How To Become A Jedi Knight

how to become a jedi

In 2005, I had a business going down the drain (my biggest customer went out of business) and I had no other source of income. I couldn’t believe how scared I was.

I don’t know why: but I became obsessed with “The Force” in Star Wars. I bought all sorts of books like “The Tao of Star Wars”. I decided to use The Force to save my business. To try and remain calm and to focus on each day doing my best rather than panicking about the future.

Short story: My business got saved and did well. I didn’t shut it down until I started another business which did better. I love these techniques I picked up from watching over and over again the Star Wars movies.

A week ago, Disney released all six movies again. Plus a new trailer for the next movie was released. I watched them all with the same passion I had as a child.

It reminded me of my love for the movies, my love for the ideas and philosophy of the movies.

It reminded me of the strength of being calm – and of the weakness of being angry, full of fear, and aggression. Fear will never solve the problems of the future and only drain you of much-needed strength today.

(Click image for larger image and then click on THAT image to zoom in)

how to become a jedi

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  • Ray Smith

    Well said James! I still remember seeing the original Star Wars as a child. It was good to be reminded about happy things! Will go ahead and re-watch all the movies and this time think about what it means.

    One small addition to your observations. The “Do or do not… there is no try,” statement by Yoda. Often I get so focussed on the goal that I forget the process. “Trying” to do something implies a focus on a successful outcome and thus the goal. Forcing myself to just “do” or choose “not to do” helps with present moment awareness.

    Thanks once again for all that you do. I am great fan of your writings and podcasts. One of your LinkedIn posts last year was my tipping point.

  • Maya S

    Nice chart! A few months ago, “Choose Yourself” inspired me to start a blog about creativity — as a single, working mom of young children. I’m so happy I did (because I need more work) (no, because “choosing yourself” feels great).

    I will do a post about CY one day (complete with a photo of the book on my dresser next to a pile of dirty laundry), and your minimalist philosophy influenced one of my early posts, “The Box of No.” So thank you, James. I look forward to hearing more from you. MTFBWY.

  • Jeroen

    Very nice James.
    “Always pass on what you have learned.” ;)

  • Cool chart. Inforgraphics are a great way of passing formation. I am excited to see you use the formal with the email and now on the blog.

    May The Force Be With You :-)

  • Dollar Flipper

    Very fun. I like this light sided stuff as well as the darker stuff. What if I’m stuck in a camp and just can’t get out of it? It’s the I hate Jar Jar Binks camp. But the pod racing was sort of fun.

  • Jack Chaos

    Obi wan has taught you well

  • Jimmy

    Star Wars sucks. Sci-Fi bores me to death. But i like you James. I especially like reading all your stories from the 90’s, very entertaining. You’ve had an amazing life.

  • Ted Scarborough

    Star Wars and George Lucas creativity. Two words: Princess Leias Bikini!

  • jonah

    Every Jedi Knight had a mentor. Today there is little or no mentorship. Instead we read blogs and self-help books and fancy infographics. Alone. Alone. Alone.

    • You are right, Jonah. I think this is a situation which will change as the current education system gradually changes. I hope so.

      • Honestly, I don’t even believe I know what a mentor is supposed to do or be. I haven’t felt like anyone has cared for me or my success like I imagine a mentor might do in any way. But I could have a totally incorrect idea of what mentoring does/is.

        • Sigurdur Gudbrandsson

          In person mentors have a very simple purpose .. to listen.

          Then they might offer some insight (which you probably knew before) or they boil things down for you into something simple.

          They are not there to do the work for you – you must do the work. You must sweat. You must open the doors yourself.

          • Dharmawriter9

            I have a mentor from my beekeeping club. He stops by once a week or so. He makes sure that my bees are getting the attention they need. He shows me how to maximize the quality of their lives, and how to keep them fit & healthy. He has done so much for the bees, and teaches me what to look for. I called him today. One of the hives isn’t behaving like the other. And some of the bees were dead. Its a fragile existence out there.
            He is a fine mentor. Answered the phone right away. Knew it was me. He is committed. As i hope i will be when i am ready to teach someone else. Each one teach one. Isnt that how the saying goes?

