"What if, like Superman, everyone is born with powers to discover and grow into?” Jolene Stockman, award winning writer & speaker.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if, like a Super Hero, we could fly, spin webs, become invisible, or change our shapes in an instant? I’ve always found it fascinating almost all Super Heroes are regular people who also happen to have a certain power that makes them special. Spiderman is Peter Parker, Batman is Bruce Wayne, Iron Man is Tony Stark, Wonder Woman is Diana Prince… and on it goes.
Well, I’m here to tell you each of us does have a superpower, something that sets us apart and makes us special. While we may not be able to fly, spin webs, use mind control, or become invisible, we each have a unique skill we were born with that can help us do good in the world in which we live.
A superpower is nothing more than an inherent dominate strength we each possess, whether we know it or not. The question then is how do we go about finding the force within us that makes each of us unique and marvelous? For some it might be very obvious, and for others, a bit harder to determine. Below are four ways I’ve found to help determine what sets you apart:
What’s easy for you? I’ve always been bad at math and can say with certainty math is not my superpower. The question is, what puts you “in the zone”? For some, it might be when you’re writing or giving a speech. For others it might involve science, engineering or playing a sport. If you’re doing something you enjoy and lose track of time, that’s a good indicator you’ve found a strength. Something that seems effortless to you may be completely daunting to someone else. Sometimes though, when something is easy for us, we discount it as a strength when in reality we should be nurturing it and learning how we can use it to be of service to others.
“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” Marilyn vos Savant
What do others say is your most outstanding ability? It’s important to listen to those around us to help determine our superpower. What do your friends and co-workers say you do well? Do people come to you for advice on a particular subject, ask you to look over their work to make it better, or to help them figure out what’s wrong with something mechanical? If you receive performance reviews at work, what are you always getting stellar reviews on? Don’t be afraid to ask others what they see as your strengths to help you find a common thread in their opinions. Sometimes we need an objective opinion to see what it is we’re good at and to better understand how we can best use our superpower.
“I really believe everyone has a talent, ability, or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.” Dean Koontz
What are you passionate about? Our youngest son has become passionate about skydiving with over 125 jumps. Does that mean he should pursue jumping out of perfectly good airplanes as a full-time career? Probably not, but our hobbies can give us insight as to what our passions might be. For Max, sky diving involves risk taking (important for entrepreneurs like him), seeing the bigger picture cause he’s 15,000 feet in the air (leadership) and being detail-oriented to ensure each jump is as safe as possible. What is it that makes you feel alive? Answer the question, when you (fill-in the blank) time just seems to fly by. Your passionate hobby may not be your superpower, but if you can break down the elements of what it is you love about that hobby, you might uncover some clues that will lead you to discover your superpower.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Oprah Winfrey
When do you feel the most confident? I love to write and when someone tells me something I wrote really touched them, I’m on Cloud 9. For you, maybe it’s when you’ve built something from scratch, when you’ve aced a test, built a beautiful website, made a big sale, reached a goal, made someone smile, or solved a customer’s problem. Whatever it is, that’s most likely a big hint as to what your superpower is. Confidence is derived when we do a thing that makes us feel good and that good feeling is usually tied to something we’re really good at a.k.a. our superpower.
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don’t feel bad if you’ve not yet discovered your superpower. Keep searching and you will uncover it, as there are so many possibilities where your power may lie. Are you musically or mechanically inclined? Are you a whiz at science, are you curious, are you service oriented, or perhaps you love to crochet? Do you like to teach, to build, to take pictures, or write grants? Without exception, all of us, each and every one of us, has a superpower. And while very few of us will change the world, we can each work to change our sphere of influence.
One translation of Luke 12:48 says, "To whomever much is given, of him will much be required” which mirrors the more modern, “With Great power comes great responsibility” from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. Knowing what your superpower is and using it wisely will give you a sense of satisfaction and in turn will lead to more opportunities to use it. Just as each of us has a unique fingerprint, unlike anyone who has ever lived, we also have an extraordinary superpower that can touch the hearts of those around us.
Use it wisely, use it often, and may the force be with you always.