TrekAcademy


Lesson 017: A Fresh Start
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 3/22 ('The Most Toys')

[Scene]

Data is kidnapped in an incident made to look like he died in a shuttle accident. LaForge is extremely upset at the death of his friend Data and is unable to shake the incident, especially since he was involved in the shuttle incident.

He keeps going over each step leading up to the accident in his head, over and over again, almost to the point of being obsessive. In the meantime, the Enterprise is ordered on a new rescue mission where LaForge's engineering talents will be required extensively.

Seeing LaForge's single-focused, all consuming desire to solve the mystery of Data's shuttle accident, and in light of the upcoming demands of the new mission ahead, Capt. Picard orders LaForge to put aside the shuttle accident for now, and get some rest immediately to help him focus. LaForge complies with the order.

[Lesson]

Whether at work or in our personal lives, we all sometimes get stuck on an issue that we just can't seem to resolve. It could be as technical as a coding bug in a software application or as silly as trying to remember the name of the actor in that one movie we just can't remember.

Our obsessing in these all-time consuming scenarios usually does not help us to resolve our problems. Usually our constant mental pounding towards what we think is the solution just ends up taking us further away from the answer.

Managers in all walks of life, including parents and teachers, must take overt steps here to guide the obsessed individual to step away from the problem. Take a walk, read a book, see a movie, or even get some sleep, anything to distract from the problem at hand.

By moving away from the problem, we are no longer confined inside the problem.

By using a fresh new approach to the problem, or even just by re-addressing the problem from the outside, the solutions sometimes make themselves apparent with very little effort on our part.

It was only when LaForge did follow the Captain's orders and fell asleep that he dreamt his way to the solution and was able to identify the shuttle accident was faked and leads to Data's rescue.

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