“We can’t all be Superman, but we sure as shit can train hard, and with loads of practice, we can be Batman.” Kevin Smith (film director)
I came across this quote in Kevin Smith’s biography, Tough Shit. I was so impressed with it that I stored it away in my 2013 quotations’ file. It is a very simple but insightful quote and though Kevin Smith didn’t expand it in his book; I would like to do that in this post.
You have to know the differences between Batman and Superman to appreciate this quote. Batman is human while Superman is from another planet – Krypton. Batman has no superpowers whatsoever while Superman is blessed with superhuman strength and abilities. Batman has had to compensate for his lack of superhuman strength by developing his physique and using state-of-the-art gadgets to fight criminals.
Now imagine that ‘Superman’ represents people with natural talent. I am sure you probably know some people who are just naturally gifted in something. They make whatever they do seem effortless. These super talented people are rare.
The ‘Batmen of this world are those who realise that they can’t compete against the ‘Supermen’ on natural ability but they can however compete effectively on the basis of hard work. Most people are not geniuses who are endowed with large amounts of natural abilities and talent. Geniuses tend to have two major weaknesses – arrogance and complacency (their kryptonite). This is because they are so good at what they do and they are much better than their peers therefore they are likely to coast on their talent and not work as hard. Some of them take it for granted that their talent is enough and that hard work is for the less talented.
But just because you are not as talented as some of your ‘Superman’ peers doesn’t mean that you can’t compete and make an impact in your field.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” (courtesy Tim Tebow)