7 Life Lessons from Han Solo
Be Like Han
I’ve learned many things about bettering myself from Han Solo.
Han deals with force users, droids and imperial fleets on a regular basis, yet he’s been gifted with nothing more than a quick wit, his fellow “nerfhearder” Chewie, and the Millennium Falcon (equivalent in today’s standards to a beat up Camero).
Despite the fact that every other main character in the original Star Wars trilogy is either uniquely gifted, the “chosen one”, or simply benefits from the small advantage of being able to control shit with their mind, Han still prevails as the most badass character in each film.
Here are some life lessons from Mr. Solo.
1.) Don’t let people tell you the odds.
Sometimes, the odds are going to be stacked against you.
Sometimes, you’ll have a 3720:1 chance of navigating an asteroid field, but you just gotta do it.
The “odds” should only stop you from from things you can’t influence (like obsessively playing lottery tickets), they shouldn’t be a dictator for the goals you wish to accomplish.
Take it from the inventor of the first computer:
“That’s the problem with a lot of people”, he continued, “they don’t try to do stuff that’s never been done before, so they never do anything, but if they try to do it, they find out there’s lots of things they can do that have never been done before.”
2.) Shoot first.
Are you really going to wait for Greedo to make the first move?
Life doesn’t begin “when you’re ready” because it’s going on even while you make preparations for that perfect starting point that’s never likely to come.
Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t begin when you feel comfortable, and don’t delay in going after what you want, because eventually, it’ll be too late.
3.) Don’t be afraid to say, “I know.”
Be confident. Walk around like you know what you’re doing, even when you doubt yourself (something that everyone does from time-to-time).
Still scared? Fake it until you make it: there’s no better way to be the person you want to be than by acting like it from the get go.
Don’t underestimate the importance of confidence, courage, and a genuine belief in yourself:
“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
You’re not the person inside your head, and without the confidence to act, you’ll be too afraid to do anything.
4.) Things going bad? “Situation normal.”
Things go bad sometimes; keep your cool.
Your biggest accomplishments and best habits will take weeks, months and years to form, yet many can be ruined far more quickly.
In a behavioral study on dieting, researchers found that the biggest roadblock was the first time things went wrong: people are very susceptible to “abandoning ship” whenever something doesn’t go their way.
Don’t be like them.
At the same time, know when to cut your losses; sometimes it’s best to just shoot out the intercom and move on.
5.) Don’t let kids get cocky.
Most people doing something worth doing will run into “haters” at some point… it’s best to ignore them.
Sometimes though, you have to put people in their place.
Pick your battles, but understand that there are people out there who will take a mile if you give them an inch.
When you are perceived as someone who is easy to walk over, it’s a hard thing to shake, best to stand up and assert yourself long before this view of you takes hold.
6.) Go for the straight fight. No sneaking around.
Han can be persuaded to rely on “tricks” when the situation calls for it, but by and large he sticks to being a straight shooter.
You should too: in a modern society obsessed with “hacks” and shortcuts, we often end up missing the forest for the trees.
Tackle things head on first. You’ll often find that the simplest solution yields the greatest results.
7.) Fly casual.
Don’t get jittery, Luke. There are a lot of command ships… err, opportunities out there.
Take it easy from time-to-time.
Sometimes the best way to get what you want is keep it casual: over-thinking situations and getting burned out from stress do more to hinder you than to push you forward.
Last but not least…
If there’s one last lesson Han has taught me that’s a bit transcendent of the other advice, it would be this…
Always come back for the people you care about.
Or as Han would say…
That’s two you owe me, junior.
Read my ramblings on behavioral psychology at Sparring Mind.