Why Thanos has it all wrong (or where Infinity War falls flat)

Kapow

I’m going to start this post with some apologies. First, if you’re not into Marvel movies, you can likely sit this one out. Second, if you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War, this will likely contain spoilers. Finally, I’m not a comic book guy who has read them all and knows all there is about them. I pretty much watched the movies, did a little research. I have owned maybe 3 comic books in my entire lifetime and don’t remember what they were.

Let’s begin…

I’ll start by summarizing Infinity War. Thanos is the bad guy trying to collect all 6 Infinity Stones which will give him ultimate power. There’s a twist though. He doesn’t want to rule the universe, but instead wipe out half of population across all the planets so that the survivors can thrive.

Based on his personal experience with his home planet, there are only enough resources to support a certain number of people, and he believes that by wiping out half of everyone, the remaining ones can live better lives. No one listened to him while he was on his home planet and they suffered the consequences naturally, which has set him on a quest to do this on other planets.

From watching the movie, it appears he’s been doing this by relatively rudimentary means. He goes to planet, lines up the people and kills half of them and then moves on. However, by collecting the Infinity Stones and putting them in the Gauntlet, he won’t need to fly around anymore. He can just snap his fingers and half the population across the universe dissolves into nothing.

And that’s where the problem lies

You can kind of see Thanos point when you’re watching the movie. Of course, you think “there’s got to be a better way, right?” Captain America even mentions “we don’t trade lives” at one point in the movie to further drive the point home.

Well, there is another solutions and Thanos is too thick to see it. If he’s got this all powerful Infinity Gauntlet with the Infinity Stones, he could just as easily snap his fingers and create the necessary resources for the entire population to survive. It could be more planets, food, houses, or whatever else you can imagine. When he wiped out half the population, did he also make half of those remaining sterile to control population growth? If he didn’t, then the “problem” he’s been trying to prevent is just going to present itself again someday.

And after evaluating the movie a bit more, we begin to see Thanos biggest weakness… ignorance.

Rest is not Weakness

Sleep

Rest is not weakness. Too often we associate success with long hours. Three o’clock in the morning is either the time we’re getting up or the time we’re going to bed in pursuit of a dream. In the short-term, this usually produces results, but at what cost?

Your body needs rest. It needs sleep to recharge and refuel. Sometimes you need to take a break from what you’re doing to see things more clearly.

I know from personal experience, when I don’t get the sleep I need, my anxiety is higher, self-doubt creeps in, and I start to question my dreams and goals. In addition, I’m more irritable with those around me and pet peeves become a major frustration. I become the type of person that those I love most don’t want to be around. I know this about myself. I can recognize when my mind starts working against me, and most of the time it’s because I haven’t gotten enough rest.

Knowing when you need to rest is a sign of wisdom

It’s a disservice to you, whatever you’re working on, and the people around you to not give your body what it needs. If you feel stuck, like things aren’t clicking, or your progress seems stalled, try taking a break and getting more sleep.

Accomplish your goals.

Make your dreams a reality.

And schedule time to rest and recharge.

The “F” word that we need to remove from our vocabulary

foul word

It can make others feel very uncomfortable when they hear it. It’s used way too often and it’s a poor choice to use when answering someone. What is it?

Fine

Yes, the word I’m talking about is fine.

Consider the following exchanges.

“How are you doing today?” “Fine.”

Really? That good, huh?

“How did the big project you wrapped up at work go.” “Fine.”

I hope you still have your job!

“How would you like to go to eat at Olive Garden?” “That’s fine.”

Let’s go someplace you actually want to go to.

It’s the word we use when we want to say bad or okay, but want to put a positive spin on it. I can see through your thinly veiled disguise.

When I hear someone use it, the only thing I hear is “leave me alone” or “I’ll accept that if I have to”.

It’s such a noncommittal word. It’s just covering up how you really feel. Be real, be honest, say what you mean to say!

