Want Superpowers? Develop These Valuable Skills

A dog in a superhero costume.
Photo by Kerwin Elias on Unsplash

As kids, my friends and I loved discussing the question: “If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?” Even as adults, we do this from time to time. And in a world where superheroes are now a staple (who hasn’t watched Spiderman or the Dark Knight), we immediately launch into heated debates about whether telepathy beats time travel or invulnerability.

In my quiet moments, when I think about the behaviors and habits of exceptional performers, I’ve realized some people demonstrate “real” superpowers on a daily basis. They are super powers not because they’re impossible to achieve, but because very few people do.

So here’s my list of superpowers. Cultivate any of these traits, and I believe success, wealth and happiness are not far behind:

Consistency

This is about showing up every day and executing to 100% of your ability. A lot of people will criticize or discourage you because you choose to work hard and bring your best self to work, constantly. Remember the words: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Rapid learning

Rapid learners constantly seek out ways in which they’re wrong, and update their beliefs accordingly. People with this trait aren’t intellectually insecure: when faced with information that challenges their perspective, rapid learners get excited, dig in, and learn more, rather than get defensive and try to discredit the information.

Self-awareness

This involves regularly analyzing one’s thinking, learning and decision making. Psychologists call this metacognition, which literally means “thinking about thinking”. Folks with high levels of metacognition regularly assess their performance, are honest about their shortcomings, and develop realistic plans for improvement. When was the last time you critically evaluated and updated a key habit or belief?

Curiosity

Feed your curiosity. Develop a willingness to constantly try things and put yourself out there. Even when failure is a real possibility. Even in the face of social consequences such as ridicule and loss of friends.

Interdisciplinary thinking

When faced with a challenging problem, interdisciplinary thinkers don’t look for the first available answer. Instead, they ask: “what can I learn from other domains to help view this challenge from a fresh perspective?”

What are your superpowers?

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Craft Mindset

Craft Mindset

Learner | MIT | Google | I write about optimizing your learning, developing your skills, growing into a top performer, and building a successful career.