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There are lots of books out there today reminding us that humans have superpowers!

My son is 4 and is starting to get into the secret and exhilarating life of Marvel’s Spider-Man.  However, what he doesn’t quite realise is that he already has his own superpowers that are in the prime of their life!

His superpowers include:

  • A wild and unconstrained imagination to create his own stories and get lost in them
  • The ability to continuously ask questions
  • The openness to exploring new things
  • The ability to statistically laugh at least 300 times a day (it will take the average 40 year old at least 2.5 months to laugh this much!)
Imagination, storytelling, curiosity and humour have all been cited by experts in their fields as human “superpowers” and they are also all proven conduits to enabling creative thinking. 

However, it seems as though as we grow older, just like our belief in the existence of our childhood superheroes, our belief in our own superpowers also begins to wane. 

Our world becomes smaller as we begin to ask less questions to align with the “status quo”, we begin to play less in the serious and professional world of work, our knowledge of what is true can constrain our ability to suspend our own and others’ beliefs and life inherently becomes less funny as we face the grim challenges of this world.  As a result, our creative thinking capabilities can become out of practice and undernourished.

This is quite a depressing story when you look at it from this angle, but the good news is that our creative superpowers don’t go away, we were born with them!  There is a gene that helps us to store experiences in our mind as stories, studies have shown that play is primal and natural for humans to engage in, curiosity is what enabled us to learn as children, we are hard wired to laugh and imagination is a unique capability that only the human species can do!

If you are looking to re-invigorate your inner “creative superhero” to help solve your biggest challenges, then why not try:
  • Playing more
  • Creating space to daydream more
  • Unleashing your inner storyteller
  • "Living life on the precipice of a smile* to experience more humour
  • Indulging your natural curiosity by safely exploring new questions, places and activities

When it comes to problem-solving, humans have been given this wonderful gift of creativity to help us overcome the challenges we face.  So, my argument when it comes to convincing my son that he does not need a set of Spider-Man “web shooters” is that, we are born with the ability to design and live our own life adventure, what could be more exciting than that?!


Natural Born Thinkers Book Recommendations:
  • Humour Seriously, Why Humour is a Superpower at Work and in Life, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas (you can also listen to the Natural Born Thinkers podcast with Naomi Bagdonas)
  • Storied 10X, Michael Margolis
  • A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life, Brian Grazer
  • Play, How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul, Stuart Brown, M.D., with Christopher Vaughan
  • Wired to Create, Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire

*Quote taken from Naomi Bagdonas on the Natural Born Thinkers podcast