TEDx Intuit Kevin Urban

The Art of the Jedi Mind Trick

This is a transcript from my “Story Slam” presentation for IDEO U. It’s an excerpt from my longer talk. 

I’ve wanted to give this talk for years!!!

Actually, it’s been percolating since I first began teaching. I thought about all my favorite things and realized that I could use my love of Star Wars to teach Personal Branding. 

I even foreshadowed this talk at the conclusion of my first TEDx “The Price of Pleasing.”

So what is the Art of the Jedi Mind Trick?


Before I get to that let’s go back A Long Time Ago….  to 1978.

I was three at the time and I saw Star Wars in the theater… For the very first time.

And even though I fell asleep….I LOVED IT!

From then on, I couldn’t get enough Star Wars..especially the Jedi, Luke Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi.

Little did I know they were teaching me about spirituality and connection through the force.

As I’ve gotten older and learned more about Joseph Campbell’s work on mythology and the heroes journey, I’ve come to realize that Obi-Wan Kenobi was teaching Luke real world “Force Lessons.” 

Important lessons, such as: 

Trust your intuition

Align with your values In both Word and deed.

Be mindful and present in life.


Sometimes you have to sacrifice for those you love. 

So, What is the Art of the Jedi Mind Trick?

In the movie, there is a scene in which Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke are stopped by stormtroopers looking for the droids in their possession.

 – Obi Wan swipes his hand

– Then he tells the storm troopers “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

– The Storm troopers look at each other and confirm these are the droids we’re looking for.

– Then they say the classic line “Move along. Move along.”

Inspired by this…

I applied The Jedi mind trick to my work helping my clients develop authentic personal brands.

It revolves around helping people see you as you want to be seen in the world.

The mind trick is not intended to manipulate, rather it’s intended to give people a helpful hint…using the power of suggestion.

The hint can be the clothes you choose and the colors and styles you wear.

It can be the stories, you choose to tell.

Or just the confidence to know how people generally perceive you and why.

It’s embracing your strengths

AND your weaknesses.

It’s the good, the bad the ugly and the beautiful about yourself.

Ultimately The Art of the Jedi Mind Trick is knowing that “you are enough.”

It is understanding that everything you have is already within… If you trust it.

And if you know this,

You can walk into any room

Whether it’s a job interview

or Meeting someone new for the first time

And tell the them…

this is who you’re looking for.

That’s the art of the Jedi mind trick!

May your force be with you!