By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
The best science fiction reflects our own lives back to us, giving us insights into our very human situations through extraterrestrial eyes. “The Mandalorian,” the Star Wars adventure now streaming on Disney+, does just that, showing us a lot about ourselves from the perspective of a hardened bounty hunter, a talented green baby, and more.
Here are just some life lessons we can glean from the characters in “The Mandalorian”:
Earn the trust of those around you
Mandalorians belong to a guild of bounty hunters who follow a strict code of ethics. This lets others know they can be counted on to complete a mission. If they accept an assignment, they follow through.
You likely won’t be asked to retrieve anyone for a bounty, but this simple life lesson can be applied to virtually any situation, from personal relationships to business contracts. If you live up to your word, you’ll build a reputation, and others will know they can count on you to deliver the goods — even if it’s not a flesh-and-blood bounty.
Know what’s expected and what to expect
To earn someone’s trust, you have to know what the agreement entails, down to the fine print.
Din Djarin, the title character in “The Mandalorian,” makes sure the agreement is spelled out, including the method of payment, before he accepts. You should do the same. Contracts are binding, and you can find yourself subject to legal action if you accept payment and don’t come through.
What if you become the target of a bounty hunter? Most of us will never be in that position, but some might someday be called to answer criminal charges. If you fail to show up for a court date or obey a court order, you may be taken into custody via a bench warrant. In a situation like that, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.
Get your priorities straight
A code of ethics is important, but it needn’t be ironclad. Sometimes, other priorities take precedence in real life. For instance, Din Djarin has been hired to bring back Grogu for The Client, but he realizes there’s something more important at stake than a bounty.
Having been taken in by the Mandalorians when he himself was an orphan, he sees in Grogu (Baby Yoda) an orphan in need of protection. This prompts him to abandon his stated mission and become the Child’s protector. It seems like he’s going against his ethics, but in reality, he’s responding to a higher call.
There will be times when you may find yourself faced with a similar choice. Do you follow the rules set by others just to be accepted, or do you follow your conscience? Don’t be afraid to make the difficult choice and go for it.
Commit yourself to protecting your assets
Din Djarin’s commitment to protecting the Child doesn’t change when he decides to abandon the Client’s mission and become Grogu’s protector, instead. His assignment is different, but his responsibility remains the same: He’s still trusted to keep Grogu safe.
In life, it’s important to realize that your core values won’t change, even if your contracts and assignments do. You owe it to yourself to protect your assets, whether those are your family’s well-being, your home, your credit, or your health.
Financial safeguards such as proper insurance and good credit can help you protect what’s important. Auto, home, health, and life insurance are important to yours and your family’s security. And good credit, which you establish by building trust (see above), can protect you in difficult times and allow you to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.
Be resilient in the face of adversity
The Mandalorian loses his job with the Guild when he breaks his contract with the Client and then has to find different ways to make a living.
In the current environment, many of us have faced similar changes to our job situation, from layoffs to furloughs, from reduced hours to remote work. These changes can lead to financial challenges, difficult emotions, and stress.
Try to stay positive and look for opportunities, whether it’s figuring out a new skill set, a side hustle, or a way to reduce expenses by cutting back on unnecessary items. Mandalorians can live a pretty streamlined life — as you may have to do for some time, as well — but that doesn’t mean it can’t be full of challenge and satisfaction.
You may not be a bounty hunter, but in some ways, it can pay to think like one. Identify your objective, stay committed to achieving it, and bring home the goods. Be true to yourself and your word, and protect what’s important.
With these strategies, you can be as successful in your life mission as Din Djarin is at protecting Grogu. Sometimes, Grogu ends up protecting him, too, and that can work in your favor, as well. If you protect what’s important around you, that’s an investment in your own well-being, too. Keep watching “The Mandalorian” for more insights into human behavior — including your own.