Interpreting Your Super Powers

Hey Superheroes,

A few people have reached out to me to share how inspired they were by the results they were getting from the Superhero Survey. That's super cool!

Now what?

Below are some insights and actions to take now that you've received your results so that you can make some meaning out of the responses you got.

I hope this helps. To create your own superhero image click here. If you have any questions, email me here.
1. POWERS: If you had to give your friend a nickname or superhero name, what would it be? And why?

Birth Certificate Names: Oftentimes, the names on our birth certificates don't say much about who we are. For some people, they have meaning. For most people, it was whatever sounded cutest to their parents. Our names should communicate our purpose. Many indigenous cultures have naming ceremonies because of the importance of our names.

Superhero Names: Through the survey you received superhero names. These are your alter egos like Batman and Bruce Wayne or Superman and Clark Kent. When your friend named you, they thought about what made you unique and determined your name accordingly. Most of your names have a skills in the form of verbs in them (ie The Deconstructor=deconstruct or Imaginator=imagine) or they speak to a character trait (ie Mr. Make It Happen=someone who makes it happen). Mine superhero name is PurposeFinder because I help people find their purpose. Even if you don't like the names people gave you, receive it as information that you've been projecting to the world and then create your own.

Nicknames: Nicknames are powerful because people have to make a conscious choice not to call you by your given name. Some of my nicknames include J-Conxus (consciousness), J-Money (business savvy), J-Love (loving spirit), and Navigator Newt (advice/direction giving). They each speak to one of my strengths.

Superhero Training:
  • List all of your nicknames and ask yourself what strength the name may be speaking to
  • Check out the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and discover your top 5 strengths. In the book is a code to take a 20-minute online test and the results will give you back your top 5 strengths. Mine are activtor, strategic, discipline, woo, and achiever
2. PASSIONS: What activities would you say your friend is most passionate about doing? And why?

The reason we asked this question is because sometimes our passions and strengths come so naturally to us that we don't even think of them as strengths or passions. If you've ever heard your friend or colleague say "How did you do that?" or "I can't believe you're done already." then they are probably speaking to one of your strengths or passions.

A lot of people think that passions are just for the weekends, but according Succes Built To Last the most successful people find a way to align their passions and professions. The book is based on 10 years of research on 200 of the world's successful people including many Nobel Laureates, government and community service leaders, teachers, scientists, and Olympians, as well as Pulitzer, Grammy, Peabody, and Academy Award winners and the CEOs of large and small organizations. Rather than defining success by money, they defined success as having at least two decades of impact on your particular industry or field. Some interviewees include Richard Branson of Virgin, Jeff Bezos of, Steve Jobs of Apple and more (See them all here).

There are key differences between passions and interests. Passions are that things that you love to do. They are action-based such as building companies, playing baseball, marketing, couseling. Interest are merely topics such as entrepreneurship, baseball, business, empowerment. You can't baseball-baseball is not a verb. However, there are many ways to engage baseball such as playing baseball, coaching baseball, watching baseball, collecting baseball cards, etc. These are passions. In addition, passions are things that we make time for in our week before the week begins, whereas interest are things that we'll get to only if there is time. No matter how busy someone's week is, they will make time for their passions. This is what sets them apart from someone who is just interested.

The magic number for expertise is 10,000 hours of practice according to Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. That is 20 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for 10 years. Are you practicing anything that much? Passions can be crystallized into skills that the business world values if you practice. The difference between a professional (someone who makes money doing their passion full-time) and a hobbyist (someone who just does their passion for fun part-time) is simply the ability to replicate excellence related to their passions more frequently than most people. Ask yourself, what are you committed to being your best at? If you don't know, then you should make a commitment to increasing your exposure to as many opportunities as possible until you find because knowing your passions is the key ingredient to enduring success.

Superhero Training:
  • If you know your passion(s), identify a skill that you would like to develop and set aside 2 hours a day before or after work to practice it for 30 days. Invest in yourself and take a class if you don't have the self-discipline. Your mastery will increase dramatically over that time period
  • If you don't know your passion(s), interview 2 friends and a mentor about their passions and how they found it. From there, create an action plan to explore as many of your interest as possible in the next 30 days.
3. POTENTIAL PATHS: What potential professional paths could you see your friend being great at? And why?

