Human superpower

display-dummy-1370962_1920Our minds accommodates some of the great superpowers. Let me first introduce the individual strengths that we’ve in our minds.

Well as you might know, most of us are born with the set of temperament, which is distinctive profile of feelings and behaviors of early childhood [1]. Keltikangas-Järvinen (2004) suggests that as much as 50% remains as people grow older [2]. We should leverage our natural preferences in life, i.e. in the form of livelihood or lifestyle.

Another strength that our minds has is the neuroplasticity, or the ability to learn new tricks. Although kids and young people are very plastic, brain’s ability form new connections in surprising and great even in adulthood. Actually great part about neuroplasticity in adulthood is that brains which get used to the training are more able, so the muscle metaphor is indeed great.

For training mind, it’s particularly useful to understand a bit about. Daniel Kahneman’s awesome book Thinking Fast and Slow explain this very clearly. If you do not want to read the whole book, here Is one okay book review as a video that captures some of the essential ideas. Just by understanding that there are two minds, the elephant mind and the elephant driver which is the rational mind.  Since elephant driver cannot lift heavy trees by herself, its better to train the beast to do it. And to get a beast to do tricks, sometimes a bit of cleverness and practice is requirement. Intellectual challenge is bliss for our minds.

One thing I dislike about intelligence talk is especially that intelligence cannot really be accurately measured in this sense, because how we perform in situation A is very different from situation B. How well we perform depends on so many factors… We humans are ingenious and original, each one of us.

How about our collective superpower?

Homo sapiens has also one another thing that most of the species do not have. We’ve language. Language is really important tool for a great great force called culture. Language and culture are the kind of superpower we as a species have.

Although chimpanzees as well can have a culture as they do things together. However change takes a lot of time. Human can talk and debate which allows change before the worst case happens.

And yes, I said humans can have the change through language, yet as history has shown we do not always use our trump card for collective advantage.

I wish we could. Before we can start to make huge leaps in language and understanding, Lets’ study some more cultures and languages, it’s a great way to challenge our minds too.



[1] Kagan J., 2005. “Temperament”, Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development . Available at: Read 6.12.2013.

[2] Keltikangas-Järvinen, L. 2004. Temperamentti : ihmisen yksilöllisyys. Helsinki. WSOY. ISBN 951-0-28423-8.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s