I'm a big fan of Star Wars and I share profoundly all of your comments above on Joda's teachings.
    This will be part of my two beatiful baby girls lifes, Ursula (5 years old) and Matilde (3 years old),…this story of princess, stars, adventures, and self growing.
    Thanks for sharing Matt, congrats about your sites, just find out about it and I'll keep on checking it out.

    have a great 2010 to you all

  23. nnnnnnnIu2019m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanksn