Discover The SUPERHERO In You

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They are normal humans just like you and me but when trouble comes they transform into these magical beings with superpowers that help them fight the wrong the evil and the bad guys. That’s what the plot of most comic books is about While they are most entertaining they actually teach us some very valuable life lessons Here are a few of them.

BELIEVE: Batman the superhero with no real gifted superpowers inspires us to believe in our strengths. He says “Anyone can be a hero”. His life is filled with personal losses , difficulties and pains but he never lets that demotivate him. Ironman again a normal human being but with exceptional self belief uses his intelligence to transform himself into an invincible hero. He says “If you want to transform the world start with yourself”. Both Batman and Ironman teach us that the greatest superpower is the power of self belief.

BE PROUD: As Steve Jobs once said “Don’t’ let the noise of others opinion drown out your inner voice.” The X-Men are not normal, they are mutants and hence they look different. When you don’t fit in you face prejudice. The X-Men show us that we should be proud of our uniqueness and use it for the greater good. Being different is not a weakness. In fact not being aware of our differences and weakness is the biggest weakness.

Look at Hulk. He has a weakness- he transforms into this huge monster when he gets angry.Yet he teaches an important lesson of how to use one’s weakness in a positive manner. He makes this his power to destroy evil monsters.

HAVE A MISSION All the comic characters have a specific mission and they never stop till they achieve it. This gives them the strength and the courage to face all adversities. It also gives them the ability to innovate and change their strategies so that they reach their final goal. A clear mission helps us in achieving our goals faster.

SERVICE BEFORE SELF Each of the superheroes work for the greater good and not for their personal gains. We too should use our abilities to contribute towards the society and make the world a better place. I look at the world around me and see these great leaders and their super achievements. I wonder if they were transported to the world of comics and could choose a superpower of their choice what would it be? Would it help them work better? I am also curious to know what leaders of our world have learnt from the leaders of the comic world. My first book “Discover the Superhero in you” is an attempt to find out what life lessons can be learnt from these superheroes and in the process can we discover the superhero in ourselves. I spoke to some corporate heroes and discovered some valuable lessons.

THE JOKER EXPOSED THE PRETENSE OF HUMANS
KUNAL SHAH,
Founder & Chairman FREECHARGE

Che: Did you read any Superhero comics when you were young and who was your favorite?

Kunal : Yes I had a favorite but he was not a hero he was a villain- The Joker !

Che: What is it that made you admire him?

Kunal : I think he was a far more realistic version of what a person would be in reality versus the imaginary characters of superheroes. I feel everybody is more like a Joker than any Superhero. The most important fact being that he kept most things real. His biggest strength was he had zero pretense and ensured that everything was shown in it’s true light.

Che: If there was one superpower you would like to possess to help you in your daily tasks what would it be ?

Kunal : I don’t think I need super powers to go around doing my daily tasks –I have enough gadgets and tools for that, but if there is one super power would like to have it would be the ability to read maybe three books a day !

Che: Was there any philosophy that you learnt from the comics you read as a
child ?

Kunal : I learnt a lot from the Joker . What I loved about the Joker was that he exposed the pretense of humans and showed the true and real nature of what we humans are all about .Most humans are selfish and do not care so much about others or even other species for that matter. Most of us try to project ourselves in a different way something very different from our real selves.

IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE THE POWER OF FORESIGHT
ALAINA PERCIVAL, CEO, Women Who Code Inc.

Che: Which superpower would you like to possess ?

Alaina: I think it would be great to have the power of Foresight. The more insight that one has into the future, the better they are able to shape the present in order to create a better tomorrow.

Che: How would your chosen superpower help you in your daily tasks ?

Alaina: The world is changing at an incredible pace. In order to be a part of that constant transformation and make a difference for good, you have to understand the trends and tendencies of human behavior over time. My work as CEO of Women Who Code has actually helped me to gain a longer term perspective and through that, a better sense of foresight.

Che: The superhero you admire the most and which quality of his do you admire ?

Alaina: Not all super heroes are penned ink to pages. The people who are changing the world for the better are all around us, and one of my goals is to shine a light on their accomplishments and ensure that everyone who is achieving great things gets the recognition they deserve.

Che: Any philosophy that you have learnt from a comic book ?

Alaina: There are certain basic morals of right and wrong that are inherent to the genre, and while the real world is often not as cut and dry as the narratives in a comic book, it’s still important to do the right thing, have hope in humanity, and try to save the world in any way you can. Women Who Code is a global non-profit supporting engineers to get promoted. Our programs include a leadership program, a weekly publication that has given away $1,000,000 in scholarships and conference tickets, and the organization has executed more than 4,200 free technical events, garnered a membership exceeding 80,000, and has a presence in 20 countries.

