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"I could finally quit my job as a bartender and stop dreaming that I might be Superman and know that I was."  ~ Brandon Routh

"You can't relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs, but only after a struggle."  ~Timothy Dalton

SUPERMAN is one of the most enduring and recognizable cultural icons, a perennial American role model. He embodies all of our hopes and dreams, and our deepest fears. Superman is blessed with extraordinary powers many wish they could have. But this seemingly invincible action hero can be felled when exposed to a tiny green rock, Kryptonite.

Created by Action Comics in 1938, Superman provided much needed escapism for millions of readers and movie-goers during the Great Depression. He's still flying today, in pulp, reruns, and super 3-D. But most especially, in our "super" psyche, that part of you that still imagines and hopes for brighter, greater, nobler things. With the Man of Steel we can whisk ourselves away from our wet, dreary world and stare at the bright sun that's always out there, beyond the horizon, above our darkest clouds....

Escapism can be healthy, even vital in dealing with our challenges, those that kill our determination, our spirit, our physical health. We all need to dream from time to time. But Superman is a cartoon character, you say, a product of someone's vivid imagination, and our wanting to believe in him. But is he? After Christopher Reeves died, I knew that Superman wasn't completely invincible. But it dawned on me that each of us can be our own Superman - that you and I already have amazing superpowers:

The power to see right through people, if you take time to observe their attitudes and actions, how they interact with you and others. Get past the banal smiles, the bluster, the perpetual blame and excuses. The crusty (syrupy, cocky) veneer cracks easily with probing and patience.

You already have super hearing. We call it "active listening" for fears, frustrations, for "buying signals" right after asking a probing (closing) question, for discovering the real motivation behind their specifications, for checking morale and mood in and around the workplace.

You can be "faster than a speeding bullet" ... in responding to customers and colleagues, using instant telecommunications that take you anyplace in the world if you wish it and click it. You thus broaden your marketplace and can really be at two (or three or four) places at the same time.

Best of all, you can be invincible, impervious to criticism, inertia, and evil doers, those Lex Luther's who wish to stifle you, squash you, enslave you... to poverty, subservience, or worse, to mediocrity.

ZOUNDS! There's a Superman inside you and me, with all the superpowers we need to fly above and overcome our darkest enemies. But sadly, too many of us prefer to be Clark Kent, bumbling through a life of grainy black and white, always late, hiding behind those thick glasses of delusion, poor excuses and complacency. And never getting the girl!

Superman: "I'm Superman, I can do anything."

Wonder Woman: "Except, apparently, face your fear."


Blog by Marty Rueter