When to use it

There are only a couple of instances I can think of where it’s acceptable.

  • When saying something is high quality, such as the setting on your camera to take a better quality picture.
  • When describing something that is very thin, such as someone’s hair.

Consider how you’re using seemingly harmless words. A lot can be said between the lines of everyday words. Sometimes it’s in how we say it, and other times it’s the context we use it in. Be considerate!

Any words you can think of that make you cringe when they’re used? Let me know in the comments. Another one that comes to mind for me is “sure”.

“Want to go to see a movie tonight?” “Sure.”

It makes me want to scream!!!

Photo by stockicide

How to raise children to be more successful than we are

I’ve given this a lot of thought lately as I’ve seen my two daughters get older. How do we raise successful children who become better than we are? How do we raise them to advance our society in ways we never thought possible?

I think I’ve finally discovered small part of the solution.

Backstory

I was once a child. Shocking revelation, I know. I was also a teenager.

As a young child, I spent a lot of time discovering new things, learning how to walk, understanding cause and effect – the important fundamentals.

But then somewhere along the line, I became a teenager. My brain chemicals were thrown all out of whack and I questioned what the people who had raised me were telling me. I stopped heeding their advice and instead wondered if I could do it better.

The problem is that all of this time questioning and trying things on my own was wasted. Why would I question the wisdom of the people who had successfully raised me so far?

Why was it wasted?

The (Partial) Answer to Successful Children

A scientist who conducts an experiment without changing any of the variables, when the results have been tested and verified time and time again, will potentially be out of a job. Yet we have minors across the world doing the same things their parents did and the results are known, tested, and verified.

The problem – the next generation doesn’t always listen to the wisdom of the prior generation. They waste so much time setting up and recreating the experiment, only to see the same results that their parents were trying to instilled in them.

You may be asking yourself, “if they don’t experiment, then how will our civilization get better”. I’m not saying this rule applies in all situations, but I can give you some very basic examples that we can start with:

  • You need to change the oil in your car when it’s recommended.
    • Response: “I don’t have the time or the money to do it that often.”
    • Outcome: Bigger repairs later on cost more money and take longer to repair.
  • You should study for school and do your homework.
    • Response: “I’ll do fine, it’ll be easy. I’d rather hang out with my friends.”
    • Outcome: Poor grades, lost scholarships, and remedial classes.
  • Stay out of debt and start saving early.
    • Response: “How will I get the new iPhone though?”
    • Outcome: Debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and added stress around money.

These are all simple examples, but all examples where we have reasonable certainty in what the right answer is. Instead we waste time arguing and fighting about who knows better. If we could find a way to impart wisdom on the next generation, they can claim the time back that they’ll otherwise be losing. Then they can refocus that time and start years ahead of where we did and potentially become more successful than we can even imagine!

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Tyrone Daryl

Updates from Adelyn – Mickey’s Haircut and New Snail

Mickey (my dog) got a haircut today!!! First of all, when we walked in their were two other dogs (Marley & another dog.) My dog has really bad anxiety problems, but the groomer “said” he does well!!!… Surprising RIGHT?! If a stranger came in our house he wouldn’t bark to tell us there’s a stranger, HE WOULD LICK HIM/HER TO DEATH!!!…Ha Ha Ha!!! But as I was telling you… Mickey looks adorable!!!

A SNAIL!!! WHAT OTHER WORDS ARE THERE, EXCEPT EVERY WORD THAT DESCRIBES THEM!!! What will my mom think?! “Ew!!! Gross!!!”, or “WHY?.” Who knows?! It’s a Blue Mystery Snail…(OOH, UM, WELL.) I know, I know!!!

 

Updates from Rorie – Mickey’s Haircut

Today my dog Mickey got a haircut. It’s so cute! I love him so much! My mom is gone. She is in El Salvador. I’m having so much fun with my dad and my sister while my mom is gone! My dog is asleep right now so I have to be quiet. If I say Mickey he will wake up.

