5 min read
Superheroes don't merely exist in movies and comic books.
Do you know that you have certain superpowers that no one can ever take away from you? You are more powerful than you realize. In fact, you are more resourceful than you allow yourself to believe, and you have an abundance of gifts to offer the universe just waiting to be unwrapped.
These treasures are your seven mighty superpowers, which if recognized and used wisely and effectively, can elevate and advance your personal and professional life experiences significantly.
1. You have the power to make choices in every situation.
This is your incredible gift of "free choice," discussed at great length in the philosophical works of the Rambam (Maimonides).You have this power in every decision, circumstance and opportunity and moment. You decide how to think, perceive, filter, speak, react, and behave. You are your life self-manager. You have the freedom to choose and in turn be responsible for every choice you make. When you live without blame, you live with strength and accountability.
2. You have the power to seek and find good.
The Talmud cites an example of Nachum Ish Gamzu, who always found the good in every situation. What you choose to look for, in every person or situation, you will most certainly find. This strength of character is what makes the optimist rise and remain in a realm of possibility, where there are always alternatives, and where difficulties are just part of growth and failure is merely feedback. This power enables new lessons to be learned, new paths to be followed, and deep changes to take effect.
3. You have the power to lead by example and become a role model for others, just by your integrity.
It is remarkable to realize that anyone you interact with socially, on a domestic front or in the business world, can become inspired by your actions and deeds – regardless of how inconsequential these behaviours may seem to you. The values you convey by your daily habits give you leadership and role model power of inspiration. How we behave has more impact than the words we speak. Moses is described in the Torah as an example of true Jewish leadership, leading by example, and with consistent integrity.
4. You have the power to do the very best you can with all that you have.
No one can take away your ability to give of yourself 100%. This "willpower" stems from your superpower to want to truly play big. One of the greatest human regrets is going to the grave with your song that you were meant to sing still unsung. When you harness this God-given gift, everyone you love and serve will be richer for having you at your fullest touch their lives. With an attitude of gratitude and appreciation, every investment is done fully. Ethics of our Fathers states that a wealthy person is one who understands and appreciates what he has.
5. You have the power to treat others with compassion, dignity and love.
As we learn from Abraham, the founder of our faith, the ultimate proponent of loving kindness, the way we speak, advise, parent, educate, manage, love, work and play can all be handled with much care, compassion, sensitivity, tolerance and thought. You have the choice to give the benefit of the doubt if you want to. You have the power to demonstrate absolute kindness. People will always remember how you made them feel and you have influence in all of your interpersonal relationships. People like being with people they like. People like doing business with people they like. Kindness is a superpower than can turn fear into love, war into peace, death into life.
6. You have the power to be a self-innovator by doing just 1% more today than you did yesterday.
The Sages state that each Yom Kippur a person should take on one small improvement for the year ahead, and stick to it! We don’t have to make 360-degree transformations over night. With a clear vision, smart goals and carefully locked priorities, you have the power to do more and be more today than you were the day before. Change is not easy. Small disciplines integrated and repeated over time, as little as a 1% refinement, lead to lasting and deep improvements, which ultimately get you closer to where you want to be.
7. You have the power to focus your time, energy and resources on the things in your life that bring you health, happiness, joy, and fulfilment.
The Ramchal's Path of the Just describes the imperative for living a life imbued with meaning and focused on personal development and self-fulfilment. We all battle with the guilt that "giving to me and following my dreams and ambitions is selfish." But the good news is that the universe wants us to be ourselves and needs us to be everything we are capable of being. The world will benefit far more greatly once we are aligned with our passions and feel whole. Everybody wins when we live our true purpose, direction and meaning. We give the best of ourselves when we become all of ourselves.
We have tremendous superpowers that are always available to use to do so much good in our lifetime.
This article originally appeared in Jewish Life, South Africa's monthly lifestyle glossy free to the Jewish community.