Inspirational Lessons From Doctor Strange

Inspirational Lessons From Doctor Strange

Inspirational Lessons From Doctor Strange

By Mark Wager

The hero's journey is a commonly used narrative used by story tellers. A story of a hero who has to face overwhelming odds, learn how to overcome those odds and grow as a result has been the basis of stories throughout history. The enduring success of this type of story can be attributed to how the audience can relate to the hero's journey and become inspired by it. Everyone, regardless of what challenges they face in life, whether in business or in relationships is looking for inspiration to succeed, to become better and to become the hero of their own story. The latest movie which explores the hero's journey is the new movie from Marvel studios, " Doctor Strange."

Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbach, Chiwetel Ejitor and Rachel McAdams is the tale of a highly successful surgeon, who when he loses the full use of his hands as a result of a car accident, finds that his journey for a cure, takes him into a mystical world and a battle between good and evil. Like all tales of a hero's journey, Doctor Strange provides us with inspirational lessons that we can use to help us overcome our own personal challenges.

Spoiler warning

Please note the this article contains spoilers for the movie, Doctor Strange, so if you haven't seen this movie then don't read this article. Bookmark it and come back once after you've seen it. You have been warned.

Humility is an essential part of learning.

As a Leadership Coach, I work with people from different industries helping them put together strategies to achieve their goals. Without doubt one of the biggest obstacles I see facing people, is the management of their own ego. People understand that confidence is essential for success but confidence has to be accompanied with humility because if you believe you have nothing to learn then you will never see what is between you and success. In Doctor Strange, our hero is an arrogant surgeon who initially struggles to learn the mystic arts because of his ego. It is only when he accepts that he doesn't know everything and surrenders himself to knowledge that becomes the master of the mystical arts

The journey you need may not be the journey you want

Doctor Strange travels to Nepal to find a cure which will restore the full use of his hands. That is his primary and only motivation, yet during this journey he discovers that what he wants in life is not necessarily the same as what he needs. Whenever you set out to achieve anything you need to be fully aware of the reasons why you are in that journey. Too often I see people who have the course correct because they realise what they are looking for is not going to give them what they need. Focus on your "why" question and what is really motivating you and challenge your reasons for reaching for your goal. Do this and you will find your true goal will present itself to you.

Challenge everything you know

In the movie, Doctor Strange learns the mystical arts from the Ancient One played by Tilda Swinton. He progresses faster than the other students because he is willing to challenge not only what he knows but everything that he is told. I see many leaders in business who's progress is stalled because they do not feel comfortable challenging what they are told. They don't want to come across as aggressive or disrespectful yet this is an important part of all learning. If you accept everything you are told then you will eventually come close to the level of your teacher but if you want to surpass your teacher, which is the true aim of all great teachers, then you need to know what your teacher doesn't know and this can only be found by challenging the lessons presented to you. Do so in a respectful way and not only will you benefit yourself but also your teacher.


It's never about you

In every tale of a hero's journey the moment when the main protagonist becomes a hero is when they realise that there are things that are greater than themselves and they place the greater needs ahead of their own. The same is true in life. If you want to succeed, I mean truly succeed and make a difference in the world, then the only way to achieve this is by sacrificing your personal needs. You have to be prepared to give up what you desire in order to do what's right. This is by definition what a hero is and each and everyone of us, like Doctor Strange, has the potential to become a hero, but we just need to be prepared to do what's right.

Doctor Strange is in movie theatres now.

Posted: Sunday 30 October 2016


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