Every so often, I write a book review. Well, not a review, really, but a taste, a teaser if you will. By the way I only do this with books I absolutely love and recommend without hesitation.
I will admit, I’m a little biased about this book because I wrote it. But I also believe in this book with all my heart and soul, so I have no problem sharing with you what I think are my favorite passages.
The book launched on April 29th. While I had obviously read it many times over through the writing and editing process, I didn’t read through the actual printed “real” book until last week, over a month after launch. Thankfully, I still loved the book. What I didn’t expect, though, was to find myself highlighting several passages I had somehow overlooked before.
If you find these highlights intriguing, you can download an entire chapter here.
My Top 10 Highlights From Ordinary Superpowers
“Your most important job while you’re here on this planet is to figure out how to be 100% you. One of the most direct and powerful ways to do that is to discover your Ordinary Superpowers. Another is to use those powers as much as possible.”
“I believe with all my heart that you don’t have to change THE world. You just have to change YOUR world. And EVERY positive change counts, regardless of size.”
“Material success never equals fulfillment, no matter how much we think we want it or look forward to it. If you’ve ever purchased a new car, house, or smart phone you know exactly what mean. You might really love and enjoy your new car or house or phone. But acquiring those things didn’t fulfill you, did it? I know it didn’t — because it couldn’t. Those things are just things. Shiny, new, novel things for sure, but still just things. One of the biggest mistakes we make as humans is pursuing material results, thinking they will help us feel fulfilled.”
“Most people don’t recognize what makes them special. They don’t realize they are uniquely qualified to help people in ways only they can.“
“Don’t ever discount what comes naturally and easily to you. We tend to think that if something is easy for us, it’s probably easy for everyone. That’s simply not the case. What’s easy for you may be mind-boggling for me.”
“People who operate in the zone don’t do it accidentally. They are intentional, purposeful, and proactive about using their superpowers to create the results they desire.”
“Remember, what you’re phenomenal at doing, most people aren’t. What you love doing, most people don’t. That screams opportunity. Actually, now that I think about it, it whispers opportunity. If it screamed you wouldn’t have to pay as much attention. It also might freak you out a little.”
“As amazing as your Ordinary Superpowers may be, the ‘magic bullet’ that will exponentially multiply your power, contribution, and impact is the realization that you can’t do it alone.”
“Don’t let your current circumstances limit your future possibilities. Just because something isn’t possible at this very moment does not mean it’s not possible.”
“Stop trying to be famous. Stop trying to make everything you work on, or participate in, seem epic or legendary. Instead, just breathe. Take some time to explore what would feel truly significant to YOU. Let go of the lofty, legendary status the world is pushing you to pursue. Status is not significance.
Let me repeat: STATUS IS NOT SIGNIFICANCE.”
Most books I read I highlight more than 10 passages. Here are some more I made glow with my bright yellow marker:
“You must redefine what success looks like for you.”
“Reaching goals, passing milestones, and finishing projects are all worthy of celebration. In fact, we don’t celebrate these things enough. We call them successes, but we don’t treat them that way. We blow right by them and immediately shift our focus to the next goal, milestone, or project. Part of our journey — part of our doing — should be taking time to enjoy and celebrate our achievements. When we integrate celebrations into our journey, they become a healthy component of our success, instead of our end-all-be-all definition.”
“I believe to live as fully as possible, to achieve a sense of purpose or meaning, and to truly make a positive dent in the universe (no matter how big or small), there are just three things you have to do:
- Be 100% you.
- Love who you are.
- Make a difference.”
“When you discover your Ordinary Superpowers and start to use them more proactively, you will start to experience more superhero-like results…You’ll become more confident, you’ll feel stronger, you’ll help more people, and you might even save the day once in awhile.”
“Quite often other people see our uniqueness much more clearly than we do. They see the results our abilities produce, and they make the connection. We, on the other hand, see those things as just what we do, and often overlook them.”
“I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have some skills that make a positive difference.”
“One of the byproducts of Ordinary Superpowers is that when you use them they give you pleasure on some level. You enjoy using them, and not just because of the impact they create or the positive results they generate. The sheer act of engaging your Ordinary Superpowers is fun for you.”
“Caution: when you start to proactively use your Ordinary Superpowers, you are incredibly likely to start getting results you didn’t expect. Good ones.”
“A myth that too many people buy into is you can’t improve a superpower. OF COURSE YOU CAN.”
“We need to improve our weaknesses only to the point where they don’t make noise anymore, that’s it. And improvement can come from building and improving our own skill set or finding outside resources. We can hire, delegate, design an process, or introduce automation to help compensate for our weaknesses.”
“We all have external obstacles that keep us from doing our best work, or spending time the way we want to, or focusing on what we know will have the biggest impact. Do you know what your obstacles are?”
“Nobody climbs Everest alone.”
“We all take massive steps in our lives — going to college, getting married, having babies, and starting businesses — by first envisioning what life will be like when we get there. We spend a great deal of time painting the mental picture of a successful outcome. We picture our career taking an upward path, transforming our house into a magazine-worthy abode, raising our kids to be happy, healthy neurosurgeons, and starting a business that gives us purpose for the rest of our lives.
At the beginning, it is irrelevant whether any of of it actually happens. What matters is that we envision it vividly enough to spark the all-important first step toward what’s possible.”
“Any time you begin to operate at a higher level, you inevitably also rise above your current situation, and often your current team. To continue to operate at higher levels, you’ll need a team that can support you at those levels.”
“There are a growing number of people who have learned how to live within their means and accomplish big things without a multimillion-dollar salary. That’s exciting to me, because it shows that money is not the answer to all of our problems and desires.”
“Let me propose an idea: your productivity isn’t the problem. What you’re producing is, and possibly how you’re producing it is, too.”
“You don’t have to know everything, or apply every idea, to practice constant and never-ending improvement. You just have to keep learning.”
“Many people will say lack of time is their biggest obstacle. While it can certainly feel that way, lack of time is never the problem. Lack of time is a symptom.”
“If you think you need a rare skill, talent, or ability to make a difference, stop thinking that way! Stop waiting for an extraordinary superpower to emerge before you decide to proactively contribute on a higher level to your job, family, community, and planet.
“The first step toward a significantly bigger future is imagining it. The next step is believing you can create it.”
“Instead of trying to “be legendary,” why not just try to be you?”