College and the media limit our notions of career paths are limited to teacher, doctor, lawyer, engineer, or CEO. If you don't want to be any of those, then college doesn't really help with your career transition. The education system isn't evolving fast enough to keep up with the times. As a result, we find ourselves going back to school to the same institutions that didn't help us before to buy ourselves more time while acquiring more loans. Something is seriously wrong.

In reality, the career options are endless. But since we have to declare a major before we've done any introspection, we get tracked for career paths related to our majors or available graduate programs. Rather than choosing from a pre-set menu, I challenge you to be curious or create a path. Everyone is talking about job loss but nobody is talking about job creation. Everyone isn't an entrepreneur, but there may be opportunities within your company that allow you to be an intrapreneur.

Superhero Training:
  • Explore the top 3 people and companies related to the career paths that your friends suggested. If you can, connect with someone in that industry for lunch to see if it's a fit for you
4. PERFORMANCE: When have you see your friend exhibit excellence? What impressed you about it?

As crazy as this sounds, we rarely commit to excellence. Society has taught us to be well-rounded and average at everything. If you came home with five A+s and one F, everyone told you to focus on the class you got an F in instead of giving you more of what you're great at. In this information age it is almost impossible to be excellent at more than two things. Since information is growing so fast, it's hard to keep up and since everyone has access to information, nobody has an unfair advantage. Therefore, the best strategy is to master one thing and then apply that process to other things. For example, people who excel at one instrument or master one language can easily learn a second, third, and fourth because they understand the process of mastery.

In today's economy, companies want well-rounded people who can do everything in the midst of layoffs. But a team of 5 people who are excellent at what they do will always defeat a team of 5 people who are average at everything. If you really want job security, then you should seek to so great at something that the company can't lose or replace you. Average people an easily be replaced. Excellent people can't. Excellence pays excellent.

Superhero Training:
  • Take the instances that people mentioned where you exhibited excellence and free-write about why/how you achieved excellence in that moment. Consider your preparation, passion, who it was for/with, why you were do it, etc. From there, try to find opportunities with similar criteria so that you can continue exhibiting excellence.
  • Ask yourself "What was I doing the last time I felt like I was 'in the zone' or 'in flow'?" Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Do another free-write about that experience and see what comes up.
5. RECOMMENDATIONS: Are there any companies, organizations, books, websites, or people you recommend they explore based on your suggestions above?

Superhero Training:
  • Be open to whatever your friends send you. Invest in yourself and buy that book or create time to investigate the companies, websites, and people they mention. You never know what you're going to come across.
6. PEER SUPPORT: How do you hope to continue supporting your friend on the journey of life?

A lot of people are afraid to ask for help. As a result, we set small goal that we can accomplish on our own without asking for help. This pattern never allows us to reach our full potential because no one accomplishes anything amazing alone.

This is usually connected to the fear of failure. If you think back to your report card in grade school, there were 16 potential outcomes for grades: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. Failure was only only one of 16 possible outcomes. As young adults, we feel as though we either in the success or failure category. But try this definition of failure. Failure is success at something u didn't intend 2 achieve. Success is achieving what u intended. The way I've succeeded in life is to fail at something BIG. It's another way of saying shoot for the stars and land on the clouds.

Thinking BIGGER!
Thinking bigger requires building a team and asking for help and expertise from people who love and support you. This survey has provided you with written commitment from people who are willing to help you in various ways. Share your dreams with them and let them help you fulfill them. Give them the opportunity to contribute to your life in the same way that you have been contributing to theirs.

NOTE: If they said they would give you money, go ask for it now :)

Superhero Training:
  • Arrange a lunch, dinner, or call with the people who completed the survey for you and share 1. all of your results with them 2. where you are on your journey and 3. where you want to be, and allow them to pour into you with their time, advice, networks, and wisdom.

A Music Video About The Super Hero In You


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