What is Your SuperPower?

What is your Superpower?  Do you have a clear idea of it?  How would you describe it to another person?  Do other people describe YOU as your SuperPower to other people?  If you're unclear, try this exercise:  ask 10 people, "What 3 words would you use to describe my Best Self?"   You might be surprised!

SuperPower is linked to a Super Mission.   It's WHY we do what we do.  It's what we stand for.

Superman fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice.  WHY?  All crime fighters fight for truth and justice, but WHY does Superman continue to battle?   Some claim it's Lois Lane.  Not directly for Lois Lane, but for what she represents.  She is every person in their hopes, dreams and passions.   And Superman protects that.  Every time he fights, he makes an ethical decision to protect Lois Lane.

Batman fights a never-ending battle to END crime.  Not just curtail crime, but END it.  Why?  He watched his parents murdered and doesn't want ANY child to experience the pain of loss due to crime.  He uses his PAIN to motivate him.  It's an ethical choice rather than channeling pain and anger into revenge.

Wonder Woman is literally a goddess come to Earth.  Why?  As Patty Jenkins, director of the movie Wonder Woman says, "to protect a better vision for mankind." 

SuperPower isn't a non-human ability.  Your SuperPower kicks in when your Super Mission motivates you to ACT.

When you put your WHY front and center, discerning your Next Best Action gets really clear.  Really fast.

Are Superheroes defined by Action or Apathy?  They see something and act from their Super Mission.   They had a vulnerable experience that opened their eyes.  THEN, they made an ethical choice.  They consistently choose a path of ACTION and build their Unique Character. 

Bottom line:  We, as Super Heroes, are motivated by our Super Missions.  Our SuperPowers build with CONSISTENT ACTION. 

You may ask, 'So Patrick, what is YOUR SuperPower?"  Ask my clients, my teams and my friends.   They could tell you best.   But if pressed, this is my story of discovering my SuperPower.

My Mom and Dad always defended philosophical truths….to the point where they would take a personal hit to make the point.  My Dad was one course short of his MBA in Finance.  Why did he miss?  He disagreed with a point on a paper that a professor made.  He wouldn't back down.  And left….on principle.  That may sound pretty stupid and at times I admit, it still sounds strident.  But I LOVE that my Dad stood for his beliefs. 

When I was 16, my parents trusted me to borrow the car on a Saturday night.  My friend, Michael, and I were out cruising and saw some friends in another car.  We got into a chase.  We were laughing and joking …. Until there was a turn in the road.  Their monster car took the turn easily.  My little car hit the gravel and we glanced a telephone pole as we skidded off the road.  The mix of emotions that ran through my body was terrifying!   RELIEF we missed the pole.  HORROR I had crashed the car.  FEAR of repercussions of a bent fender to the family car.  And lastly, SHAME I had broken my parents' trust.  My friend and I tried to figure out if we could bend back the fender without anyone noticing….at Midnight on a Saturday.  Finally, I realized I needed to just face the consequences.   I mentally prepared for the conversation.  I went over it in my head….over and over.  The car was drive-able so I dropped Michael off and went home.  By now it's 1:30 AM.  Both parents were asleep.  I knocked on their bedroom door and they let me in.

I remember the next moments like yesterday.  You see, that's what ethical decision-making and emergent SuperPowers do for you.  They create lasting memories!

I blurted out that I had hit a telephone pole and broke the car.  You KNOW what their first responses was?  Yep, "Are YOU okay?"  Then, I started reeling out the practiced speech.  "I'm really sorry.  I let you down.  I'll pay for repairs out of my job at the pizza place.  If you ground me for the next two years, I totally understand…."  Tears welled up and I just couldn't stop blubbering stuff out….until they stopped me.

I remember my Dad looking at me in the eyes and saying, "you've punished yourself enough.  Go to bed." 

Stunned, I turned and went to bed.

Yes, I paid the $103 to replace the bumper.  That was easy.  My parents amazingly NEVER brought it up again.  I learned that night that when I show up with AUTHENTICITY in tough situations, things turn out better.

And that's my SuperPower:  Authenticity.  It drives me to show up honestly and compassionately in my interactions.  And Authenticity is at the core of my Super Mission.  When we show up Authentically, magical things get exchanged:  Trust, Energy, Confidence and most importantly, WISDOM.  I believe that exchanging Wisdom is the ONLY way we will survive and evolve as a human species! 

I expect a level of Authenticity from my friends, my teams, my clients, my collaborators.   Heck I even expect it from acquaintances and strangers.  You see, I believe our humanity depends on it!! 

Authenticity leads to Wisdom leads to Survival.  When it matters, I call people out when they don't show up Authentically. 

That's my Super Mission:  Driving for Wisdom Exchange in EVERY interaction.

Think about a defining moment in your life when your Unique Character showed up.  I bet there was an ethical context to the situation.  You made a choice.  And your life changed forever.

So, let's hear it.  What is YOUR SuperPower?  Your Super Mission?


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