Search for more Everyday Power
Good vs. evil. That’s what superhero movies are all about. And, of course, good happens, and the superhero lives on another day to fight his nemesis. There are days when we wish we could fly, leap over buildings, and stop a speeding bullet; there are days when we wish we could magically wipe every problem and difficult person out of our lives. But that is not what superheroes do. They don’t wipe their problems away – they confront them. And they do so with very specific strengths of character. The physical powers are secondary, really, to their character traits. Being you own superhero means that you adopt those character traits, even if you don’t have X-ray vision.
1. Use Failure and Adversity to Propel You
Superman lost his parents as a baby; Batman’s parents were killed by a criminal; real parents have lost their children to drugs or gun violence. You may have had some pretty big failures or problems too. There are always two responses to failures and crises. We can succumb to them, give up, and live the rest of our lives in despair; or we can use those events to motivate us to do something greater. Which will you choose? If you want an example of people using adversity to promote the greater good, think of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). All of their children were killed as a result of drunk driving. And they have been responsible for toughening up laws all across the country. On a personal level, you can use failure or adversity as a learning experience and move yourself forward, perhaps in a different direction. Let these things motivate you to set new goals and go after them.
2. Assess Your Mental Strength
Mental fitness creates strength. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you take initiative? When you see something that needs to be done, either at work, in your community, or at home, do you take that task on?
- Do you believe that you can accomplish whatever it is you set out to accomplish? And are you willing to put in the time and the effort to do this?
- Do you believe that part of your life’s work is making life better for others? Whether you are a teacher, a doctor, a street sweeper or an entrepreneur, does your work improve the lives of others in some way? If it does, you have one solid trait that strong people have.
3. Name Your Powers
You already have lots of powers. They are in the form of skills and talents. Can you name them? Once you do, then you will know that your life’s work will be powerful if you use those skills and talents, for yourself and for others. Consider this: Bill Gates had a power – he could write code for software, and he knew he could use that power to do great things. So, he developed Microsoft. How many lives have been impacted by that single skill? And once he became a billionaire, how did he use that power? He set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Your “world” will not be as big as Bill Gates’s. But you can do the same thing on a smaller scale. You can use the skills and talents you have to achieve, and then see how your achievements can be used to help others as well. That’s what real world superheroes do.
4. Identify the Detractors/Weaknesses
Superman had kryptonite. You have things that you have identified as weaknesses. Perhaps you are impulsive – you make decisions before considering all of the consequences. Once you have identified that as a weakness, you can be more vigilant. You can set a rule for yourself. You will give every major decision 24 hours to ferment before you make it. There was once a school principal who knew she was impulsive, especially when it came to discipline. She took student misbehavior personally and tended to over-react when meting out consequences. So, her rule was she would tell the “culprit” that she was too angry at the moment and that she would wait until the next day to determine a consequence. That 24 hours gave her time to put things in perspective.
Confront your weaknesses and develop plans and rules to neutralize them.
5. Listen to Your Inner Self and Respond
If you are feeling “trapped” in a work or personal situation that is not fulfilling, listen to that inner voice. How does that voice respond when you ask what would you really like to be doing right now? It will tell you. And it may be telling you to take a risk, to make a big change in your life. People become strong when they listen to that voice and take steps to follow it. What can be a stronger motivator than to follow a dream or goal that you inner voice tells you is right for you? If you take action based upon that inner voice, the road may not be easy; it may have detours and blocks; it may force you re re-evaluate your purpose in life. But, in the end, it will make you strong. It will give you purpose. Whether the road means you leave a career path for the unknown of entrepreneurship or remove yourself from unhealthy relationships, you will be on a road that has purpose. And the pursuit of that purpose gives you power.
6. Embrace the Negativity – Then Knock it Out of the Park
There will be naysayers; there will be your own negative thoughts about your abilities. The only way to counter negativity is to take it in, reflect on where it is coming from, and then take steps to eliminate where it comes from. If it is from other people, then you need to change the people you hang out with. Widen your circle and surround yourself with like-minded people. There is real strength in numbers and mutual cheerleading. If that negativity is coming from within, get tough. Make an action plan, put it in writing, and commit. Determination and perseverance create a strong person.
7. Gather Your Weapons
Identify what is in your arsenal. You have talents, skills, passions, allies, and the ability to learn anything you need to learn. Maybe you have products or services that will solve problems or meet needs that others have, and you need to market them.Research how you market those to a large audience online. Use your exceptional writing skills to create your own blog and promote your products/services on social media. Find allies who will promote your product/service. Start networking. Turn every talent and skill into a weapon to pursue your goals – that’s using strength to create power.
8. Stay True to Your Principles
Any superhero could choose to use his/her powers for unethical or illegal purposes. There would probably be much wealth to gain in doing so. Bill Gates could choose to use his wealth to accumulate more, to “buy” politicians, and to gain a great deal of personal power. He chooses not to because he has principles that go beyond self. He believes in using his wealth and power for greater good. So should you. Compromising your principles cheapens and weakens you both personally and in your career. Set your principles in stone and never compromise them for a short-term gain. There is a great inner strength and power in doing the right thing.
Eight steps to superpower status. Are they easy? No. Are they doable? Yes. Will they give you a legacy of strength and superhero status? Absolutely.