We watched Monsters University! It was a good movie! My dog always hides his toys and his toys get stuck. Mickey dog is a boy. Mickey woke up.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

I’ll let you on a little secret. I don’t really like running.

However, about 3 days a week you might see me running around our local town.

Why?

What kind of torture am I putting myself through. I don’t have to run. There are plenty of other things I could be doing. There are definitely a ton of other things I’d prefer to be doing.

But I do it anyhow, and the feeling I get after I finally cool down and the sweat stops dripping is great!

That’s why I do it. I don’t do it for the sore legs, or to set a new record (although I wouldn’t complain if I did). I do it for the feeling I get afterwards.

Isn’t that true with most things in life. We know what we want and we have a rough idea of how it will feel when we get to the finish line, but the question is, are we willing to give up a bit of discomfort and time to feel that magical feeling.

Will scrolling through Facebook for the 1000th time today be rewarding? How about watching one more show on Netflix?

Call it grit, hustle, persistence – call it whatever you want. The truth is that nothing compares to the feeling you get when you do something you know is good, but requires some effort to get there.

Perhaps that’s why lottery winners go broke. They never put the effort in to attain it, so the feeling of satisfaction they get is fleeting or they feel like they don’t deserve it. Their perception becomes reality.

The next time there is something you know you should do but you don’t want to, imagine the end result and how you’ll feel. Then get up and do something about it!

Does more money bring happiness?

Does having or making more money mean that you’ll be happier? This seems like an easy one to answer. Most people would probably say “No, of course not”.

Try not having any money and you may change your tune.

I haven’t done any detailed research or conducted any focus groups, but based on personal experience, money hasn’t bought me happiness. It does give you options, and having options can improve your happiness.

Imagine you’re in a job you despise, having money gives you the option to find something else or start a side business.

Your car breaks down. Having money turns an emergency into an inconvenience.

“Mo Money, Mo Problems”

On the flip side, everyone has probably heard “Mo Money, Mo Problems“. I think these problems are usually self-inflicted. It happens when we start to grow our expenditures faster than our income grows.

I recently started thinking about this. Over the past 5 years, our household income has more than doubled. I don’t say that to brag, but more to express that during this entire time I thought to myself “a bit more will make life easier.” Surprise! It hasn’t worked out that way.

Are we able to make faster progress on our goals? Yes.

Have we went on any fancy vacations as a result? No.

Have we made any major purchases that changed our life? No.

Do we have the same things break around the house that need to be fixed as we did before? Yes.

Our life has not fundamentally changed, because we didn’t let it change. We have more peace (which can contribute to happiness) than we did before. We can also give more freely when we see a need arise. This is because we have options.

If you’re interested, I write a blog about saving money (Planning To Save). It might give a peak into how my crazy mind works.

Photo by blondinrikard

Share the Gift of a Positive Feeling

This evening was the last class of the first college class that I’ve ever taught. I’ve wondered how much the students were getting out of it all semester. In the end, only 6 of the 10 original students made it through the entire semester – not a passing grade in many grade books.

But as the students were finishing their final exams and getting ready to leave, the things they said made it all worth it.

Thanks for a great semester. You helped me a lot and I’m not sure I would have made it through otherwise.

I really learned a lot this semester and really enjoyed it. Thanks for teaching it.

Will you be teaching any other classes?

To be fair, the last one could have been so they could avoid signing up for a class with my name attached to it. Either way, it was entirely what I needed to hear at that moment.

I’ve been struggling with some stuff lately, probably not a lot different from a ton of other people. The Christmas season seems especially rough for many. The students’ words enforced what I heard in a podcast on my way home. Sometimes simple actions or kind words, that don’t cost anything but a bit of time or attention, are all that someone needs to lift their spirits and could be the best gift you give this holiday season.

Next time you’re out, smile as you walk past a stranger, ask the cashier how their day is going, or write a kind note to your waiter or waitress.

People matter, especially at Christmas.