WHILE I HAD THE POWER I REALIZED THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT CAM E ALONG WITH THAT POWER MUCH LIKE SUPERMAN!
VINEET GAMBHIR, VP HR, YAHOO

Che : Sir this is my first book and it’s about the life lessons that can be learnt from comic books and superheroes. Did you read any superhero comics when you were young and who was your favorite superhero?

Vineet : The child in me still is a big fan of Superman. As a kid I really enjoyed reading about him and tremendously enjoyed watching him fly and do things which the normal folks couldn’t. It was amazing to my young mind and attracted me tremendously. The fact that you have so much power increases the chances of you being more evil than not. Just imagine you can hit anyone you want, you can steal anything from anyone but the fact that Superman used his powers to do good was very very inspiring .

I want to translate that into real life . I feel that while every body may have different religious beliefs each one of us has a soul ,a conscience, a voice deep within wanting to do something good. Lets say you see a thousand rupee note lying on a deserted street. You can take it ,it’s lying there where no one is looking and no one will ever catch you, or you can try and give it to it’s rightful owner or just look away and ignore the temptation. You have the power to exercise any of the options. I feel it’s that voice within which helps you make choices which guides you is the real superhero. That voice which steers you away from all temptations – I think that for me has been an important principle because in my career I have been in positions where I could have easily taken advantage of the situation. I could have made someone easily rebel, I could have easily affected somebody’s career but it’s that voice within which guided me towards the right path always. So while I had the power I realized the responsibility that came along with that power –much like Superman!

In a nutshell I would say each of us is a Superman in our own ways and each of us has the power to choose the right path or the wrong path, and each of us has that super voice which guides us and helps us make the correct decisions. Finally it’s our ability to listen to that ‘voice’ which makes us the real hero The life lesson I learnt from Superman is “listen to the powerful voice within you and let it guide you and steer you towards the right path.

Che : The power that you would like to possess which would help you in your daily tasks as well?

Vineet : If there is one power I would love to have it would be the power of healing. I wish I could touch some troubled soul and really heal them, because I feel that life gives you it’s fair share of sufferings too. You may be a CEO but if you don’t have good health all your success and achievements are worthless. Take the case of Steve Jobs –an extremely powerful person but health failed him and all his success could do nothing to undo the damage. Look around you –the politicians, film stars ,celebrities once health fails them all the success that they have garnered over the years stands meaningless at that time. So I wish I could possess that power and heal people ,and make life more enjoyable for me and others.

Che: Any philosophy or quality of any superhero that you admire ?

Vineet : I believe there is light and there is darkness , there is truth and there is falsehood, there is strength and there is weakness. So if you examine all these polarities you realize that the universe exists with not just good but a balance of good and bad which neutralize each other. Super heroes represent that positive polarity that good force. There are times when you don’t sleep well in the night due to various reasons and feel low and unhappy and restless because it’s dark and not very reassuring yet when the sun comes out in the morning it energizes you and fills you with hope and you once again feel confident that you can do it right and do it better on this new day. It’s like the Superheroes who fail but never give up and after each blow are ready to stand up again and fight, and I admire this quality of theirs. Every new day ,every new morning fills me with hope and courage to face my challenges and I want to rise like the superheroes and fight the odds.

‘MY FRIENDS YOU BOW TO NO ONE !
GAURAV MEHTA,
CMO, GirnarSoft (Cardekho, gaadi.com, Zigwheels)

Che: The superhero you admire the most and which quality of his do you admire?

Gaurav: Not strictly a superhero in the conventional sense; but I would like to state Aragorn’s name here (Lord of the Rings). Am a big fan of his ability to channel his very human strengths and frailties to lead a band full of magical beings like elves, wizards and defeat the not so good magical abominations like trolls, Orcs, Wargs and Goblins. His supreme belief in his abilities helped him rouse and lead the dead army; unite feuding elves and dwarves and command absolute respect from people he came in touch with.

Che: Which superpower would you like to possess ?

Gaurav: Aragorn’s ability to maximize his very normal; commonplace human powers that made him do superhuman things.

Che: How would your chosen superpower help you in your daily tasks ?

Gaurav: Being a father of two young kids, son, husband; and also in-charge of establishing a category like peer to peer classifieds; it’s only normal that there will be ample amount of confusion in prioritizing one role over another on a daily basis. Aforementioned superpower would help me do maximum justice to the many hats that I wear and hopefully; thrive in those roles.

Che: Any philosophy that you have learnt from a comic book ?

