Recently my boss asked me in conversation, "Javed what superpower do you have?" It was a thought-provoking question. Never having been asked this or ever thought about it, I was a little stumped. Curious about it and later after doing a little research online, I came across the popular superpowers, from being invisible to being able to fly, reading minds, remember everything etc.
Photo by Leo Leung available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
A few I must say got my attention, but each superpower, for the obvious benefit, also had drawbacks. I have a poor recall of names, sometimes it's embarassing, so having a photographic memory sounded great. Well, except I have known a person or two who remember everything. Even in social conversation when you've said something "by the way", they bring it up, months or years later. Sorry, too creepy for me!
Reading minds or being invisible, sounds interesting, especially when folks are not being very transparent, or even just being able to understand what your teen means when you ask them how their day was and they come back with the proverbial "ok." Again, it could be valuable at strategic times, but in everyday interaction, no thanks.
I love libraries and books, so "the ability to know everything written in any book, paper, magazine, or article you touch," could save me a lot of time. However, another voice goes off in my head, there are no short cuts to meaningful things in life, so again, I decide against it.
After browsing through more superpowers, and not finding anything I could aspire to, I came to a different conclusion. In my work as a Community Manager, where I interact with and get to interview speakers on a video stage (DevLive), or I meet people at Oracle conferences (eg Oracle Code, OpenWorld), or working with team members, it is wonderful being able to build a rapport. Livestreaming, sharing the videos on Youtube or Twitter brings so much joy to the speakers. Meeting developers at these and other third party conferences, is rewarding. Bringing a small gift for a co-worker when they are not expecting it makes them light up.
In our busy, screen-filled lives conducting our daily transactions, a little empathy I find goes a long way. I enjoy meeting people, so if I am on travel for work, whether it be talking to the Lyft driver or a passenger seated next to me on the plane it spreads positive energy. From the retail clerk to the security guard, I love asking people who are often ignored how their day is going, or just sharing a compliment. At the end of each day, if I am able to reflect on someone I had a positive impact on, to make them feel cared for or got a smile from them, it makes me feel fulfilled. So there you have it, I do not need to see through walls, or fly, or dodge bullets, just "being human" that is my superpower!
Do you have a superpower, you would like to share?