In this, the penultimate post of my Comparison series I would like to address a trait sometimes replicated by popular DC Comics villain Doomsday – ‘adaptation’. It is with this trait that he killed Superman. In the last posts I talked about the adverse effects of comparison and how being grateful for the wonderful traits of others could benefit you. Once you reach the place of being grateful for the uniqueness of others and once you build up your self-esteem, (which is the upcoming series on character building titled ‘Individuality’), you can evolve an ability I like to call ‘quirk acquiring’.
I follow a Japanese comic called ‘My Hero Academia’ in which members of that world have a certain ability called a ‘quirk’ often unique to them. I believe that this is a fictitious extrapolation on real life. Upon attaining gratitude for others’ ‘quirks’ I began to observe things people around me did better than everyone else. I’ll use four of my peers as examples.
Twins Galen and Niki, though identical, display similar as well as drastically different traits. They both possess unbelievably brutal honesty, which is not always attractive in this age, but I came to realise that it was easier to trust them because you knew they wouldn’t lie to you. In fact, they would tell you upfront when they were uncomfortable having a discussion about something and shut it down completely, a very odd but refreshing trait when I first encountered it. Individually, Galen has an intense focus in goal-setting and achieving. No matter how many times he fails to get a certain model working he’ll try again until he’s mastered it; in that he is very inspiring. Niki meanwhile has an incredible eye for detail as well as a clear view of the bigger picture. More often than not, he would console me (yea me, the perennial encourager) when I fell at a hurdle and point out how one failure did not mean my life was a dud. Alex has mastered setting priorities, therefore if you have to talk to him you have to let him know well in advance. This therefore means that no deadlines catch him by surprise. Lastly Joseph is what I term the King of Time Management. The man has about a dozen leadership roles and a million responsibilities and yet while performing these roles admirably he is simultaneously acing his engineering degree. Since I passed the point of comparison and jealousy of others’ traits and gained an appreciation of them, I’ve been able to notice them more and more… resulting in the Doomsday’s special ability, ‘quirk acquiring’. Now don’t get me wrong, I can never be Len or Niki or Alex or Joseph – that’s not my job, that is not my purpose. I’m not advocating becoming a chameleon and blend in wherever you go, mirroring every character you encounter. I am saying that in this case I can take those traits that I like from them, see how they apply them and use them for myself to meet the standard of man I want to become. In doing this I develop a much fuller character than if I lived an isolated life – a certain ideal… and with that we segue perfectly into tomorrow’s post: Living the Standard Life.