Cohen delivers ‘super’ speech to empower students

“A ‘Superhero’ is one who combines their unstoppable courage and their greatest abilities to positively influence the destiny of their life, right now,” said internationally-known speaker Gary Cohen during his presentation at the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center Tuesday night.

Through his presentation entitled “Superhero,” Cohen led students through a series of steps to help them realize what their potential “superpowers” are.

“We all have our own special abilities, but do we know how to turn those abilities into superpowers?” he said.

Cohen said the first step in discovering the superpowers in each of us is to recognize what our weaknesses are.

“No matter how powerful our abilities are, there is one single force in the world that can stop them,” he said.

Using a reference from the “Superman” comic book series, Cohen called this force “kryptonite.”

“Your ‘kryptonite’ is what stops you from moving forward with what you want to do in your life,” he said. “Imagine that this room became a time machine, and you were able to go back in time just before you were about to do something you were afraid of. Try to remember how you felt, and try to communicate with that feeling. That feeling is your ‘kryptonite.'”

Cohen said although “kryptonite” can be seen as a negative thing, there is also power in it.

“It’s like plutonium,” Cohen said. “Although it can be dangerous, there is an amazing source of power inside it.”

Cohen calls this power source “super juice.”

“The more we say ‘no’ to the things in our lives that scare us, the dimmer our ‘super juice’ becomes. The more we say ‘yes’ to those things, the brighter our ‘super juice’ glows,” he said. “Countless people have tapped into this power in creating their lives.”

Cohen encouraged students to “go for the glow” instead of “going for the no.” He said no matter how things turn out, the ‘super juice’ inside would get brighter when people step out of their comfort zones and try something new.

“That feeling of fear that you experience is an opportunity for you to grow your glow,” Cohen said. “When you feel fear, remember that image.”

Cohen said after turning fear into power, the next step is for people to discover their inner abilities and strengths.

He said there are nine categories of abilities, and each person is strong in at least one of these. The categories are music, body, logic, nature, self, language, picture, people, and existential.

Each student was given a “Discovering Your Abilities” worksheet that asked 15 questions for each category concerning their personalities and interests. After the students answered the questions, they scored themselves in each category and arranged the categories in order from the least to the greatest score.

Through this exercise, the participants were able to discover their greatest abilities. Cohen explained the significance of each category. He said people with a high score in the “music” category relate best to the world through music, and some famous superheroes with musical ability are John Williams, Faith Hill and Dave Matthews.

Cohen said a high score in the “body” category means the person has power over the physical self. Some examples of careers for people who score highly in that category are surgeons and carpenters. Cohen said examples of famous “body” superheroes include Wayne Gretsky and Jim Carrey.

Cohen said people with a higher score in the “logic” category use logic to understand the world around them, and they often use abstract, imageless thought patterns. Some examples of famous “logic” superheroes are Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Cohen said Einstein’s three strongest categories were Logic, Music, and Body.

After participants had the chance to discover their abilities, Cohen said the satisfied feeling they get while doing something they are good at is called “power juice.”

“‘Power juice’ is our abilities,” he said. “It will never leave us, it will only become bright or dim.”

He said just as a Porsche has no power if there is no gas in the tank, our abilities, or “power juice” has no power if it is not fueled by our ambition, or “super juice.”

“When you take these two feelings and put them together, it is the most powerful force in the universe,” Cohen said. “Mountains have been moved, battles have been won, and men have walked on the moon.”

Students who attended the event said Cohen’s presentation was very informative and inspiring.

“The presentation was very organized, and it prepared us for what we need to do to achieve success in life,” junior Kenya Conerway said.

“The presentation was very informative and motivating,” senior Lakisha Bailey said. “A lot of students don’t know what they want to do in life, and they should try to achieve their ambitions now instead of waiting until later.”

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