This is the Way

In Disney’s Star Wars series “The Mandalorian,” the main character (a Mandalorian of course) is rescued as a child and taught in the ways of the Mandalorians: how to fight, how to survive, use a super cool jet-pack, and how you must always keep your helmet on. You can NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, REMOVE YOUR HELMET IN THE PRESENCE OF ANOTHER LIVING CREATURE! Or so he was told…

Then in season 2, he meets more Mandalorians. Real Mandalorians! They take off their helmets to say hello after helping save his life.

But that can’t be!

They look him right in the T-shaped visor WITH THEIR VERY OWN EYES! He refuses to believe they are true Mandalorians. They must be pretenders right? They can’t be true Mandalorians if they willingly take their helmets off, right?

As it turns out our main character had been picked up as a child by a strict traditionalist sect of the Mandalorians known as Death Watch. They had fought during the Clone Wars against the “New Mandalorian” leader Duchess Satine and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Mando had known no other way to be a Mandalorian other than the way Death Watch had taught him.

He believed his way was the only way, until he was introduced to new ways of thinking.

There is honor and comfort in thinking that your way is the only way. He could walk into a room and everyone knew what he stood for, what he was capable of. Life is simpler when your worldview and the code you live by is simple. But he’s a human machine of war, who may never find peace in the galaxy. Unless he finds a new way: a way to adapt.

Real life humans can be the same way.

In the book “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World,” Adam Grant discusses how Nobel prize winners are not usually the ones who are the best experts in their field, but the more creative ones who also study the arts. In this study, they found that Nobel laureates were almost 3X as likely as the The Scientific Research Honor Society to have arts and crafts avocations, and about 50% more likely than Royal Society or National Academy members!

Nobel laureates generally have hobbies like painting, writing, dancing, music, photography, etc. They have depth of experience in one area, but also a breadth of experience in areas outside their main focus. This makes sense, says Adam, because interest in the arts shows more creativity, curiosity, and novelty seeking. Things that may be beneficial when trying to create a scientific breakthrough by thinking outside the box.

Having a creative outlet may allow them to see something that other scientists may brush off because it “doesn’t fit” with the scientific standards of the time. It may completely contradict the accepted view of the way the world works at that time. This is an ability to adapt to new information, rather than believing “This is the way.”

Being an expert in a field can actually blind you to new and novel ideas.

Investors do this too. Whether we subscribe to the church of Value, Momentum, Quality, Indexing, Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Monetarism, Keynesianism, MMT, or whatever it may be, we tend to think “This is the way” and don’t like to explore outside our view of the way the world works. But the truth is, we would be better off adapting to new economic environments. Being an expert in the way investing worked may blind us to new ways of thinking how a business can and should operate.

In reality, in some environments one way can work better than the other, or maybe they work better when combined. Or, more importantly, your way just works better for YOU because that’s just what makes you more comfortable sticking with your investments and investing more.

In the end that’s only the real secret: investing more for your future self.

Thanks for reading!