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Issue 109

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In this issue ~~

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What's Your Superpower?

Would you like to fly? To be invisible? To hear through walls? To climb up the sides of skyscrapers? To have superhuman strength?

What fun it would be to have a superpower! With the profusion of superheroes in our midst, it’s compelling to think about what your own superpower might be. While you might not leap tall buildings in a single bound, there are many human-sized superpowers. You just have to shift your thinking a bit.

I recently read the novel, A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozecki. The teen protagonist, Nao, is having a hard time at school and at home. She goes to the mountains to spend the summer with her great-grandmother Jiko, a Buddhist nun, who sees her struggle. To help Nao, Jiko offers her a superpower. Not what you would expect: It’s meditation. By learning to center herself, Nao becomes more capable of dealing with the challenges in her life.

As humans, we may not have the speed or the strength or the sharp teeth and claws of the animal kingdom, but we have other powers. You may not feel particularly special, but we each have a unique combination of gifts that can serve us as we navigate the sometimes rough waters of life.

In the 1980s, Howard Gardner brought forth a theory of multiple intelligences. While we might not all ace an IQ test, we may be outstanding with words or numbers or interpersonal skills or a deeper understanding of how things work. Or we may have personal characteristics such as persistence, insatiable curiosity, creativity or empathy. Or maybe our superpower is our faith or our deep personal connections.

Think of someone like Gandhi, a slight man whose superpower was his vision for his country and his unwavering belief in the transformative power of nonviolent resistance. Or the compassion and dedication of Mother Theresa. Or Oprah Winfrey’s passion for education and a powerful desire to help people.

Every one of us has a superpower. You may have to look through a different lens to find it, but it’s there. Your distinct set of strengths will not only empower you, but can connect you to your sense of purpose and your unique vision of what you want to contribute to the world. And it will certainly help to be able to call on your superpowers during challenging times.

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Action Challenge

List 5 superpowers that you have. Think of strengths, talents, qualities, resources, connections, etc.

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Wise Words

Here are some examples of superpowers:

“Within each of us is a hidden store of energy. Energy we can release to compete in the marathon of life. Within each of us is a hidden store of courage. Courage to give us the strength to face any challenge. Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost.”

~ Roger Dawson, The 13 Secrets of Power Performance

“The freedom to fail is vital if you’re going to succeed. Most successful men fail time and time again, and it is a measure of the strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.”

~ Michael Korda

“For myself, I am an optimist--it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”

~ Winston Churchill

“To me, the definition of focus is knowing exactly where you want to be today, next week, next month, next year, then never deviating from your plan. Once you can see, touch and feel your objective, all you have to do is pull back and put all your strength behind it, and you'll hit your target every time.”

~ Bruce Jenner

“Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.”

~ John (Jay) Mccloy

“The most valuable time-management technique that I've learned is patience. Patience is a muscle that I strengthen every day... You can't hurry a learning curve...”

~ Alison Crawford

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.”

~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity."

~ Louis Pasteur

"Motivation will almost always beat mere talent." 

~ Norman R. Augustine

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Bookshelf

(click on the book to see a description at Amazon.com)

A Tale for the Time Being . . . Ruth Ozecki

Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice . . . Howard Gardner

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences . . . Howard Gardner

The Bullying Antidote: Superpower Your Kids for Life . . . Dr. Louise Hart

Your Superpowers: Dream It, Achieve It . . . Steve Gardner

Strengths Finder 2.0 . . . Tom Rath

Now, Discover Your Strengths . . . Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire your Community . . . Albert L. Winseman, Donald O. Clifton, Curt Liesveld


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© 2013 Sharon Good. All rights reserved.

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