When I first became a daddy I wanted nothing more than to make my kids feel loved, cared for, and capable of doing anything they wanted. When my eldest was about five-years-old, I heard a conversation and made this blog post:
My kids have been fascinated with the Fantastic Four, most likely because there are banners for it all over Rivertown Mall.
We were walking there the other day and Molly (my daughter) said, “Look momma! Mr. Fantastic!”
My wife said, “They have a poster about Daddy?”
“No silly, Mr Fantastic is a super hero, because he has super powers!”, Molly said.
“Doesn’t Daddy have super powers?”, asked my wife.
“Noooo!” said Molly, in her “you’re being so silly” little girl voice.
“If he did have a super power, what do you think it would be?”, my wife asked.
Molly put her finger to her chin, thought for a moment, and said decisively:
Right then I felt like the biggest, coolest superhero in the world. I’m sure if you’ve ever been a parent you can appreciate the coolness of that feeling.
A New Persona
Recently I was “Heroized” by X-Team. I worked particularly hard on a project and it went quite well, but that’s not what made me feel like a superhero.
Our partner came to us saying “Hey, what you did was great, but stakeholders have come to us with a new direction, and we need to make it happen in 2 days, can you do that?” And we did it. We crushed it. And we made those people look awesome.
Being a hero isn’t about making yourself look awesome, it’s about making other people BE awesome. Our partner’s team is now viewed favorably within their own company because THEY got stuff done.
Being a hero to my kids isn’t about living my life doing great things and hoping they notice. It’s about helping them live their lives and do great things.
Last week when my youngest learned I was being Heroized she ran to the stairs to my office and yelled down to me:
“Hey dad! You’re already a hero, you don’t need to be made one!”
Still makes me feel awesome.
Do you want to be someone’s hero? You can be. Now. Today. You don’t need a new skill, you don’t need wealth or special tools. All you need is someone who needs what you already are, what you already have.
The real secret here is that everyone already has the ability to be a hero, they simply need to make the choice to act on it.
Are you musical? Teach someone to play, it’ll change their life. Can you cook? Make someone some food, and maybe teach them to cook. It’ll change their life. Are you physically strong? Shovel a walk, mow a lawn, clean a garage. Can you throw a ball? Play catch with a kid who needs it.
These things seem small to those who can do them, but other people view them as super powers. I could get an attractive, functional web site up in less than 15 minutes. So could everyone I work with. Some people view that as a super power.
X-Team didn’t make me a super hero. They simply recognized my choices and efforts to be one.
You’re already a super hero. Make choices that allow other people to see it.