Video: Awaken Your Superhero from #140conf

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I had the pleasure and privilege of presenting at Jeff Pulver‘s 140 Character Conference in New York City about a favorite topic of mine, Awaken Your Superhero:

#140conf NYC 2011: Christopher Penn, "Awaken Your Superhero"

One of the key points I hope you take away from this talk is that right now, you have superhero powers, you have opportunities to be a superhero, but you may not have the motivation to be a superhero, or may not realize your own power. As I suggested in the talk, this is an exceptionally dangerous place to be.

Without proper motivation, without a reason, a cause, something to believe in, your superhero powers will corrupt you. Sometimes it will corrupt you to just selling crap as a marketer. Sometimes the corruption will be much worse, making you believe you’re someone you aren’t, or don’t want to be, or never thought you could be.

Without proper awareness, you’re treating your superhero powers as something mundane instead of the tremendous gift that they really are. You’re beyond giving away your power – you’re actively resisting, actively denying your full potential as a digitally connected human being. Imagine Superman preferring to be Clark Kent all the time. Imagine Bruce Wayne staying in his mansion at nights, refusing to help Gotham. When you treat your powers as mundane aspects, or worse, as crass tools, you’re forfeiting the place that has been prepared for you to do amazing things with your life.

I hope this talk has motivated you to explore the your full potential as a future superhero in the digital world and given you a chance to take a step back and realize the power that you do have. Take that power and do some good with it!

If you enjoyed this talk, please consider leaving a recommendation for it here. Thank you!

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8 responses to “Video: Awaken Your Superhero from #140conf”

  1. Al Pittampalli Avatar
    Al Pittampalli

    Your point about psychic powers is true, Google offers us this. We take it for granted, because we’re so used to it, but before the days of the search engine, getting answers was tremendously difficult. Now it’s a click away. We live in incredible times. Great talk, Chris.

  2. My favorite presentation of the day Chris. Some really powerful stories you shared. It’s amazing how (super) powerful these tools can really be when used the right way. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, sir.

  3. I loved your analogies of our present day technologies and it’s “superhero power” counterpart. It definitely awakened and empowered my motivation to do more with what I have. Anybody can give a few bucks here and there to various charities (and I’m in no way demeaning these people because it’s more than what the general populous does). But, if you have the gifts and abilities to do more, it should be your moral obligation as a human being to help in any way you can.

    Thanks for awakening me!

  4. Love this talk, Chris. Didn’t catch it at 140conf, but glad I caught it here. And thanks for the shout out, bud. 🙂

  5. Chris,

    Thank you for providing a little wind beneath my cape.  We should all keep striving toward our best potential.  And champion causes whenever we can.

    Your words,

    “Without proper motivation, without a reason, a cause, something to believe in, your superhero powers will corrupt you.”

    We all know of these examples.  But this rang a bell for me…

    Someone I think is terrific and I have a lot of respect for has become closed-off and very much about their selling messages, their marketing.  Broadcasting is all I see form them now.  While they have a lot to offer, it is hard to get them to reach back when I reach out.

    Here, too, I’m reminded of the importance of considering: It’s not the size of the network that matters….but what we do with it.

    Thanks again,


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