Sunday, June 20th, 2010
A lot of people have been asking me, “What exactly is a superpower?” It’s time I gave you an answer.
So, over the past couple months I’ve talked a lot about developing your superpowers, but I never explained how to figure out what your superpowers are in the first place. The best way for me to do this is to start by asking you a few questions.
What do people come to you for?
The thing that people approach you about the most is a superpower. People love coming to you for this thing because they know you will do an amazing job. The most important aspect, though, is that you enjoy helping people with this thing.
Career superpowers are actions that come easily to you, are fun and can do them for hours on end. As you build your career, you probably will become more in tune with what your superpowers are. If you don’t, you will miss out on the opportunity to create leverage.
Your superpowers depend on three factors:
Without all of these factors you will have a missing power to leverage your success.
I had a friend who was an amazing writer. I floundered in college while he excelled.
My friend could write about submarines, water polo, and weather patterns and make each paper fascinating. The only problem was that he didn’t care. He had great skill and focus, but no passion.
After he completed each article he experienced no excitement and no happiness. He just moved on to the next thing on his list.
I consider writing to be a superpower of mine now because it fell into all three areas. I had the passion, focus, and strength to make my writing interesting.
I’m going to compare two skills that I have (writing and editing) and explain why one is a superpower and one is just a skill.
The intrinsic motivation behind your actions is passion. If you find yourself constantly forcing yourself to take action, then this isn’t passion.
I love to write and the process comes easily. I actually need to write in order to get the thoughts out instead of spinning around my head. It’s a therapeutic action that became a daily habit.
On the other hand, I have difficulty editing because by that point the creation process is already over for me. I want to move on to the next idea.
You’ve probably noticed how certain work won’t motivate you for very long. You may be passionate about it for a few hours or days, but eventually the energy wanes and you’re back to doing things that bring you happiness.
The amount of time you can spend focusing on a project will determine how much you get accomplished. If you can’t stay focused for very long, you’ll never develop the skill to be successful.
I can write for many hours a day. This allows me to write articles for my site as well as many guest posts. I rarely feel like I can’t write. There are always fresh angles that I can tap into if I do some research, meditation or take a walk.
I can edit for many hours, but it doesn’t make me feel energized. I do it because it’s a part of my job.
Each skill that you have must produce quality results, otherwise it’s not a strength.
For example, almost anyone can write. In order for it to be considered a strength it must be something that other people notice because your skill stands out.
I write to change the world. That’s exactly how I look at it. I’m good at it and I expect to produce great results.
Editing is not a skill that I’ve mastered yet, so it’s tough for me to consider this a strength. It’s more like an ability that I’m trying to mold into a superpower.
So how do you find your superpowers? You have to figure out if the action in question meets all the criteria: passion, focus, and strength.
|Not a Superpower||Superpower|
Your passions come from your subconscious, your focus is all about your ability to stay in the present moment, and your strengths are determined by the results you produce and the way others perceive those results.
If you don’t have all three when performing an action…
…then you aren’t creating great results and feeling happy while doing it.
You’re just passing the time doing work that you aren’t really connected with.
This is why I started my Superpower Coaching sessions. People came to me for advice because I could see through the fog to help them develop a clear picture. I couldn’t avoid this superpower, so I decided to leverage it.
You must learn to leverage your career superpowers or you will be missing out on major success.
What are you doing to leverage your superpowers in your business/career?
* Join the Work Happy Now Facebook Page and interact with other people who are trying to improve their superpowers.
* Turning fear into Fuel is the entrepreneur’s secret to success. We all are scared and procrastinate, but the ones that use this fear to make themselves smarter, stronger and happier are the ones that win. Check out Jonathan Field’s post right here. He and Chris Guillebeau give two excellent talks on fear.
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