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Superpowers That Will Change The World
Guest post By Jelena Wells, U.S. Embassy Youth Council
July 28, 2021

U.S. speaker April Rinne's talk at Project Connect

On a rainy mid-winter evening, I found myself listening to the thought provoking April Rinne at Project Connect in Auckland. A distinguished author, lawyer and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She zoom called in from Portland, Oregon, from the comfort of her home, as the world is still at battle with the pandemic. Whilst a collective of professionals and I intently listened in a lecture theatre, regarding her new book “Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change”

April described that the world, is in a constant state of ‘flux’. Her use of the word flux was ingenious, as she described it as both a noun (‘continuous change’) and a verb (‘to cause or learn to become fluid’). To succeed in this ‘flux’, we need to have what she described, as a ‘flux’ mindset. This for me was an extremely positive and a revolutionary way of looking at change. To be able to succeed in the professional world, which is competitive, daunting, and ever changing, a new mindset has to be evolved. This included 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, which April has developed, to help the individual adapt to the state of ‘flux’.

Jelena Wells (far right) at the Project Connect talk at the Auckland University of Technology. Photo credit: Jelena Wells.
Jelena Wells (far right) at the Project Connect talk at the Auckland University of Technology. Photo credit: Jelena Wells.

Out of her eight ‘Super Powers’, four of them really resonated with me. First, the guidance of ‘Running Slower’ in a world where everything is constantly getting quicker, flipped the orthodox way of looking at success as it focuses on well-being. Many people in this fast-paced world face burnout. So April made me think of my long-term goals and longevity, as a soon to be, working professional. It is also very topical, as, during Covid lockdowns the world slowed down. With this slowdown, many realised that they could change their career. This opportunity only arose by slowing down. Individuals had the chance to break from the 9-5-work routine, by working remotely from home.

Secondly, ‘See What’s Invisible’ stood out to me, as this just didn’t apply to the workplace but in evaluating oneself and personal values. She described that when the future seems uncertain, we have to see what we cannot. This included seeing how our own experiences, perceptions, privilege, and viewpoint that has shaped our assumptions. Opportunity arises when the invisible can be seen.

April, during her virtual talk. Photo credit: Jelena Wells.
April, during her virtual talk. Photo credit: Jelena Wells.

Thirdly, ‘Knowing You Are Enough’ is a superpower in a world where more and more is expected and with rapidly changing technology and increased uncertainty. This Superpower makes me think of what is really important in life. It means to have confidence in your own abilities and to stop constant comparison. For me, this is very powerful, as knowing you are enough counteracts fear, which allows for adaptability in this flux world.

Lastly, ‘Create Your Portfolio Career’. This resonated with me, because it allowed me to think that human beings are unique and have their own talents and experience. A CV shouldn’t just be a list of past jobs but a description of an individual’s experiences. Simply, diversity is strength in every sense of the word, as having a meridian of experiences makes for a more relatable and progressive workplace.

April’s talk allowed me to consider my own relationship with change. It made me analyse my mindset going forward, to handle change with enthusiasm and strength. Her talk was a wake-up call for me, as it made me develop needed wisdom, which will be utilized in my future career as a lawyer.


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