Nest City News - Citizen Superpowers

Published: Mon, 04/28/14

Hi -

Last month I told you that you are your very own secret weapon - and our secret weapon. This edition of the Nest City News lays out your Citizen Superpowers. Now that  you know what they are, you will start to notice how you use them. I'm betting you already do. 

Once you recognize your Citizen Superpowers, you need to strengthen them. The more the use them, the easier they become and the more skillful you become in using them. It just takes practice.  

At the bottom of this edition of the Nest City News you will find some prompts - some questions and things to explore as you strengthen your Citizen Superpowers. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear the variety of ways you exercise your powers to make you, your family, your neighbourhood or organization and your city the best places they can be. 

Have fun exploring!

Beth Sanders


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Citizen Superpowers

...your mind is your best friend, but it is also your worst enemy. Positive Intelligence measures the relative strength of those two modes in your mind. High Positive Intelligence means your mind acts as your friend far more than as your enemy.  Low Positive Intelligence is the reverse.  

Shirzad Chamine, Positive Intelligence


I often feel like there are two parts to me - the part that knows the right thing to do, and the part that sabotages. For Chabine, these also correlate with different areas of my brain. The Master Saboteur (the judge) and its nine accomplices are the fight-or-flight parts of my brain (brain stem and limbic system). Their focus is survival and power and they will do whatever it takes. 

There is another part of me, however, that is deeper and wiser. Chabine notes that there is a part of each of that can "rise above the fray and resist getting carried away by the drama and tension of the moment or falling victim to the lies of the saboteurs."  Physiologically, this part of me comes from other parts of my brain: middle prefrontal cortex, what Chabine calls the Empathic Circuitry (mirror neuron system, the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex) and the right brain.  

My brain and I choose how I will show up in a given situation - in defensive survival mode, or as my wiser Self. 

Chabine notes five powers that reside in the higher Self. I call these your Citizen Superpowers:
  1. Explore with great curiosity and an open mind.
  2. Empathize with yourself and others with compassion and understanding in any situation.
  3. Innovate and create new perspectives and outside-the-box solutions.
  4. Navigate and choose a path that best aligns with your deeper underlying values and mission.
  5. Activate and take decisive action without the distress interference, or distractions of the Saboteurs.
These Citizen Superpowers reside within each and all of us, and they allow us to accept what happens in the world around us as gifts and opportunities. These Citizen Superpowers allow us to make our cities better all the time. Everything that goes "wrong" is an opportunity to improve. 

With these Superpowers, you are able to move into action "not out of feeling bad, but out of empathy, inspiration, the joy of exploration, a longing to create, a desire to contribute, and an urge to find meaning in the midst of even the greatest crises... there is no such thing as a bad circumstance or outcome (Chabine)."

As you strengthen your powers to explore, empathize, innovate, navigate and activate, you grow you positive intelligence and you grow your Citizen Superpowers. 

You also grow your city. 


Growing Superpowers