it’s not about you

I’m a huge Marvel fan and not only do I enjoy the superhero movies but I also like and appreciate the nuggets of wisdom peppered in them.

One piece of wisdom that really stayed with me is the last conversation between the Ancient One and Doctor Strange in the movie Doctor Strange. Just before the Ancient One’s death, as her astral form escapes the operating room and hovers outside the hospital building to spend her final moments gazing at the falling snow one last time, Doctor Strange — in his astral form as well — follows her and hovers beside her, asking her to return to her body. But the Ancient One informs him that this is her end indeed and she gives her one last bit of wisdom to him before she goes.

She tells hims, “Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all… It’s not about you.”

When we think only of ourselves and not others, we may attain success but we keep ourselves away from greatness.

She reveals to him that he does have the choice to reinstate his previous life with his magic, as he wanted in the first place. Or instead he could use it to serve the world.

She also imparts an essential teaching: Sometimes, we need to break the rules to serve the greater good. Along with strength, we need flexibility as well to get past a pressing obstacle.

Lastly, when Doctor Strange confesses that he isn’t ready, the Ancient One tells him that no one ever is. We’re not sure how much time we have, and as we contemplate on mortality, we realize our days are numbered. Instead of taking refuge in doubt and fear, we need to take a leap of faith and jump in. That’s the only we’ll make progress.

Cultivate your passion, pursue mastery and serve the greater good with your talent. We all have the choice to either to use the gifts and talents that we have been bestowed with for our own selfish gains, or use them for the greater good. And as we bring flexibility in our actions, and mortality in our thinking, we’ll able to overcome our doubts, fears and excuses and make good use of gifts that our Creator has bestowed us with.

Ultimately, it’s in our will to live a life of greatness. Our choices and actions determine our fate and our legacy and when we work for the greater good, not for ourselves, we live a meaningful and impactful life and make this world a much better place.