This morning, as I look forward to seeing Avengers: End Game, I’ve gained a profound insight regarding why certain entertainment totally pushes my “geek button.”

It’s a spiritual thing. A spiritual quest, if you will.

I’m fascinated by mindfulness meditation, and have been for most of my life; I just didn’t recognize it as such until the past decade or so. And that same inner pull that has led me to dozens upon dozens of spiritual books also draws me to certain creative products.

Therefore, when I observe my obsession with Star Wars from the very beginning of the franchise, I see my attraction to its central themes of mindfulness (The Jedi) and ego (The Sith). I’ve seen every film multiple times, and I’ve read every film’s novelization (with the exception of Solo).

As I find myself continuously rereading the Harry Potter books, usually noticing subtle details and foreshadowing I hadn’t caught during the previous reading, I see my intrigue with the human compulsions toward both light and darkness.

And today, as I ponder my excitement for viewing End Game, it’s centered on the “infinity stones”--the golden thread through all the MCU films of the past 11 years–and their nature of interconnectedness or interbeing/nonself, which is a core Buddhist teaching.

For me, a person who doesn’t watch a lot of action-adventure films but is intensely loyal to a few beloved franchises (those stated above, along with The Dark Knight trilogy and The Walking Dead), it’s never really about the action or special effects. It’s about my intrigue with the spiritual themes that permeate these stories; their creative exploration of the many layers, complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes that compose our human existence.

So feel free to call me a geek because I love this stuff. Just don’t ever call me shallow…the waters run deep.

Growing Your Strengths

I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose examples of applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.

These nine “protagonists” face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.

Until they begin to apply the aforementioned strengths of mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling. Strengths that you can develop as well.

The protagonists and supporting characters in these stories will teach you that you don’t have to settle for confusion, distraction, and stress. You’ll learn that you’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.

Want some context before jumping into the stories? Start with this post. And, as time permits, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive free, exclusive content via email each month with timely guidance on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling.


John M. DeMarco is a writer, strategist, and executive coach based in Nashville, Tennessee.