Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “Computer, Initiate auto-destruct sequence. Authorization: Picard, 4 7 Alpha Tango.”
Dr. Beverly Crusher: “Computer, Commander Beverly Crusher. Confirm auto-destruct sequence. Authorization: Crusher, 2 2 Beta Charlie.”
Lt. Commander Worf: “Computer, Lieutenant Commander Worf. Confirm auto-destruct sequence. Authorization: Worf, 3 7 Gamma Echo.”
Computer: “Command authorization accepted. Awaiting final command.”
Picard: “This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Destruct sequence: Alpha 1. 15 minutes, silent countdown. Enable.”
Computer: “Auto-destruct in 15 minutes. There will be no further audio warnings.”
How do you know when to give up on a dream? When is it appropriate to abandon your positive, never-give-up attitude and recognize that this particular dream, relationship, or business is just not meant to be?
If you’re a Star Trek fan, you instantly recognize that dialogue above from Star Trek: First Contact, the brilliant number eight film in the franchise. It’s the scene where Picard initiates auto destruct of the Enterprise, to prevent the technology from falling into the hands of the evil Borg. The Sci-Fi draws from reality, in the sense that for cataclysmic decisions in the real world, such as destroying a ship or launching a nuclear attack, two or three people are often required. I think you need a similar dynamic when you’re deciding whether or not to continue with your dream.
To be an entrepreneur, visionary, or someone who changes the game in a meaningful way, you have to be crazy in some senses. (A phenomenon I explored in considerable depth in my Mad Genius book.) The things that Steve Jobs, Oprah, Elon Musk, and many other visionaries have accomplished were flat out considered impossible, until they proved them possible.
It was a crazy idea for Seth Mouton, Eric Swalwell, John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Howard Schultz, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Walsh, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Julia Castro, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Deval Patrick, John Delaney, and Tom Steyer to believe they had a shot of becoming the president of the United States of America. But you know what was a crazier idea than that?
That a first-term senator named Barack Hussein Obama could be elected. And you know what was a crazier idea than that? That Donald J. Trump could be elected president.
No one who ever produced a breakthrough did so by accepting conventional thinking. That’s the nature of dreamers. We are able to see the future before others can even fathom it. To accomplish something earth-shattering, transformational, or game-changing, you have to possess a belief in your dream – and yourself – that many other people are going to think is egotistical, delusional, or crazy.
If you find yourself in that type of situation, you might be on to something extraordinary. Or you could be on a fool’s errand. You might face down failure and prevail or you might face down failure and fail. How do you know when you need to get up off the mat and keep fighting? Or when you should recognize that there is a higher good for you, by regrouping and moving in a different direction?
Individual words when grouped together, often take on superpowers. Up is just a word. I is another. Give is yet another. But when you link them together to say, “I give up,” they take on a devastating power. Certain collections of words like this are imbued with such damaging power that they should be enclosed in a protective case, and the glass to be broken only in case of emergency. Sequences of words such as:
I just can’t do it.
That is impossible.
I just can’t go on.
You’re not good enough.
I don’t have the strength.
This can never work.
Stop being so naive.
You’re in over your head.
I wish you were dead.
I wish I was dead.
That takes us back to the discussion of who besides you, holds the nuclear launch codes, or the key to turn that activates the auto-destruct sequence. You need at least one person.
Please know I’m here for you and I believe in you. I’ll be writing these posts, more books, and doing more podcasts to help you develop your critical thinking abilities, positive programming, and an empowering vision for your life.
But you need someone in your life close by, who knows you personally and can be there for you in those moments of doubt, fear, or weakness. Someone who cares for you, wants the highest good for you, and most importantly, believes in you. Someone you can trust with those codes and key. Some of you are already blessed with someone like this, or even have a few people in your life you can trust with this sacred honor. But if not, make that your priority.
If you don’t have someone who qualifies in that role right now, that’s the most important next step in your journey toward prosperity and enlightenment. In the next post, I’ll give you a few suggestions for doing that. In the meantime, would love to see your thoughts or questions below.
P.S. So far in the Federation Universe, we’ve seen eight versions of the Starship Enterprise with a peek at the ninth. Like the Enterprise, your dreams can always be relaunched in a new fuselage. Remember that.