Gaurav: Aragorn to hobbits ‘My friends. You bow to no one.’ It was Aragorn’s ability to recognize the unique strength of every individual and not be swayed by the externalities like size, shape, physical strength and honour those strengths. It’s a brilliant philosophy that I would love to imbibe in order to bring out the best in people around me and myself as well.

I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A BRAIN LIKE THAT OF ALBERT EINSTEIN OR LEONARDO DAVINCI
HARMEEN MEHTA, GLOBAL CIO, Bharti Airtel

Che: Which superpower would you like to posses ?

Harmeen : I would like to have a brain like that of Albert Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci and also a lot of wisdom to help guide me through life.

Che : How would your chosen superpower help you in your daily tasks ?

Harmeen :- Einstein and Leonardo were not only super genii but they both were so multi-talented especially Leonardo. He was an inventor, scientist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician and also had deep knowledge of literature, botany, anatomy, astronomy and what not. I don’t think we have had anyone like him born since then! If one can get even a fraction of that, that person would be considered a genius today.

Che: Any philosophy that you have learnt from a comic book ?

Harmeen: I believe in what Einstein had said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” If we can remember this simple philosophy.

I ADMIRE DEADPOOL FOR HIS FRANKNESS. HE SEES THE WORLD AS IT IS AND NOT AS IT SHOULD BE
RAMESH NAIR, COO, International Director, JLL

Che: Which superpower would you like to posses ?

Ramesh:- I would like to possess the power of re-imagining boundaries, all superheroes do this to an extent. Although they all have their own set of superpowers and special abilities, every day they push themselves to achieve the impossible, and that begins by truly believing that nothing is impossible.

With a hero like Deadpool who can regenerate in quick time, you can push the boundaries of your present capabilities. While we would all like to have more flashy capabilities and superpowers like running at the speed of light or the ability to fly, X-ray vision etc none of these are practical to use in the real world. However pushing boundaries and constantly innovating to succeed is something everyone can work with.

Che: How would your chosen superpower help you in your daily tasks?

Ramesh: Dead pool may not have the most sophisticated methods but no one can deny that he is razor focused on the outcome and ensures that the job gets done. He is innovative and knows exactly when to deviate from the fixed plan of action to make a decision, he can break with the status quo very successfully.

The more we challenge the status quo the more room there is to explore new paths, new ideas and possibly achieve new and improved results. We need to constantly innovate in order to remain relevant and having this as a super-power helps with that.

Che: The superhero you admire the most and which quality of his do you admire?

Ramesh: Dead pool for his frankness. He sees the world as it is and not as it should be. His persona is not like that of an exact superhero but someone with flaws which we can all relate to. He is the one hero who will call a spade a spade, and knows when to ask for help. He perseveres – anyone diagnosed with terminal cancer would have lost hope and he did not.

He adapts – and works with what he has He has a deep intellect buried behind his humour – he wears a red costume so that the bad guys don’t see him bleed. He takes risks and always pushes himself to be better.

Che: Any philosophy that you have learnt from a comic book ?

Ramesh; “Life is an endless series of train-wrecks with only brief, commercial- like breaks of happiness.” And the faster we learn to accept the faster we can find solutions to our problems. In business as well we are confronted with problems every day, whether they be external with clients or internal with our team and key stakeholders, we can only expect that there be brief and fleeting moments of calm. We need to constantly adapt to the changing needs of our times. There is no greater advice you can give anyone because planning every exact move is a futile exercise, you cannot replicate situations exactly and you cannot expect the results to be the same in business – this is not a science experiment.

The best way to really succeed is to push yourself and the only way to do that is expect the unexpected.

OBSERVING AND BECOMING AWARE OF SELF MAKES YOU A BUDDHA
HARISH PANT, MD, Hampson Industries Pvt Ltd,

Che: Which superpower would you like to posses?

Harish: I would like to have the ability to stay calm and unperturbed amidst increasing challenges

Che: How would your chosen superpower help you in your daily tasks?

Harish: A calm mind helps one to work better, focus better. A calm mind fills you with positive energy and enthusiasm to relentlessly pursue your goals.

Che: The superhero you admire the most and which quality of his do you admire?

Harish: I admire Buddha for his total self-awareness and in my opinion he is a superhero. The positive impact he has had on the people and the society has been continuing for centuries now.

Che: Any philosophy that you have learnt?

Harish: Buddha believed in the power of self awareness. Observing and becoming aware makes you Buddha – the knower of the self! I believe that the more aware I become of myself –my strengths and weaknesses the stronger and more invincible I become.

LIKE SUPERMAN WE NEED TO KNOW OUR WEAKNESSES ,OUR KRYPTONITE
BHAWNA AGARWAL, NDTV GADGETS-gadgets360.com

Che: Did you read any comics when you were young? Who was your favorite Superhero? Bhawna:- I have read a lot of comics and I enjoy watching science fiction movies ,Marvel and DC movies. I absolutely love them. I totally agree with you that there is so much to be learnt from these comics and their superheroes.

