I’m not even sure quite yet what I believe about this topic. Thought I’d throw it out there for discussion – what’s your perspective?
There are inherent strengths. Acquired skills. And growth-through-experience.
Then, there’s personal magic.
I’m increasingly thinking there may be something to the idea that we each have something special – as I’ve heard it put, a “super power” (was that you, Chris Brogan??) that really can’t be replicated by someone else, because it’s in your wiring.
We can spend a lot of time lamenting all the abilities we don’t have – I have indulged this fruitless waste of time and mental energy for decades. But what if we could identify something in our makeup that is outstanding, amazingly helpful to others – yet we are so used to it, we don’t even recognize the magic for what it is?
I remember having dinner in Manhattan with an entrepreneur who was lamenting certain “lacks” in his makeup – yet his super power was quite evident to me. He intuitively recognized holes in the marketplace and envisioned how they could be solved – then simply acted.
He didn’t need 10 other super powers, or even 15 other moderately-cool powers. This one bit of magic was quite sufficient in making him a success.
Ability to visualize ideas and strategies and make them clear to others graphically? Magic. Ability to not only teach, but motivate and excite students? Magic. Ability to put anybody at ease within 30 seconds? Magic.
If you’ve ever spent time with Angela Maiers, then you’ve experienced her magical ability to impart passion. Then there are those with quiet magic – I remember meeting a gal one summer during college who embodied a humble, servant spirit. A background super power that stood out with no noise and fanfare.
At least 2 of my sons of have magic-levels of people engagement power, which is totally bizarre considering the introvert-ish wiring of both of their parents. Which is why I think some of this magic stuff isn’t learned. It just is.
Maybe instead of obsessing first over what our purpose is, we should give preference to asking, “What is my super power?” Best guess is that once we know that, our purpose will become a lot clearer.
I don’t know – rambling here, and maybe too idealistic. What do you think? And if you know someone with a super power, feel free to share your perceptions of that person in the comments.
Also on the blog: Giving the Gift of Validation (there’s magic in that as well!)