Too often, we embark on the classic journey to identify our power, only to grow complacent once it’s ascertained. We view this identification as the culmination of the journey and assume that we have arrived once reach the destination of discovery. But discerning our power is only the beginning of the work. It is what lies after the discovery, I argue, that is the most important.
After we identify our power, we have to study it. By further delving into what our power is, we learn the extent of it and where it fits in the world. The more we learn about it, the more opportunities we will have to expand it beyond our limitations and or natural constraints. As we study our power, we perfect the way we use it and as we perfect it, we learn to control it.
If you’re a fan of the X-men series, you may remember when Professor X teaches Havok (Alex Summers) to control his power, as he did with all of the X-Men. In the beginning, Havok did not know how to control his power. He was, like so many X-Men, ashamed and embarrassed of it. As he and all of those he trained with became much more efficient, they rose to be valuable team members.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will remember how Yoda instructs Luke Skywalker to learn of “The Force” that he may become stronger in it and stronger using it. Luke knew he had a special power, but came to the realization that he must learn more of his power to become the best Jedi Master he could be. Once he did, he was one of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy.
If you’re a Christian, you will appreciate the lesson Christ teaches using the parable of the sowers with gifted talents. And that lesson is: having a talent isn’t enough. It must be used. Because when you use it, it is multiplied and fruit-bearing.
These days, we see a lot of youth discovering they have power. As older adults, a part of our responsibility is to help them grow to the next level with it—\—to learn more of it, to perfect it, to control it, and to maximize it.