New Year, “Super You”

Child superhero portrait

Yesterday, on KPCC’s Take Two, Southern California public radio host Alex Cohen interviewed author Emily V. Gordon about her book Super You; Cape Not Required. Listen to the show here.

Gordon shared an interesting and fun method for making New Year’s resolutions more lasting and enjoyable –

Imagine yourself as a superhero.

In all seriousness (well, a little silliness), imagine yourself as a superhero straight out of a comic book. How do you look? What super powers do you have?

Superheroes have an interesting dilemma, Gordon said. “Batman saw his parents killed in his presence. He could have grown up and been a very sad man and been very depressed and we all would have understood, because that’s reasonable. But he didn’t. He became a superhero.” Superheroes have lots of choices. They have the choice to remain anonymous or become well known. They have the choice to be good or evil.

The point is, they have choices; and so do we.

So what superhero would you choose to be?

I have a pretty vivid imagination. So I can see myself very clearly as Glendalyric, Majestic Queen of the Galaxy. I have long flowing, silky, black hair that I use as a lasso (Rapunzel-esque), a tall staff topped with the Hope Diamond that controls the winds. I wear a long white flowing robe much like Galadriel in Lord of the Rings. My superpower is my voice, which magically affects the emotions of others around me, and in any language. Oooh, and I can FLY!

Obviously, I’m comfortable in the world of fiction. But for some, imagining themselves as a graphic novel character isn’t their cup of tea. So Gordon suggests that we change the words “super hero” to “best self.”

So if you were your best self, what would you do each day? Why?

If I were my best self today, I would have awakened at 5am (I didn’t today), then I would have exercised, had something green to drink, done some yoga, and then dressed for a productive day.

Now I did some of those things today, but not all. The point Gordon is making is that when we envision what our best self looks like, we’re more likely to LIKE that person. And we’re more likely to take actions to BECOME that person.

Most of our resolutions that melt away unaccomplished do so because we don’t really have a clear image of what successfully accomplishing them really looks like.

And in the world of birth and parenting, your vision is essential.

What does a good parent look like? Kind of like a super hero? What does your best self as a parent do?

We forgive ourselves for our imperfections, and we do our best to move forward.

This is Glendalyric, bidding you adieu and drinking something green.