YOU are a superhero, even if you don’t know it yet.
“Anyone can wear the mask” — Miles Morales, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse
“We can be heroes” — David Bowie
Every Time You Help Others, You Are A Superhero
“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”
— Stan Lee
There will come a point in your life, as has with every great and impactful historical figure in the history of the world, that you cannot progress any further without putting your focus solely on helping other people.
This is the single most important quality of a real-life superhero.
No, you might not save the entire world all at once. The very best way that you can save the world is by saving those that you are in direct contact with.
Dieter Uchtdorf shares an experience of a group of men who were trying to lift and move a piano. The awkward shape of the piano proved difficult for leveraging the weight to move it. The heavy piano remained in place until one of them made the following suggestion:
“Stand close together and lift where you stand.”
The weight of the world’s problems cannot be lifted by one person alone. Or even by all of us trying to lift in places where we are not strong.
If we all lift wherever we are, focusing on the needs of those in the closest contact with us, that we can change the world. Those closest to us are our families, so I hope that your goal, like mine, is to become a hero to your family first.
Do you want to change the world? Change the world around you and you will.
Find Your Superpowers
You already have superpowers.
You have a unique combination of qualities, traits, character attributes, and a personality that is unlike anyone else that has ever lived or will ever live. You are special, and you do have superpowers. You just might not know it yet.
To find them, you have to go looking for them. Here’s how:
- Make a quick list of the 5 people that you are closest to.
- Ask them to share with you what they think your strengths and talents are.
- Compile a list from all the answers, and sort the list with the most common answers at the top.
- Add your own ideas to the list, including specific actions you can take that will grow your strengths.
- Keep the list in a place that you can refer back to it daily. Speak affirmations to yourself based on these strengths and you will grow them.
I know these steps work because I have followed them myself. I know you might be skeptical that this works because I was skeptical too when I first did it.
I thought, as you might now be thinking, that knowing and playing to my strengths would be conceited. It’s not, and you owe it to yourself and to the rest of the world to do this.
Nothing has boosted my confidence more than giving up the notion that I would turn into some arrogant jerk if I knew and believed in my strengths.
And especially after finding my strengths, I can affirmatively say that the fear of becoming conceited is irrational. Find your strengths, your superpowers. You owe it to the world. And here’s why.
The most important part of recognizing your powers is that the world needs your unique abilities to grow and become better.
You are the only person who can affect certain individuals in just the way they need, at just the right time.
You are the hero that the people closest to you need and deserve. Believe it and live it, for their success depends on it.
But just because you have superpowers, doesn’t mean you don’t have to figure out how to use them wisely.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” — Mahatma Gandhi
No, this isn’t going to be like you see it in the movies where they suddenly experience a magical transformation and gain the ability to control their powers. In fact, quite the opposite.
In her life-changing book Grit, the Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth explores this false idea we all have that all the greatest people throughout history were inherently talented and that’s all it took for them to be great at what they do.
It appears to us that they just picked up a basketball, or golf club, or keyboard and were already great. One example is Michael Jordan, who was cut from the Varsity basketball team when he was a Sophomore.
That failure led him to practice harder than everybody else. It was his practice that got him to where he was, not just his talent. However, he did have some inherent talent, to begin with.
Achievement can be modeled by the following equation:
(Talent x effort) x effort = achievement
This doesn’t mean you have to put in 2x the effort, it means that effort counts double for success than talent. Remember your list of superpowers? This is where you can use it to grow to reach your full superhero potential.
(Superpowers x effort) x effort = achievement
You’ve been lied to your whole life by being told that you should work on your weaknesses. That’s garbage and you need to begin working on removing this limitation immediately.
To find greater success, you need to work on your strengths! When I had this realization, it rearranged everything for me. Ever since it’s been night and day for my self-esteem and confidence.
You can and will experience the same transformation also.
Keep that list with you and for your goals, set only those goals that will be working on increasing your ability to use your superpowers.
It takes consistent effort over time to become successful. But it can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day at each of your strength-centered goals.
Get a Costume
Not for Comic-Con.
In Middle School, when I was about 13 years old, I remember every Tuesday was “dress for success” day.
At first, I thought it was weird, then I learned that research shows that we perform at higher levels depending on how we are dressed.
If you want to take yourself seriously, dress more professionally.
Think about it and it’s not that weird, you dress your very best when going in for a job interview, right? So you need to find what type of dress will guarantee your success.
What a costume is for a superhero, your daily wardrobe is for you.
Think about the different clothes you wear at different times in your life. Workout clothes when you’re going to the gym or out on a run. Sunday best for going to church. Business or maybe business casual for work.
It’s time that you had a costume to match your everyday heroic efforts.
Find Your Assistant
The list goes on and on. Think of just about any superhero that you know and love and they have an awesome assistant that is always there right when they need them.
You need an assistant too. Whether it’s a best friend, parent, or spouse, you need someone that you can count on to help you stay accountable to your superhero goals, and especially to the goal of helping other people.
To have a kick-butt assistant, you have to go find one though. It may take some work, but isn’t it worth it to become a real-life superhero?
This might sound strange at first but I promise if you try it, it will work. The first step to finding your awesome assistant is to envision what they are like and how they will help you.
How will they help you with developing your strengths?
What strengths do they have that can make up for your weaknesses?
As with the list of your own strengths, make a list of your desired attributes in an assistant.
Then, go looking for them. Maybe they are already in your life and you just don’t know it. And maybe you’ll find more than one.
You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with, but more importantly, you are the average of the 5 authors you read the most.
You don’t have to be in direct, personal contact with authors to learn from them. Which means you can choose just about any of them to be in your group of your 5 people that you want to be the most like.
In other words, you can choose just about anyone in the world to be your assistant.
Begin Saving the World, One Person at a Time
Do you feel ready? Don’t be afraid, you won’t always feel ready. Whatever life challenge you have coming up next you will never quite be ready, and becoming a superhero is no different.
You just have to take the leap and begin.
Because the world needs you, today.
Will you change it, one person at a time?