Thanos and balance

Anyone who knows me well knows two things about me:

  1. I’m a big Marvel fan, especially the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
  2. I find the mad rush to make pop culture reference metaphors out of everything really annoying, so I never do that

So, it’s very telling that I want to talk about Thanos and balance.   Warning, spoiler ahead.

First of all this is a minor spoiler, and something that the comics have been aware of for many many years.  I’m not even saying if this is in the movie or not.  I’m just relating a character motivation and arc that has already appeared in the comics.   The character Thanos is a villain who is on a quest to obtain parts that allow him to populate a gauntlet that will them allow him to to a singular thing – create balance in the universe.  His method of creating this balance is to wipe out literally half of the life in the universe, with the snap of his fingers.

His reasoning is fairly simplistic and driven not by evil, but by what he believes is good – he doesn’t want that other half of the universe as a whole to suffer.  If you remove the other half, there’s more energy and resources to go around.  Sound familiar?  If you’re one of the people that doesn’t get wiped out, and no one you know is also wiped out, it’s not that terrible of a thing.  Yes you mourn for the half of your planet that no longer exists, but life goes on for you and life is actually better, in theory.  More stuff to go around, people expand, empty houses, vehicles, a much shorter line Starbucks, more parking spots available.  Think about it.  And all you had to do is accept that millions of people had to go away, to be sacrificed and no longer be part of the equation.

So why is this important, and how is this a metaphor?  Well, I mentioned energy and resources – two of the three magic words I say over and over.  His method is to get rid of people so that there’s more energy and resources to go around.  They are sacrificed for the greater (in his belief system) good.

You may have snapped your fingers too

You may have encountered a situation in your past in which you are overwhelmed.  You have too much going on.  How many people say that?  All of them at some point?  So what did you do?  It’s a fair guess that in the absence of training, wisdom of a really nifty system like Alchemy For Life that shows all your energy and resources you did something else: you snapped your fingers.  But instead of countless people disappearing, it was an activity or two, or perhaps even a job or relationship.


You made it go away.  You associated that unpleasant feeling of being overwhelmed or being pulled into too many directions, or having no energy – with that activity, or job, or relationship.  And like Thanos, the simple solution is to wipe it out; make it go away.

And just like The Mad Titan your logic is based on what you think is right.  Just like Thanos it may very well be flawed.

The sliding puzzle

As I’ve said, life is a sliding puzzle.  You have to make room for something or it’s not going to stick.  That’s why all those people start a gym membership in January and by March they never step foot in that gym again.  Their schedule and energy push back and eject this new, unwelcome activity.  And the gym has already signed you up for a repeating payment.  What a great business model.

Instead of snapping your fingers and making these things go away, let’s take two steps back.  Before you even add something to your schedule and list of activities see where it will fit.  And if it won’t fit, then see what you can shift to make it fit.  The beautiful thing about Alchemy For Life is that we can cheat reality and find room for something that shouldn’t fit.  How?  Because we can overlap, work/play smarter and do things that we wouldn’t have even thought of.  Then your activity fits in your schedule.  And remember that what you are made of is not just your schedule (time) but energy and resources.  Think of that before you start your membership, join a league, start dating, take a new class, accept a new job with a different schedule/energy requirement, agree to help someone on a regular basis or any other commitment.  Let’s make sure it has a place first, then move forward. Otherwise there will indeed be suffering and you may very well feel obligated and forced to wipe something out.  The thing you get rid of may very well need to be there and be an important part of you.  I don’t want you to give up a job, a rejuvenating activity or an important relationship.

So take off the gauntlet and don’t snap your fingers.  And my apologies for the metaphor.


Thanos is a property of Marvel, and used in a demonstrative fair use fashion.  All names and copyrights belong to their respective owners