If you could have any super power, what would it be?
A few years ago I was dating a guy who was obsessed with super heroes. One day as he spoke passionately to me about the next super hero film about to be released I asked him, “if you could have any super power, what would it be?”. His response was that he would like to have “perfect turn out”. Now if you are as baffled at this response as I was, let me fill you in. At that time this guy was aspiring to enter into the professional dance world, so his response was in accordance with that dream. With “perfect turn out” he would have unlimited freedom in the hips and therefore more elongated and elaborate motion with which to “amaze audiences”. Cursed with very tight and restrictive hips, his lack of turnout severely limited his range of motion. But being one of the most dedicated people I have ever met he would work every day for hours to increase his flexibility and range of motion. So it was natural that he desired a short cut to unlimited turn out. And although I teased him about his choice of super power (probably why it didn’t work out, whoops!), it was clear that this was very important to him and was one of the things that inspired him to get out of bed every day.
So what has all this talk of super powers got to do with the price of fish? Well, I will get there but first let me digress. This blog idea came to me as I was road tripping from Sydney to Melbourne a few weeks ago. Originally daunted by the idea of having such a long drive ahead of me, I was going to take company along to help pass the time. However, as the road trip neared, the journey began to take on more significance for me. Due to a series of events in my work and personal life, the road trip now symbolised the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. And before I felt I could adequately move forward into this next chapter I had to change my mindset about certain things and get myself into a really positive, grounded, and optimistic head space. And so I decided to take the trip alone. Seeking inspiration, I found this wonderful podcast by Jiro Taylor, an entrepreneur, life coach and all round lover of life who interviews other inspiring and innovative entrepreneurs. For close to twelve hours I listened to these uplifting and expansive interviews. When I arrived in Melbourne I felt so energised, inspired, and surprisingly refreshed.
On another note, the weather on this road trip was not so inspiring. Although nearing summer, the weather was freezing and wet for most of the trip. As I was driving I noticed how frustrated the fluctuating weather made me. One moment I was smooth sailing on a sunny, dry road, not a care in the world, the next moment a sudden down pour had me slowing to a near halt and narrowing my focus as to what was immediately ahead. What was really interesting though was how aware I became of my reactions to these changes and in this awareness how I was able to calm myself down relatively quickly and get out of these states of frustration, anger, and worry. The other thing I noticed was how through these different conditions I constantly changed the air conditioning temperature, opened and closed windows to varying degrees, and changed the amount of clothes I was wearing. I guess it is an inbuilt human trait to always try and limit discomfort and adapt to new environments.
And so I come to one of my metaphors for the day…. can you guess? Yes, road trips really do mimic life and how we approach life. At one moment we can be so joyous and free and then the next moment an obstacle intersects our path that forces us to change our trajectory or alter our habitual patterns. Then there are moments where we keep looking in the rear view mirror, into the past, checking in on what is behind us, and where we have come from, reliving, re-analysing, re-contextualising memories. Then there are moments where dark clouds descend and fear sets in as we narrow our gaze on what is ahead of us, the unknown and seemingly dangerous territory. Then there are moments where we feel expansive and present and we notice the glorious sun beaming through the leaves of the trees, the kookaburra perched on a nearby fence, the beauty that surrounds us every where.
So going back to this super power idea…. A super power implies a gift that you have obtained with minimal effort or that you were inherently born into the world with and comes with a sense of complete ease and naturalness. My desired super power has been and continues to be the capacity to travel to any destination at the click of a finger. I guess it’s like that film “Jumper” except without the crazy, evil people with trench coats and electrical wands trying to kill me. Just imagine taking your lunch break with family in Tuscany, a first date at the Eiffel Tower, or taking a siesta on a tropical island. But if I was just able to click my fingers and be there it would take out the excitement of how I got there, the effort it took to get there, and the transformative powers each journey provides for us. I mean how many times have we done something that has taken us so much time, effort, and persistence and in doing so we have learnt so much on the way that the outcome, the prize, the destination seems less important than the journey itself.
So once again, as corny as it is, it is not about the destination it is about the journey. And so I did this road trip by myself because I wanted to know that no matter what obstacle came up for me in the next chapter that I would be strong enough to deal with them and strong enough to accept what is. I don’t often have the power to control what obstacles may arise but I do have the power to choose how to navigate around them. Had I just clicked my fingers and gone from Sydney to Melbourne in one moment I would have brought with me all the baggage from my last chapter into the next.
So my question to you is, if you could have any super power, what would you choose? Be imaginative, there are no limits in the mind! And rather than letting your answer be an unobtainable desire, can you let your answer help direct you into acknowledging something that is really important to you or inspires you. We are very good at recognising when we need to eat, drink, sleep but we are often not so in tune with what nourishes our soul, what enlivens us, and what makes us want to get out of bed every day. For my friend, unlimited physical expression was very important to him and this inspired him every day to work hard at his dream. For me, this desire to travel encompasses a desire to learn new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. I make sure I try incorporate this passion of mine into each day. Today I tried a peanut butter and celery chocolate – what?! And of course we know that superhero powers are in some way fantasy but is your super power something you are neglecting that perhaps will help you on your journey? There are never any easy short cuts in life but as Albert Einstein says:
Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you everywhere.