In this article we will be taking a tongue in cheek look at the importance of cult trends and how these may be able to open doors for you or not. One of the key factors to consider when developing your career is external factors, this can also include in today’s technology heavy world, “social factors”. It’s important to make sure you know what is on trend, what’s a bubble and what is here to stay. Otherwise you could be making some bad long-term choices. So whether you see yourself as a Jedi Master or a Sith Lord, it’s time to delve into the world that started “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"
You may be wondering why are we writing about a cult phenomenon that started back in 1977? What’s that got to do with careers I hear you cry?
Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4th to celebrate George Lucas's Star Wars media franchise. Observance of the day spread quickly ever since the franchise began in 1977.
It has since been referenced in UK Parliament, used by Disney as an official holiday, and even in professional sports, some teams in the USA have worn special uniforms on that day to commemorate it.
The world in 1977 was a very different place to what we witness today and yet Star Wars has stood the test of time and only grown in popularity from one generation to the next.
What has allowed star wars to survive is that it has always sought to be true to its core story and yet it has evolved and adapted to make sure that new generations take joy from its premise.
Other highest grossing films in 1977 include “Smokey and the Bandit”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, and “Saturday Night Fever”.
You could argue that some of those still have their own cult following but by no means have they evolved into multi-billion dollar empires, and why not? Because they did not evolve.
The masculine world of Burt Reynolds, the innovative aliens of Close Encounters and the fancy hips of John Travolta, have all not aged as well as star wars in the last 50 years. (Yes, readers, Mr. John Travolta is 67 years of age now if you can believe that!) They may have their own cult following but we would be amiss to consider them as popular as Star Wars.
One of my favourite personal development business model stalks about the “Four 20’s!”, as a very basic and high-level guide to life. In the four 20’s there is an evolution of an individual in the same way that star wars has evolved to stay relevant. Who we are at 16 years old is not who we are at 76 and this simple model gives us a guide to help us evolve in the right way.
The Four 20’s are based around the first 80 years of a person’s life, starting with the first twenty years of life and can be summarised as follows.
Don’t do anything stupid!! The main goal here is to not have too many setbacks that could have been avoided. Stay off drugs, stay out of prison, study, read, stay fit and healthy. Don’t worry too much about “getting a first at university”, or “getting on the property ladder”or as many Tiktok fans will believe “being a crypto millionaire”.
Give yourself a break, remember that life is for the long term, so in the first 20 years, just try your best not to mess it up.
This is the stage to really double down.
Figure out what you are good at, and get even better at it,even become known for being good at it. Work your network, research and stretch your mind as much as you do actually working and strive to get to the top of your game by the end of this stage. The more of a niche you can find, the further you will prosper. For example you don’t have to be a “Human Resources” person, you could be known for “mastering employee relations” or “change management”. Whatever it is that you really enjoy, this is the time to evolve your career into that space over these 20 years.
This is the time you get to take what you have built and start to do things you enjoy even more.
For some people it’s writing a book, for others its becoming a public speaker. You can take the money you have made and be creative with it, be creative with your family, friends, projects, whatever it is you feel you haven’t been able to be fulfilled in then it’s time to fulfil all your child-like dreams. Even some celebrities have pivoted. The Rock is now favourite to run for election as president of the USA in the next decade, and he pivoted from WWE to international movie star to tequila connoisseur. Barack Obama pivoted from politics to having his own Netflix show! Donald Trump went from business to TV on The Apprentice.
All of these characters had established themselves but realised they wanted to move onto something more fulfilling and it is within this set of 20 years which is the key time to do it.
So you’ve been successful. You have applied Caution, you have built your Career, and you have been Creative. Now what?
This is where you can do good for others. Be a mentor, do community work, be a part of something to help others around you that are on the way up. It doesn’t matter that in your early twenties you may have been aggressively ambitious, that was part of who you were then. Now with your additional maturity it’s time to give back.
George Lucas himself, the founder and creator of Star Wars,in 2012 at the age of 67, George Lucas sold Lucas Film to The Walt Disney Company and gave the majority of the $4 Billion to charity. He said at the time:
“"For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company. As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."
George Lucas,the master of Star Wars evolution, knew that it was time to embrace the years of Community.
Since the date of the 4th of May became culturally important, a rival has been established, known as “Revenge of the Fifth”. A reference to the Sith lords that rival the Jedi Masters in the Franchise. My takeaway from this is, no matter how much you plan and develop,never underestimate your rivals, because no matter how innovative and successful you may become, it’s always important to be conscious of your rivals and your risks.
So, how will you celebrate the 4th of May this year?
Where are you in your phases of “4x20”?
Does life seem simpler now there is a roadmap?
Does your career choice seem simpler now that you know it’s only about either caution,career growth, creativity, or community?