The Superpower of Invisibility

René Magritte, The Pilgrim
René Magritte, The Pilgrim

I am learning to master the power of invisibility. It is a superpower that is bestowed upon us with age, but young people make every effort to avoid this endowment.

No one ever really wants to become invisible. We spend our youth fighting for as much attention as possible. That’s how we attract mates and whatnot.

An interesting question was posed on Quora: What do people in Silicon Valley plan to do once they hit 35 and are officially over the hill? Do the Sunset Squad Robots come and abduct them? Does their Lifeclock crystal turn flashing red as they are shuttled into the Carrousel for Renewal?


Some of them go on to found companies like Zynga, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Wikipedia. We don’t pay attention to these people, because old people aren’t sexy.

If no one hears a tree falling in the woods, it makes no sound. If nobody looks at 35-year olds, they’ve unlocked the magic power of invisibility.

Forbes publishes an annual list of 30 under 30, the entrepreneurs who are out to change the world. Fortune has 40 under 40. There is no 50 over 50, because nobody cares.

When no one is looking at you, there’s no one to impress. Priorities become intrinsically motivated. Invisibility is liberating.

We all become invisible someday. The ability to appreciate invisibility is the real superpower.


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