Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

Attitude Changes Everything

They give people hope and strength

Most of my work is speaking at conferences and talking about what it means to be a real life superhero in the workplace. My hope is that by the end of my speech, people feel more inspired to use the best of who they are and what they have to make a positive contribution. One of my key points is that not all superheroes wear capes. It’s not an original point, but the content is. It just fits right, especially after I speed paint my favorite superhero – Batman!

The phrase “Not all Superheroes Wear Capes” has been floating around for decades and is credited to a superhero named Anonymous. Nobody owns it – meaning, we all have an equal share in it. The freedom in having that kind of ownership is that we can add our own interpretation as to what we believe that quote means to us. So, here is a little bit of mine.

Today, it seems any which way we look,
we see something disheartening.

Massive hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and, most recently, the Vegas shooting. If you observe people watching the news at airports like I do, all you see are heads shaking back and forth. The looks on their faces say, “What in the world is going on?”

I had just finished my speech at an all company development day, and as I was meeting people afterward, I met a woman who was actually in the crowd when the Vegas shooting happened. She still seemed a little shaken by the experience. I mean, you could see it in her eyes. But she said something that seemed to diminish the fear in the experience, “Sam, it was scary, but what made a difference were a lot of good people showed up and helped out.”

The thing about real life superheroes is they give people hope and strength in the midst of something that bombards us with fear and tragedy. A real life superhero doesn’t wear a cape; rather, they use the best of who they are and what they have to make a positive contribution. People started lining up to give blood just hours after the Vegas shooting. That’s huge.

A real life superhero never asks,
“What’s the least I can do?”

No, a real life superhero rises up from the ashes and lends everything thing they’ve got in an effort to make a positive contribution.

I happen to believe we need more real life superheroes in our world – everyday people willing to take extraordinary actions.
As I tell my audiences in my speeches, “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing!”

Real life superheroes are everyday people who do the seemingly little things, but with an exceptional heart and attitude.

  • It’s the single mom working two jobs to support her two teenage daughter,
  • it’s the young person who stands up and speaks out when they see someone being bullied,
  • the co-worker who helps you get stuff done so you can meet a deadline and get home to your family,
  • the person who lets you merge over in traffic,
  • the teacher who makes learning fun,
  • the friend who gives you their last dollar to help you get by,
  • the sales person who actually cares for you instead of pretending to be nice just to get your business,
  • the receptionist who smiles and makes you feel welcomed,
  • the leader who is personal and asks about your life, family, and goals,
  • the stranger who holds the door open when your hands are full,
  • the customer service agent who goes two extra miles to fix everything for you,
  • the neighbor who picks up your blown over trash can,
  • the first responders who go above and beyond,
  • the doctors and nurses who work as a team to save lives,
  • the police officer who pulls you over for speeding, but ends up praying with you because you lost your child to cancer,
  • and the list goes on and on.


Be Your Own Real Life Super HeroIt’s comforting to know there are real life superheroes around us.
They give us hope and strength to keep going.
They give us a reason to lift our heads up and believe that everything will be okay.


My encouragement to you reading this – you’ve got all the superpowers you need to make a difference. Extend the best of who you are and what you have, and you will make a bigger difference than you can imagine. My personal philosophy – Capes Optional.



By Sam Glenn, Award Winning Motivational Speaker and Author

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