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What Marvel Heroes Taught Me About Success

What Marvel Heroes Taught Me About Success

There is definitely nothing more empowering than watching your favorite Marvel hero save the day and, at the same time, discover some key lessons that helped them succeed. Minor or major, all Marvel heroes stick to you like glue. They make sure that the mission is accomplished, even if they end up giving their lives in the process. I was able to watch all the Marvel movies that have come out in the past few years. Each one was full of life-changing success lessons that helped me push through in accomplishing my own goals.

Life is, indeed, simple. You just have to get some encouragement from time to time, so you can get your act straight. Wouldn’t you appreciate it more if a Marvel hero was the one encouraging you?

1. Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider)

#1 Johnny Blaze - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

     “My daddy once said, ‘If you don’t make a choice, the choice makes you.’” ~ Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider)

    Ghost Rider’s quote made me realize that I should take control of my life. If I master how to do that, then I will most certainly reach my goals. The choice takes control if I let it dictate whatever I do–if it becomes who I am. Choosing to make my choice makes me the one with the remote. I don’t become a zombie slave to my work.

    2. Phil Coulson

     

    #2 Phil Coulson - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

      “Don’t ever tell me there’s no way.” ~ Phil Coulson

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      This is a quote I got from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, which expresses Phil Coulson’s leadership and compassion. In this episode, Mike Peterson was about to explode and Coulson was assessing possible solutions. The compassion that Coulson showed in this moment is very strong. He cares for Peterson enough to refuse that the situation is a dead end. Coulson’s leadership is also shown here because he demands a solution, though the situation at hand may look bleak. Coulson tells me that if you really want a way out, you should not surrender to the hopelessness of the situation. This continuously makes not want to give up and keep looking for possible solutions, no matter what type of challenge it is that I am dealing with. 

      3. Colonel James Rhodes (The Iron Patriot)

      #3 Colonel James Rhodes - LifeHack.org

        “I am not afraid of you!” ~ Colonel James Rhodes

        When James Rhodes said this in Iron Man 3, I was moved because fear has always been there in every challenge I face. Overcoming my fear is definitely a major factor in making sure that I fulfill my duties and responsibilities well. I have taken what Rhodey said as one of my mantras. With it, I take on any challenge with confidence and strength of character. I know that, in the end, success is my choice. 

        4. Nick Fury

        #4 Nick Fury - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

          “Until such time as the world ends.” ~ Nick Fury

          I have always perceived Nick Fury as a strong leader. He wants to get everything done his way and, ultimately, it is the best way. This quote inspires me to keep on going, no matter what happens. I should keep on moving on and perform my best every single day. Even if there are trials, I should see them as minor glitches and not as major hurdles. 

          5. Bruce Banner (The Hulk)

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          #5 Bruce Banner - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

            “I’m always angry.” ~ Bruce Banner (The Hulk)

            Always being angry here is Bruce Banner’s way of telling people that he has already taken control of The Hulk. This tells me that, in order to succeed in life, I should have control over my demons. I should take over and know what I want. Only then, would I be able to use my power to reach my goals. 

            6. Professor X

            #6 Professor X - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

              “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they can’t be saved.” ~ Professor X

              Professor X tells me here that everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are important. If I make them, what matters would be how I surpass it and correct it, to recover from the situation. This is one vital success lesson because what Professor X said makes me want to stand up again, even if I do stumble and lose my path. 

              7. Thor

              #7 Thor - Success Lessons - LifeHack.org

                “There will never be a wiser king than you.” ~ Thor

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                This quote by Thor tells me that in order for me to become more than I am, I should be ready to accept that I still have many things to learn. I should regard those who are more experienced than I am as role models and as sources of valuable knowledge. Thor also tells me here to humble myself because even if I am already good at what I do, I should always acknowledge the fact that there will always be better people. And this fact makes me go further in improving my craft.

                8. Natasha Romanoff (The Black Widow)

                #8 Natasha Romanoff - LifeHack.org

                  “I’m working.” ~ Natasha Romanoff (The Black Widow)

                  Her simple quote is one of my success lessons because when I am working, I should be productive. What I am doing should produce results. Natasha is the best at what she does because she focuses. That focus is one of the most important success lessons to remember. 

                  9. Tony Stark (Iron Man)

                  #9 Tony Stark - LifeHack.org

                    “I AM Iron Man.” ~ Tony Stark (Iron Man)

                    Tony Stark knew what he was doing when he told the world who he really was. Telling the whole world that he is Iron Man is beyond arrogance and egoism. This means that he is there, accepting the responsibility of defending the world against evildoers. Being ready for big responsibilities is an important success lesson for me.

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                    10. Steve Rogers (Captain America)

                    #10 Steve Rogers - LifeHack.org

                      “I am just a kid from Brooklyn.” ~ Steve Rogers (Captain America)

                      A huge part of all success lessons is being able to stay humble. Maintaining your feet firmly rooted to the ground makes you think more clearly and do things with more heart. If you remember where you came from, like Steve, you will surely understand and appreciate what you have achieved.

                      The success lessons I was able to harvest from the Marvel movies I’ve watched showed me sides of my personality that I never even knew existed. They brought out the fight in me most of the time, especially when times really got sticky for me. With all the success lessons that I have now put together, it clearly shows that the Marvel heroes made a huge difference in my life and they can definitely have an impact in your life as well.

                      Featured photo credit: Marvel Heroes/Ign.com via assets1.ignimgs.com

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                      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                      More About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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