When it comes to talking about “power” in this world, most people would immediately think of “money”, “physical strength” or “fame”.
However, those types of powers have shown their limits. Very few people know about superpowers. So let’s talk about those underrated human traits which make a person really powerful.
SUPERPOWER #1: Empathy
The first superpower I want to put on the spotlight is empathy.
Empathy is from Ancient Greek empátheia (from “em” meaning “in” and “pathos” meaning “feeling”), literaly meaning “passion”. Empathy is the ability to understand and share another’s person point of view or emotion.
Empathy helps to build positive relationships with others, in private life as well as in business.
Recently I watched this TED Talk by Simon Simek about empathy and leadership in business. I found it very inspiring. To him, empathy is an essential quality for a strong leader. Although we all have the capacity to be a leader, that does not mean that everyone must be a leader and that everyone wants to be one. Being a leader is a great personal sacrifice because it means being responsible for the job of others. He says: “Leaders are not responsible for the job. They are responsible for the people who are responsible for the job. They’re not even responsible for the results. (…) CEOs are not responsible for customers. They are responsible for the people who are responsible for the people who are responsible for customers”.
Leaders have to create the right environment to make the people they are responsible for feel confident and happy to carry out their missions. They have to feel that someone cares about them as human beings. The practice of empathy at work is how you help people to be at their natural best. When something doesn’t work, say “Try again” instead of screaming. When someone under your responsibility cannot reach their goals, ask if everything is fine and if there is anything you can do to help.
SUPERPOWER #2: Kindness
Some of my followers on IG suggested that I should add “Kindness” as a superpower.
In Book II of “Rhetoric”, Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”.
When we think about kindness, we might consider it as a weakness. We often confuse kindness with dumb or stupid.
However, being kind helps us being more positive and this positive mindset is contagious. Smiling, saying hello or showing care can have a great impact on someone else’s life. It’s very simple but extremely powerful.
Don’t expect anything in return, even if your behavior will necessarily generate positive changes in your life. Kindness must first be applied to yourself. The idea is not to sacrifice your well-being for others but rather to let the kindness you have known how to bring to yourself resonate and spread throughout the world.
We all dream of a world of kindness although many obstacles exist: competition, emotions that can overwhelm us and the difficulties of everyone’s life. However, practicing kindness on a daily basis can make us shine and help us to be more connected to others. Acts of kindness make us grow at an individual level and can unlock situations or open doors.
Here is a list of small exercises you could do everyday to increase your kindness:
- Say “Good morning” with a smile to your colleagues everyday at work;
- Find opportunities to give compliments;
- Say “Thank you” to someone who made a difference;
- Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a while;
- Invite someone for a coffee;
- Put your phone away and pay attention to people around you;
- Listen when someone is talking;
- Give someone a book you think they will appreciate;
- Tell a joke;
- Smile at everybody;
- Praise your coworkers for a job well done;
- When people are gossiping about someone, say something nice.
SUPERPOWER #3: Humility
Although many religions and philosophers consider humility as a virtue, this superpower is often disregarded.
Some people wrongly associate humility with:
- poor self-esteem;
- lack of fortified commitment;
- blind submission to any authority;
- being silent or passive.
I thought this way for a long time until I changed my mind. A humble person is the exact opposite of what is mentioned above.
Healthy humility actually means:
- letting go: being grateful for what you have, appreciate who you are and detach from all that you cannot change;
- being measured, understanding the true value or worth of things;
- being curious: being opened to what others have to say or to offer, always showing eagerness to learn;
- admitting you don’t know everything, never judging or belittling others to appear bigger yourself.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Being humble is a strength and having a humble mindset is a key to progress. At work, experience has shown that humble leaders get more commitment.
How to become more humble everyday? ⠀⠀⠀
- Know yourself: Examine your inner strengths and weaknesses;
- Put your ego on hold and open your mind to focus on other people: be interested in what they say, always choose dialogue over debate and celebrate their achievements;
- Compare your achievements with your own goals, not with other people.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The journey is not easy but the reward is worth it. Are you ready? ⠀
SUPERPOWER #4: Willpower
I think another major superpower is willpower.
Most people want to change something in their lives but they end up struggling with willpower. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Every year, we all have new resolutions like saving money or going to the gym. Though we all know that resolutions never last more than a week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Why? Because we don’t use willpower properly. To make the change happen, you need to change your mindset first. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Don’t waste willpower. According to research, the more you use it, the less you have. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Think about how you can manage your life better without putting too much efforts: automate simple tasks, be organized, create routines. It will save your willpower for things that really matter to you.
To achieve your goals and keep your willpower, it is also important to manage your emotions and be in adequacy with yourself. According to Hugo Kehr, chair holder of the Chair of Psychology at the Technical University of Munich, lack of motivation is caused by a discrepancy between Head and Heart. According to studies, discrepancies between Head (rational thinking) and Heart (emotions) reduce wellbeing, lead to stress and burnout and make it harder to reach your goals.
Discrepancies between Head and Heart also require willpower and this willpower is then lacking for other tasks: “As a muscle that is used up by training, you can use up your willpower”, Hugo Kehr explains.
Hugo Kehr is the acting chair holder of the Chair of Psychology at the Technical University of Munich. His current research, focuses on what motivates us as humans, and why we sometimes struggle with conflicting drives and a lack of willpower.
SUPERPOWER #5: Focus
The last superpower of the list is focus.
You may be determined, but if you can’t focus on what needs to be done, your efforts are useless. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Focus on one thing at a time. To focus on everything is to focus on nothing. Just focus on key projects and delegate or automate tasks that are less important to you. Your to-do lists will become much more efficient and you will be able to achieve your goals faster.
What about distraction? According to Chris Bailey at TEDx, the real problem with lack of focus is not distraction. Our brains are not distracted, they are over-stimulated. They are seeking stimulation all day through all kind of notifications: emails, text messages, posts on social media. Actually, we are not distracted. We are doing too much. We are doing so much that our minds never wander anymore. Allowing your mind to wander is the best way for ideas to emerge.
Do you know other underrated superpowers? Share them in the comment section below!