Skip to main content

In this article, I describe my superpowers, the gifts that give me energy, and my kryptonite, the sources that deplete my strength. I end the article by discussing the importance of balance in our lives and how equanimity is vital to our successful well-being.

You can do everything!

Recently, I was at an outdoor taco place in West Asheville having lunch with friends. We were waiting on our food orders and filling the time so, I asked this question. “If I had a superpower, what would it be?” Surprisingly, this question stumped them. “Oh, I have to think about this.” Another said, “I have no idea. This is a tough question.” After a bit of a pause, my husband says, “You’re like Inspector Gadget; you can do everything.” My friend agreed. We laughed. I reminded them that Inspector Gadget was a cartoon character and not a superhero. “But it’s true,” said my friend. “I’ve always said that you’re like a Renaissance Man. You are so good at so many different things. Everything you do, you’re great at it.”

Her compliment got me thinking about this, and I wondered what that would look like. What would happen if I explored this idea of integrating these two seemingly different individuals into a cohesive view of myself. And then I realized, I am Inspector Gadget, Renaissance Man. Well, maybe more figuratively than literally.

Feet of Clay

Let’s be fair; Inspector Gadget is powerful and loyal yet dimwitted and gullible. At the same time, Renaissance Man can be adventurous and knowledgeable about many things yet overly confident, arrogant, and a disguised dilettante. Inspector Gadget is a cyborg with all kinds of tools to sleuth out clues and seek answers. Renaissance Man is a man of the world with his intellect, charm, and juez de vivre to guide him through life. They both have light and dark sides that make them more mortal. We all have our light side and our dark side. And I think it’s true of our superheroes: they all have feet of clay.

So, here is a list of my Inspector Gadget/ Renassaince Man superpowers and my kryptonite and how I strive to find balance when things get too much kryptonite and not enough superpower. I hope this gives you some greater insights into me and my work.

boy in blue and red shirt wearing blue framed eyeglasses
Photo by Vicki Yde on

My Superpowers


  • Multipotentialite – able to do lots of things well – caterer, actor and singer, lamp designer, interior decorator, window dresser, rollercoaster operator, fast-food worker, deli clerk, afterschool art teacher, theatre director and designer, teacher, college professor, consultant, and so many more.
  • Tinker – I rebuilt a 1969 VW Bug engine and body. I’ve restored three homes – kitchens, baths, additions complete with new tile and fixtures, installed hardwood flooring, and restored antique furniture.
  • Chef – I’m an amazing cook and baker.
  • Artist – I can do watercolor and pottery. I can do both traditional and modern quilting, knitting, crocheting, weaving, needlework, thread painting, and so on. I’m moving into digital artwork.
  • Dramatic Comedian – I can be both serious and funny. It comes from my love for all things Oscar Wilde.
  • Transformer – I can transform all of my experiences into something valuable. That’s one of the reasons I love being an instructional designer.


  • Mindful– I have this amazing self-awareness or insight and awareness of what’s happening around me. It’s kind of like a sixth sense, and it freaks me out sometimes.
  • Honest – I am emotionally honest, sometimes too honest. I’ve learned to listen more than speak.
  • Aesthete – I can intertwine complex topics with different art forms – writing, scripts, designs, fiber, paint, other media.
  • Learner – I am a true life-long learner. I have taken classes, Masterclass, and a ton of free stuff from MIT, Coursera; you name it! I’m even thinking of starting a Google course on UX development.
  • Observer I can spot the one thing wrong in a room and tell you how to fix it.
  • Skills Focused – I gain practical skills that I can use in my work and home. I love learning from YouTube videos. Microlearning is where it’s at!
  • Journeyer – I love to travel. Post pandemic, I cannot wait to get back on a plane, train, cruise ship, and go anywhere.
  • Au courant – I must stay informed. I read several newspapers, The New Yorker, and listen to over 20 different podcasts ranging from crime stories, political analysis, meditation, current events, career advice, science and technology, and art.

My Kryptonite

  • Believing that there is The Committee of All-Powerful Human Experts who will one day pass an edict announcing my work’s merits to be worthy of others to read and use.
  • Perfectionism, Perfectionism, Perfectionism
  • Layer cake and ice cream. Or both!
  • Not keeping my mouth shut. Like sometimes, what comes up into my brain falls out of my mouth. It gets me in trouble every time.
  • Worrying about what others think of me.
  • Boredom! It drains my energies.
  • French, Mexican, Thai, Middle Eastern food. I’m a foodie.
  • Self-doubt, negative thinking, not good enough, i.e., scarcity. You know, all the things we tell ourselves that we wouldn’t say to our friends.
  • Holding on to the past, not letting things go.
  • When dreams fail or when I take something and make it so big that it fails.
  • Having no sense of purpose.
  • Envy. When I start to envy others for their accomplishments or perceived status, I know my kryptonite is near.

Seeking Equiminity

I think Aristotle was right about how to live a good and virtuous life. It really is about balancing our excesses and deficiencies to strive for greater equanimity. I’ve learned over the years to find a balance between my overcharged superpowers and my depleting kryptonite. When my superpowers are cranking out good work, I’m in the zone. I’m in the flow! When I get out of balance, I become critical, unproductive, and self-absorbed.

So, what’s your superpower? What’s your kryptonite? What are some of the ways you see greater balance and equanimity in your life? Please send me your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.

Add your email address to subscribe to my blog website.

Jim McKinley Brown

I'm a learning experience designer (LXD) and eLearning consultant with over 30 years of experience creating meaningful and engaging learning experiences for people of all ages.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: