While powers, like flying, and turning water into ice with just a thought, are still in the domain of the mutants in fictional movies and comic books, there are a few abilities you can teach yourself.
None of the abilities I have stated below require exceptional intelligence. They require discipline and daily hard work. Also, they require time. Of the ones I have stated below, each one is an achievement of at least a decade of hard work if not more, and many people have pursued and accomplished these things.
Some have spent their whole lives, learning and making themselves better. You can do it too.
1. Learning 30 languages
Many people, most of them practical thinkers will say, “Why do I need to learn a language. I have Google translate!” The amount of ignorance in that line is disheartening.
Now imagine you travel to a new country and you know how to speak not only in their language but also in their language in the colloquial form. People there will treat you better. Language is not just a tool of communication, it’s also a medium of transmitting emotion.
This is the reason we feel so much about our countrymen, because they behave, dress and speak like us. Just imagine the amount of power you hold if you can do that in 30 different countries! You would practically be a world citizen, accepted by everyone.
2. Extreme recall
Extreme memory recall is no longer a domain of the savants. A normal person can train himself/herself too.
With techniques like mnemonics and word association, people can train themselves to string many memories and store them in the brain forever. It is hard work and is an extremely tough discipline. Because of the advent of technology, we do not need to recall a lot anymore.
Our phones do that for us. But some of the advantages are very important. For example, you do not forget where you put your keys or your girlfriend’s anniversary or the recipe for that delicious cake.
Yes, your smartphone will remind you your girlfriend’s birthday, but will you remember to put in the reminder inside your smartphone, you doofus?!
3. Reading people’s faces
An extremely useful skill, reading expressions and CORRECTLY interpreting them helps you connect with that person better. Also, this skill helps you segregate the good people from the bad. It can be extremely useful in interviews, business deals, and dates.
In an age where humans lie all the time and manipulation is the only way to get things done, this comes as an invaluable skill.
4. Hacking anything
Picking locks, building a frequency scrambler from household electronics, repairing your washing machine – all of the skills require an in-depth knowledge of how things work. Not just the over-the-top knowledge. Most engineers know how an engine works, in theory, but a mechanic knows more about the engine than the engineers. Yes, designing things is a valuable ability, but practical world applications are what’s important.
Do you remember the amount of technological prowess our dads had some time ago? They could fix radios and televisions and tinkered with their bikes and cars. Somehow I feel our generation has lost it. This shouldn’t be a superpower, but a common knowledge.
5. Talking with animals
People have done it before. We are so shut in our urban lives that we only communicate with humans exclusively. Even there, many of us fail to do it successfully. An extension of knowing multiple languages, you can also study animals and spend time with them, interact with them in ways people cannot imagine.
Of course, you need to study them intensively in theory before you go anywhere close to them on the field. And there is always the risk of grievously injuring yourselves in the process, but people do it. And they enjoy it. They see a whole new world in the first person, what we see on out TV screens.
Many of them are harmed and even die (Steve Irwin). But they never regret it, because the process creates a deeper empathy for the environment, which is deeper than any empathy for human beings. This is a superpower in itself.
6. Seeing everything
Just walk on the busy city streets one day and DON’T look at your phone. Everyone is looking at their phones and nothing around. It is like looking at the world through the camera in their phones. So when we see a show like Sherlock, we marvel at his observational abilities, although it is something that can be acquired by anybody. Yes, it can be acquired by anyone.
But with every skill I stated above, it takes hard work and discipline and a lot of attention to detail.
The next time you walk in a crowd, be human and look at other humans. How they talk, how they walk, what they talk about. Their expressions, the subtle nuances of every individual. One of the easiest ways to do this is to take notes and recall what you saw during the day and write it down somewhere at the end of the day.
Over time, you will start noticing things you missed. Maybe you won’t end up being the Sherlock Holmes of the present age, but it’s a good superpower to be had.
Go, learn, and be a superman.