4 Lessons X-Men Taught Me About Changing The World


June 21st 1997.  Saturday.  9.00am. X-Men time!

Cartoons we’re my escape.  To imagine.  To dream.  I closed my eyes and ran around the house with my superpowers…..

As I’ve gotten older my dreams have changed.  Knocking rings out of people and turning Super Saiyan are not my main objectives!

Today I want to create my own lifestyle. I want to innovate and bring something new to the world. I want to control my future.

Alas some are still trying to level up!

Looking back, cartoons showed me how to do that.

There’s one that stands out above them all…..

A)   Controlling Your Powers

‘We have awesome powers, my X-Men. It is our birthright… And, perhaps, our burden. But, as Valerie Said, with that power comes responsibility – and also accountability.’ – Professor X

‘The greatest ability an entrepreneur can have is the ability to control there emotions’ – Pejman Ghadimi

Before a mutant became an X-Man, they struggled with their powers.  They come out at the worst times.

Rogue (whose power was taking other people’s powers) nearly killed a boy she kissed.  Storm was launching hurricanes all over the gaffe!  The inability to control their powers ruined their lives.


When Professor X invites them to the X-Mansion, his top priority is teaching them control their powers.

And that’s just like us. Our powers are our emotions. If we let our emotions control us – fear, sadness, depression, anger – we will never be happy.  We’ll never do the work.  And we’ll never allow the greatness in us to fully shine.

B) Having A Mentor

‘A new generation of mutants is emerging, that much is certain. They will be called freaks. Genetic monstrosities. [...] But they are emerging in the inner cities, in the suburbs, in the deserts and the jungles. 

And when they emerge, they will need teachers, people who can help them overcome their anger and show them how to use their strange gifts responsibly.’ – Professor X

“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” – Paulho Coelho

Every entrepreneur preaches the value of a mentor.  To learn from someone who has been down the path your on – there mistakes, there successes, there why.

The beauty of the internet is we now have many mentors – whether that’s listening to great podcasts such as School Of Greatness or reading blogs from those you respect and want to learn from.  It’s all there.

Of course, nothing can replace that one-on-one connection. So check out this great post by Ryan Holiday on finding one 

C ) Working With A Team Of Superheroes 

You, my friend, are a mutant – and I have a need of mutants — desperate need!  – Professor X

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ – Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn explains the law of averages

You are who you surround yourself with. And just as the X-Men surrounded themselves with other X-Men.

Likewise the great entrepreneur’s and creators hang around each other.

Now that don’t mean you should cut off everyone who doesn’t have the same ambitions as you. However the people you spend the MOST amount of time with – you should be on the same wavelength.

After all – there’s a reason the best players play on the same team!

Because by propelling each other forward we can ultimately fight together for something that’s greater.

D ) Fighting for a cause greater than yourself 

‘My name is Charles Xavier. I am a mutant. And once upon a time I had a dream… of a world where all Earth’s children, both mutant and baseline human, might live together in peace….’ – Professor X

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead 

Whether it was fighting against Magneto and his crew, or fighting against human oppression, the X-Men always had a cause.

And that is what kept them together even when times got hard.

We as individuals must realise there is a cause greater than us. That playing the game is has a much wider impact.

The poem by Marianne Williamson (via Coach Carter) sums it up

‘Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate…but that we are powerful beyond measure’

It’s about being an example.  Standing up and taking control.  Showing others they can do the same.

Winning the inner battle.  Harnessing those powers

By you controlling your powers and changing your life – you can help others do the same.

And together we can fight the old system.  Show the next generation that it is possible to live the life of your dreams.

To do what you love and love what you do.

We’re all X-Men – once you make that choice to bring something new into this world you are a superhero!


Dubem Menakaya