      • Mitchell Yang

        I’d like to think of it as scattered initiates searching through holocrons for lost knowledge. It sounds more fun

    • Sigurdur Gudbrandsson

      I am very thankful that you’re wrong about that. .. :)
      I have a mentor which I am eternally grateful for.

      I went out of my way to help him first and was upfront that I wanted him to be my mentor, I did not want money for my help.

      Before that (and even today) I read books to get additional mentorship, James Altucher is one of those mentors with the book Choose Yourself.

    • Mykrohan

      I’m so late, but gosh, how I love this comment. This element of learning is so important, for Padawans and Masters alike.

      …which is why I’m so glad that Ahsoka Tano is still canon. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • marcus wong

    I’ve tried reaching out to James through several tweets and email and have been unsuccessful so I am reaching out here. I have tried around 10 times over the last 3 weeks to order from and have been unsuccessful. I know how to properly enter a form and have no issues with that, however when I submit, the screen refreshes, the form is reset, and i receive no email confirmation for my purchase (not in my spam either). I have tried different shipping addresses, different credit cards, both american and canadian for both, and all have received the same thing. I’ve tried on different days as well, and from different locations. Nothing has worked!! can someone please reach out to me! my twitter handle is @mwong023

    • Well for one thing you have the website wrong…

      • marcus wong

        OK thanks, thealtucherreport … doesn’t mean i didn’t actually go through the form to order.

    • George Zuo

      when i reached out he replied. i used alot of profanity.

  • Terry Condon

    Very cool infographic James, love different things like this from time to time

  • Kelly Spitzer

    This is brilliant. Thank you for this!

  • What a Super Hero taught me about Prayer… No joke(r)
    Read all about it at

  • Pallavi Jain

    Spot on!! Im printing this out and pinning it on my desk. Thank you for this. Also I’m thinking i will read the Tao Te Ching now :)

  • Dominic Siow

    Hi James, thanks so much for taking the time and energy to put together the precious wisdom you gained. You learning and benefiting from your life lessons is one thing, sharing it with others – that takes love and consideration. Very grateful to you for doing this. Like you, I love movies and particular movies that really instruct us at a deep level if we choose to observe and learn! Each of your sharings above, practised in isolation, is powerful. Together…. WOW! Have a great day!

  • Bob G.

    Regarding mentors after a lifetime of trying to figure it out – I finally found something that WORKS. Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, has late book Success Principles where he references this fascinating study of some 280 professionals. Some just thought what their goal was. About 40% reached it. But when they sat down with a friend weekly and had their progress steps checked and/or debugged, their success at reaching their goals shot up to around 75%! I engaged an understanding friend to do this with – I take her to breakfast once a week and we catch up in one hour. It’s had tremendous results already – not to mention a big increase in the friendship. I highly recommend it. It works!

  • Name

    Some truth in that

    Finding a mentor is indeed becoming very hard. A mentor who had real success in his business, family, neighbours, friends. Not just someone who is good at one thing and a disaster in the others. This is becoming very tough to find such reference man (or woman). And then you have all the others who tells you to do this or that, you must so and so, you should so and so, etc. In fact i believe deeply that we all know deep down what we need to do and don’t need someone to tell us what to do.

  • stenio

    there is a typo in the image (componenet)

  • Caefu

    I was pretty much an adult when the first Star Wars movie was released. I still want to be a Jedi. I’m 57. I’m about to go out and do tai chi chuan before getting the kids up. Some day…
    Thanks for this… Love your books too…

  • Lashky

    James I want to thank you for sharing your life with such amazing honesty. Finding the lessons embedded within Star Wars is like breaking a secret code…in this case one which teaches us about the spiritual path…the hero’s journey. The problem with a mentor is like trying to find a sponsor in a 12 Step program…your motives for picking someone to emulate and learn from must be known to you. You cannot assume that you know that a person is the right mentor for you because your own conditioning will compel you to choose someone whom society deems successful or not. Being open to where the Universe takes you, the sign posts, be it embedded within a movie that resonates with you, like Star Wars, or a book that catches your eye on a book shelf, or a chance encounter with some volunteer working in a homeless shelter…the Universe itself is mentoring you. If the mentor appears as one person then you will know it but there may come a time when you have to be willing to let go because that person can no longer mentor you – letting go of dependency is tough. Let me end by saying…you James, for now, are my mentor…thank you.