Two Lessons Thanos Can Teach Us

September 29, 2019

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos brings the Infinity Stones together to complete his “life’s purpose”: Extinguishing half of all life in an overcrowded universe. He’s an environmentalistemphasis on the mentalist , you see.

Lesson 1: Decide, Then Do

When watching our heroes try to stop him over the course of the film, I couldn’t help but be impressed with Thanos’s singular focus. He isn’t a normal comic book villain, he’s not specifically cruel or murderousWith, of course, with the one exception that he wants 50% of the universe to not exist , he has weighed the options, and decided to fix overpopulation in a very directand short-term, if you know anything about exponential growth way. He then, through the course of the movie, finds all the stones and ends the movie completing his mission and retiring to a garden planet to live out his days.

In clashes with the superheroes, he demonstrates this focus very clearly. Although his minons are murderous, at every point he resists the distractions of our crew of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, The Hulk, and co. When he has defeated one, he moves on, always keeping his objective, not revenge, in mind.

Though his goal is of course abhorrent, Thanos’s methods are worthy of study. The example of research, decision, focus, and singular action are ones we all could learn from: Do as much research as you can to make you convinced of the right course, then go do it!

Lesson 2: Don’t Wait For Retirement

This lesson comes from the next film: Avengers Endgame. In Endgame, The world is reeling from the loss of half of the population. Our heroes are down to half their number, tooBasically, those who sided with Capt. in Civil War survive, the other side don’t. Co-incidence? You decide! .

Our heroes rally, and find Thanos on his retirement planet. They’re somewhat surprised to find no defences, no minions, and the man himself whiling away his life in a solitary, agrarian, life.

They overpower him trivially, taking him by surprise, and Thor kills him in a moment of rage.This is all in the first 15 minutes of the film!

The rest of the film focuses on getting the Infinity Stones back, and bringing back the 50% of life that Thanos snapped out of existence. The lesson is in the first 15 minutes of the film.

This lesson is much simpler than the first. Supposedly all Thanos wanted was to live a simple life on his homestead. HE COULD HAVE DONE THIS AT ANY TIME! He was so focused on a task that wasn’t a prerequisite of his happy retirement that he didn’t see he could just… retire!

And of course, he only was able to enjoy retirement for a short while before he was killed.

Friends, this is a violent parable of our society’s retirement norms. Working full-time at jobs that don’t make us happy just to die a few short years into retirement? Don’t do this.

Ask yourself what you would like to do in retirement, and then, using the focus we learned about in lesson 1, take steps to get to that point AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. If you imagine retiring to a campervan in the sun, YOU CAN DO THAT NOW! Budget how much you need for the van, food and comfort for the rest of your life, then start saving. It’ll be less than you thinka good book on this topic is Work Optional by Tanja Hester: , and you can stop working the moment you’ve got that amount stashed in the bank.

Decide what the minimum you need to do to succeed is, do it, then stop.

Two Lessons Thanos Can Teach Us - September 29, 2019 - Tristram Oaten