Why Batman Is the Strongest Superhero and What We Can Learn From Him
My boys are now 5 and 8 years old and they have just discovered superhero comics. A few days ago we were reading the Justice League, where all the heroes get together for the first time to fight whatever evil lurks in that particular episode. This is a first meeting of all the characters so all the superheroes introduce their power and explain (posture) why it is so super. Green Lantern – after explaining that his ring allows him to manifest anything he can think of – asks Batman about his superpower. But Batman………. has nothing to say…
I love Green Lantern’s response.
“Hold on a second…. You’re not just some guy in a bat costume are you? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”
His reaction just says it all! But that’s really who Batman is: Just some guy in a bat costume – nothing more. He doesn’t have any superpowers that make him lightning fast, super strong, able to fly or even talk to fish (Aquaman?!?! What a strange superpower). So what qualifies Batman to count himself among these super humans? and why did Bruce Wayne (Batman’s alter ego) chose to dress as a bat, as opposed to a tiger, lion, eagle or some other powerful animal?
To understand the reason for his choice of outfit we must delve into his youth, where the secret origin story tells us that Bruce Wayne fell into a bat filled cave as a boy. He was so terrified by the animals that his entire body froze. He was later rescued by Alfred the butler while he was still in a state of shock. As an adult, Bruce returns to the cave to face this childhood trauma, and prevails over his fear to emerge as a fearless warrior. He adopts the symbol of his conquest as a constant reminder and transforms the cave (the source of his trauma) into his hero’s headquarter.
There is a beautiful ancient saying: Who is strong? He who masters his emotions! (His desires and fears) This makes Batman a real superhero – he earned his power of fearlessness, he did not receive it by a freak accident or by alien birth like most of the other superheroes. This makes him truly strong! Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes US author & physician (1809 – 1894)
My way of applying the above quote to this situation is that once Bruce stepped outside his comfort zone, and I mean stepped out – not just poked his nose out – he had the possibility of “becoming more than he was before”; and by conquering his fear, Bruce actually grew beyond himself – he did not have to be old, frightened Bruce any longer. Once he discovered the secret of “becoming more”, there was no limit to where he could go . At first he became Batman the street vigilante, then he became Batman the guardian of his city, and now he is fighting side by side with superhero’s that wield power over supernatural forces, and protects the entire world. Don’t forget: Batman is just some guy in a bat costume!!!
It might appear a little inappropriate to turn something as simple as a comic into a life-lesson, but I think we need to grab inspiration wherever we can.
So how does all this apply to us?
Doesn’t everyone bear some fears and scars from their youth, which they go any length to avoid confronting? That is what comfort zones are all about… you create an environment for yourself where you don’t have to be confronted with the new, the unexpected, unpleasant, difficult, confrontational….. (the list is endless). We maintain our circle of friends, we get good at something and avoid leaving our area of expertise, and when we are forced to leave this well established comfort zone we rationalize any number of reasons of why it makes sense to invest our time in anything other than that exercise on the periphery of our skill set.
In a startup you often don’t have that luxury. Every day forces you to walk on the periphery of your skill set and you are constantly confronted with new and unexpected situations. We are often forced to make decision and choices that we are not entirely comfortable with, what I am proposing is that we use these moments to grow beyond ourselves and embrace the new and unexpected without looking back, as with Bruce Wayne this can open limitless possibilities in personal development… Basically what I am proposing is that once you step beyond your fears, it can start with a small step – and it can end wherever you let it….
Only by challenging our comfort zones, do we earn the possibly of becoming more than our insecure, scared old-selves and become the more-version of ourselves, let’s embrace the challenge!
P.S. I hope this post inspires my PowToon team to discover that they can be pretty much anything they put their mind to!!!
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