Teleportation Without Flying

If I gave you the choice between flying or teleportation as your superpower, which one would you choose?

Flying has been a fan-favorite for decades, but teleportation does seem to one-up even Superman. I mean, why fly for hours if you can just zippity-zoom anywhere in the world? Compared with teleportation, flying feels like hard work.

But you know what’s funny? Without the skill of flying, the ability to teleport is not all that helpful. In fact, it is probably dangerous. You miss your destination by two stories, and you’re toast.

The real problem is that, when considering this choice, we imagine teleportation to include flying as a free bonus. After all, that’s how all the superheroes are portrayed, no? Dr. Manhattan can do both. The Ancient One can do both. So can Black Adam, Shazam, Darkseid, Apocalypse, and a whole barrage of other heroes and villains just pop up wherever they want to, then chill in mid-air. But that’s not the choice we were offered, is it?

In the movie Jumper, Hayden Christensen demonstrates what a life with just teleportation could look like. Still awesome, sure, but very different from what you might have had in your head, and definitely very dangerous.

The point is that in life, we often want to teleport before we can fly. We want the big reward, the big stage, the big opportunity. In reality, we would fail miserably if we got it because we’re not ready.

What good is a fast car if you’ve barely driven a slow one (or don’t even possess one at all?) Would you really crush the presentation in front of senior management, or would you just wet yourself because you’re out of your depth? If you now have 1,000 followers, you wouldn’t know how to handle 1,000,000 if they appeared on your account overnight.

Even Superman had to learn flying. It takes effort, and he must navigate well not to crash. But with every next flight, he is earning that power, and if one day, he can teleport, he’ll be prepared.

There’s an apocryphal story about Google’s founders, saying they were never worried about their early user numbers. If you were not using their search engine today, you’d have the chance to use a better version of it tomorrow.

“I will be better tomorrow.” That’s the spirit! After all, what good is arriving at the top of a mountain if all you’ll do is fall right off it? With “I’ll be better tomorrow,” you’ll need neither flying nor teleportation – but should you ever be lucky enough to attain them, I’m sure you’ll be ready.