Effortless action is a cornerstone of the Jedi philosophy. It originates from the Taosim Wei-Wu-Wei principle, which also is called action without action. The best way to explain it is by two quotes many of us hear all the time, go with the flow and don’t fight the tide. The basic idea behind the principle is that many times people rush to act or do things the hard way. One time when I was younger I went out in a rowboat at our cottage, which is on the coast of Maine. We sit towards the end of the bay, not too far from open ocean and I decided to row out into the middle of the bay. Well, unknowingly to me, the tide shifted from coming in to going out. I noticed that I was beginning to drift closer and closer to the islands that guarded the bay before reaching the open ocean. I tried and tried to row against the tide and just wasn’t making any progress, in fact, no matter how hard I tried to row against the tide the closer I came to open waters. After about two hours of this I was getting pretty tired and started to get a big nervous when I heard a motorboat coming up behind me. My grandfather was watching me the entire time and waited till I started getting tired to fire up our little motorboat to come pull me back in. So what’s the point to this whole story, if I stopped at all and thought about the situation I would have realized instead of fighting the tide I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy and cut across the tide by heading straight to shore. If I went close to shore the effects of the tide were hardly felt. No, instead I tried to fight the natural flow of things and still lost.

This is very much how many situations in life can work and sometimes why it appears as the Jed is thought to be inactive when it comes to a variety of situations. We prefer to go with the flow of the Force and make small changes within that flow that can sometimes cause drastic changes to a situation, rather then running in with both barrels drawn as they say.

Another point of view of effortless action is natural action. Trees growing and the earth revolving are all examples of natural action, they happen without us actually doing anything. When Jedi act they don’t think on the situation and have a discussion on if this is the right time to get involved or not, they act when it feels naturally time to do so.