At critical moments in time, you can raise the aspirations of other people significantly, especially when they are relatively young, simply by suggesting they do something better or more ambitious than what they might have in mind … This is in fact one of the most valuable things you can do with your time and with your life.
The beauty of life is experiencing it.
Specifically, the raw beauty of experiencing things that push us, make us better, and raise our expectations.
For me, this happened in the Marine Corps. From day one, the Marine Corps — the organization, its standards, and its rituals — kicked my ass, didn’t put up with my BS, and expected more from me than I expected from myself.
In other words, by setting a high standard and encouraging me (through various means) to reach it, the Marine Corps offered me a superpower: the opportunity to think about the world, and my place in it, differently.
I had to choose to accept it or not. In the end, I gave the Marine Corps some time. It gave me a whole new way of looking at the world.
People can find similar types of life-changing encouragement anywhere.
It can be a professor encouraging you to apply to a PhD program instead of a masters program.
It can be from a coach who shows you how to be a better leader, person, and friend.
It can be a teacher who says you are smart or a neighbor who teaches you a new skill.
It can be a colleague who encourages your entrepreneurial drive.
These moments of real encouragement — each a superpower — present themselves to us in subtle yet profound ways.
They are hard to recognize and easy to dismiss.
But for those of us lucky enough to receive real, genuine encouragement from others, we must pay the superpower forward.