Yes, I still believe in super heroes! In a quick straw poll of the members of my household on what superpower they would want if given the opportunity, I was quite surprised with the answers. I had two that wanted to fly, one that wanted to be invisible, one that wanted to be able to read another’s thoughts, and one that wanted to control another’s thoughts. When I was growing up, I often thought about what it would be like to be a superhero, didn’t you? What would I do? What kind of super hero would I be? I was always drawn to those who didn’t have powers but, instead, leveraged what they had in order to make the world a better place. Of course I admired Batman but, more often, I found myself pretending that I was Steve Austin, the astronaut that had been “re-tooled” with bionics after his tragic wreck and was transformed into the “Six Million Dollar Man.”
The opening sequence of that fantastic 70′s show opens showing a horrific crash and then a narrator saying, “Steve Austin, astronaut; a man barely alive…” and ends with head scientist, Oscar Goldman, laying out the plan, ” Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology….we can make him better, stronger, faster than before.” Even today, this show still appeals to me. For me, even as an adult, it tugs at the question of what kind of superhero I am and how can I leverage what I have so I can contribute more. Not that I am not good but, like many, can feel the stress of life and feel like any man, barely alive. But each of us has the technology to rebuild – to make ourselves better, stronger and, yes, faster than before.
There are many things I am good at but there are a LOT more that I would like to be better at. With competing demands and resources, it can be easy to fall into a trap of trying to do everything and be everything. I am sure I am not alone in feeling the super hero pull to do it all, have it all and be everything to everybody. It’s not impossible to do but it can strip you of your super powers. I equate it to when a restaurant goes from having some key specialty dishes to serving a buffet. When you switch to a buffet, the overall quality degrades just a little and the experience is not as great. Being better is taking time to reflect on what’s important, investing in your own development and choosing how you will use your superpowers. CHOICE!? I have a choice? Yes! Being better is getting rid of the buffet and getting back to your specialty dishes. You can’t save everyone but you CAN save yourself!
Superman had Lex Luthor, Batman had the Penguin, and Spiderman had the Goblin. Just as every superhero has his arch villain, you have yours and I have mine. Even Steve Austin fought the powers of the bionic Big Foot who was sometimes friend, sometimes foe (but that’s a whole different article). What (or who) is your archenemy? It could be finances, food, marital problems, or any myriad of other issues/people that knock you down, lock you up, and calculate how to expose your weaknesses so that it will result in your ultimate failure. The lesson we can take from our superheroes is that they ALWAYS prevailed. The power of your good is always greater than the evil forces at large. Being stronger is the realization that, no matter whom (or what) we face, you can dig deep and overcome it. It could be with the help of your superfriends or with the help of something supernatural. Regardless, the super hero phrase you can write on a post-it and plaster everywhere to remind yourself is:
I ‘M > it
(Translation: “I AM greater than it!”)
You are greater than any foe you face because you can leverage your own super powers to overcome it. Dig deep and send it back to the fiery depths of hell whence it came.
Faster Than Before
Faster for me doesn’t mean the speed at which I travel, leap over buildings or the speed with which I save the damsel in distress. For me (and I can only speak for me), it is about being faster to appreciate the countless blessings, joys, and wonders that fill my life. It is about being faster to be kind, faster to spontaneously appreciate the people in my life that make it worthwhile, and faster to slow things down so I can savor the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world, see what is going wrong, and let it sap my super powers. Super heroes look for what is going right, who is doing right, and how they can contribute to the larger good. Be faster every day in being present and positive. It helps with both being stronger and better!
Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind being able to fly, see through walls, or even able to shoot webs from my wrists and sail through the city. However, I think we are all superheroes in our own way and we can strengthen our positive foothold in the world and defeat evil by leveraging the gifts we already have. I can be better, stronger, and faster! I have that technology and so do you! So step up, step out, and make a difference!