I started thinking about superpower because someone left a Spiderman action figure in the window next to the lane where I was swimming. I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye as I reached the end of the lane and came up for air. It was odd since there are no children in the pool area. Why was it there? Was it meant to be some sort of motivator, a talisman to inspire superhuman fitness?
With the exception of a Batman movie or two, I’ve never followed superheroes. I have a hard time with the willing suspension of disbelief. Superheroes leap tall buildings with a single bound, use X-ray vision to see into people’s minds or combat criminals by climbing up walls and dropping nets. Ha, like that is going to happen.
I wouldn’t mind having some superpowers. I would take laser vision in order to clearly see things at a distance. Laser vision might also help me see at night, not a bad idea for a self-proclaimed night owl. I wouldn’t mind being able to absorb energy and use it at will, like the little portable battery charger I use with my phone. I would love to be able to understand and speak every language. Wouldn’t it be great to communicate with anyone, even animals? As long as we are dreaming here, time travel might be kind of fun. I’d love to go back in time and meet my ancestors.
In reality, everyone has some sort of superpower. Often, it is something so innate and so natural to us that we often don’t even realize it is a superpower. For example, I know people with seemingly superhuman powers for connecting. They communicate with ease, empathize easily and light up a room with their smile. They can talk to anyone, engage at a deep level, and make everyone feel special. They magically touch the lives of others.
Some people have the amazing power of enhancing the power of others. If you have ever known someone like this, you understand their power to bring out the absolute best in you. With their influence, you seem smarter and more talented. They are extraordinary mentors, and can improve our lives by allowing us to see the brilliance within.
Another superpower is the ability to focus, work hard, and push on through adversity. These people stay the course through what seems like insurmountable difficulties. Their grit and determination allow them to succeed while other mere mortals would have long since given up. We root for them as they triumph, wishing we, too, had such fortitude.
I don’t think that we do a good job of helping people understand their superpowers. In school, we understand which classes we like, and career counseling involves talent and skill inventories. These can be helpful, but I don’t think they always get at the reasons behind the career trajectory recommendations. For example, I loved English classes. I am an excellent reader and I like writing. These skills suggested teaching and writing as career options.
So, as suggested, I became a teacher and writer. It was a good career choice and has served me well. What interests me though, is how I have used my superpower. I am visionary. I see the big picture. I see beyond what is, to what could be. In literature, I easily connect with the universal truths, the deeper, larger message held within the words on the page and the plot of the story. That is why I love reading. In writing, I understand the power of words to create something that has not yet existed. I find that exhilarating.
If I think about my career, I know that my best quality has always been visionary thinking. I see potential in students that they do not yet see. I see potential in curriculum and programs and I have a vision for how they could be different and better. I constantly change things or start new things. I am always driven by my vision of what could be. Once I have that vision, I work hard to bring it to reality.
We all have superpowers. We have gifts that allow us to be unique and special and magical. We don’t need kryptonite, magic rings or a Nimbus 2000 to have superpowers. What we need is an understanding of who we are and what our true gifts are. And then we need to have the confidence and faith to let our superpower shine.
What is your special gift, talent or superpower? Are you using it to bring something valuable to the world? I would love to hear about your superpower!