Superman is my favorite superhero, and the second is Ironman. Superman because he is fully aware of his kryptonite problems. He knows that he really needs to keep his distance from Kryptonite or else he will lose all his superpowers. If there is a life lesson that is to be learnt form this, then it is that we too need to know our weaknesses our kryptonite. Like Superman we should also be aware of our strengths. A healthy dose of self awareness is needed in order to know what you can excel at and what you are struggling with and that will help you build a better business a stronger team It shall also tell you when to ask for help.

I like Ironman because he doesn’t really have any supernatural powers. His only power is his brain and his ability to be really creative. So his real power is his ability to think on his feet and his creativity. He keeps up with the latest technology and is constantly evolving which helps him stay ahead of his competitors always.

Che: Any philosophies you learnt from them ?

Bhawna: Yes , I have learnt a lot from many of the Superheroes. Superman says you are much stronger than you think you are. I feel that is an important life lesson. Superheroes never give up till they get the job done, and they are really the best at whatever they do. In life too one needs to believe in oneself and be persistent to be able to achieve one’s goal.

Batman once said “It’s not who I am underneath but it’s what I do that defines me.” That is something that I really liked and which inspired me. Of course I prefer Superman over Batman but in the movie The Dark Knight Rises , Batman tells Gordon that a hero can be anyone – even someone who is doing something as little as putting a coat over a boy’s shoulder. This made me realize that a hero can be anyone who inspires us to do something for our society, our team-even if it’s a small act.

Che: If you had a choice which superpower would you like to possess ?

Bhawna : I would love to have two superpowers. One is the ability to ‘time travel’ and the other is telekinesis. If you have the power of telekinesis you can actually influence people and prevent a lot of problems.

THE MOST POWEFUL PERSON IN THE ROOM IS THE ONE WHO NEVER GETS ANGRY
Dr RITESH MALIK, Creator Innov8, Forbes 30 under 30

Che : Who is your favorite superhero?

Dr. Ritesh : Superman

Che Which qualities of his do you admire the most ?

Dr. Ritesh : As a child I always loved the fact that he could fly and secretly wished that I could fly !

Che : A superpower that you would like to possess which could help you in your daily tasks?

Dr. Ritesh : If I could fly the best part would be I could beat the traffic everyday . But that apart I feel there is really nothing like a superpower. I feel it’s all in the mind and the stronger your mind the bigger and better you can become. So if there is one superpower I would like to possess it would be the ability to manage people better. After all these years the one thing I have realized is that your marks , the fact that you were a head boy in class 12th or 10th doesn’t matter at all. It has zero significance in your actual practical life. I was a very average student but toppers of my school are now employed with me. It does not matter what your academic skills are but what really matters is what’s your vision and how you think . What matters is do you have the appetite to take risks, take up challenges and go out there in the world and prove your vision right.

Che : Any life lessons or philosophies you learnt from comics ?

Dr. Ritesh : Yes I learnt a very interesting and important lesson from the life of Superman. As the comics say that Superman as a child found it very difficult to get along with his classmates but he always made sure that he never fought with anyone or troubled anyone. It’s very common that when someone troubles you your first instinct is to retaliate. I have tried to be like that and always try and control my anger and my urge to hurt the other person. I have realized that the most powerful person in a room is the one who never gets angry !

LIKE PHANTOM I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO DESTROY MY ENEMIES

SOUMITRA AGARWAL, Managing Partner, NGS Global

Che: Is there a super power that you would like to possess ?

Soumitra : I must admit my knowledge of super heroes is not much, as when we were kids we didn’t really have too many of these Superheroes. We had a handful like Superman, Phantom etc. So if I had to choose one it would be Phantom. Like him I would like to possess the ability to destroy any of my enemies especially enemies with criminal intents. Phantom always worked towards eliminating crime.

Che : Would this superpower of yours help you in your daily tasks in any way?

Soumitra : My daily work most definitely is not about destroying crime, but yes I do have some competitors around me who are not playing by the rules and I would love to destroy them

Che : Any specific quality of Phantom that you like ?

Soumitra: Phantom does not work invisibly. He is visible to his detractors and I like that quality. He is the ghost who walks.

Che: Any philosophy of his you like ?

Soumitra :- I have my own company and when I am gone I would like this legacy to be carried on by other people in a similar fashion much like Phantom. The current Phantom comes from a line of Phantoms. Each of the Phantoms wear the same dress, look the same and carry forward the legacy of Phantom from one generation to the next.