Are you a ‘Wakanda Forever’ kind of person or team Black Widow? Do you think Thanos is the coolest villain, or is it Hela or Loki for you? After nearly two decades and 23 movies, fans are bound to have an opinion on this.
Wait, what?! You’ve never watched a Marvel movie? Stop whatever you’re doing and put it on your watch list. You can thank me later.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is home to some of the most epic superheroes, a web of engaging storylines, jump-off-your-seat visual effects, and a generous dose of humor. So, use the rest of your lockdown time to get to know all the superheroes from one of the biggest movie brands in the world. The Incredible Hulk. Dr. Strange. Spider-Man. Captain Marvel. And the rest of the gang who fight invading aliens and monster armies to save the world.
As you sink into the wonders of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll realize it is much more than just technical wizardry or stories about good guys vs bad guys. The superhero movies also teach you many Harappa skills that are critical for success in your professional and personal lives. Problem-solving. Facing setbacks. Interpreting yourself. Discovering purpose. And practicing excellence.
Take the MCU Infinity Saga, for instance. You can learn so much about setbacks and problem-solving from it. In the superhero world, a setback isn’t about a job loss or the struggle to get into the right MBA program. Here it comes in the form of an inter-dimensional entity like Dormammu who has apocalyptic levels of superpower and wants to bring the Dark Dimension to Earth. Or half of all living creatures vanishing with a single finger snap.
These are not regular problems And our superheroes didn’t take a course to learn how to solve them. They had to time-travel, take intergalactic expeditions, or build a rather uncomfortable iron-suit and robot heart to escape captivity.
Although the Avengers series is full of inspirational characters, here are three examples of great self-leadership from my MCU experience:
1. Tony Stark aka Iron Man
When the movie series begins, Tony Stark is a money-loving, weapon-selling party boy with a fantastic sense of humor. But his genius lacks purpose. He has passion and strengths but going through a journey of mortal danger he finally identifies his values. This completes his Ikigai—his reason for being.
Harappa’s Discovering Purpose course talks about Ikigai as something that makes life worthwhile even when we are going through challenges. It helps us become our best possible selves. Iron Man’s Ikigai develops his character in the subsequent movies to become the genius, philanthropist, mentor, and leader that he is and we all love him 3,000 for that.
2. Steven Rogers aka Captain America
Captain America is the ultimate good guy in the Avengers series. He simply wants to be a dutiful soldier but he is physically weak. After being part of a super-soldier experiment, he gains immense strength but then fate puts him through seven decades of frozen sleep. His first agenda waking up after 70 years entombed in ice is to become the First Avenger and battle an alien invasion.
Harappa’s Interpreting Self course talks about the importance of core beliefs in identifying our motivations and who we are. This is crucial to the journey of leadership. Captain America’s core values of nobility, patriotism, and courage help him rise to the occasion. At the end of the Avengers Civil War, Captain America stands up for his fundamental beliefs at the cost of being declared a war criminal but he always stays true to his core values. And in the final validation to his superhero abilities, Captain lifts Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in Endgame—imagine the thunderous applause in theaters.
3. Thor Odinson
Thor is immortal, the prince of Asgard, very handsome and he is literally the God of thunder. At the beginning of the series, he is also arrogant, greedy, cruel, and can’t work with a team. But by the end of Ragnarok, Thor loses everything—his brother, his planet, his eye, his girlfriend, his mother, and even his hammer. After failing to stop Thanos from snapping his finger, Thor goes into full-blown depression and existential crisis—and starts drinking heavily.
Negative experiences can lead to the creation of internal interferences in our minds. Harappa’s Leading Self course defines these inferences as fears, insecurities, and self-doubt. It is not easy to fight these interferences, but doing so, helps us reach our true potential. To become a worthy Avenger again and help his team, Thor did exactly this. He teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to extract the reality stone and played his part in defeating Thanos.
The Infinity Saga is a great movie-marathon idea during the lockdown. Now, it would have been fantastic if one of these superheroes could come and save us from COVID-19 but even otherwise, this epic cinematic universe is still a great escape—and a treasure trove of life lessons.
Ragini Thakur is a Specialist with the Curriculum Team at Harappa Education. She is a postgraduate in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She enjoys old Hindi songs, books meant for kids and all things food.
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