Lesson 079: Lose the fight before the battle
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 3/26 ('The Best of Both Worlds Part I')


Riker, 2nd in command of the Enterprise, is made captain when Capt. Picard is captured by the alien Borg race.

As the crew of the Enterprise prepare for battle with the Borg, Riker expresses uncertainty in his new role as captain.

Given the Borg now have Capt. Picard and all of his knowledge and experience working in their favor, Riker frets the upcoming encounter with the Borg will be disastrous for the Enterprise.

Riker is told by Guinan, a close trusted alien friend of Capt. Picard's, that the crew expects to die in the battle with the Borg. Even though the crew trust and like Riker, they don't believe that he can save them. Riker admits that he agrees with their sentiment.

Riker is reminded by Guinan that when a man is convinced he will die tomorrow, he will probably find a way to make it happen.


Self-prophesying doom is surely the biggest downfall of adulthood.

Have you ever noticed that a child can wake up one morning and say that he/she wants to be an astronaut and then proceed to think of all the things he/she can do as an astronaut all day long; yet, as an adult, our first thoughts in this situation will always be of all the different ways why we can never accomplish that goal?

Somewhere in our path to adulthood, we lose our childlike charm of thinking anything is possible. We find multiple ways to convince ourselves that the status quo is the only path for us and to try anything else is a waste of our time.

True, as adults we are more aware of the realistic problems that may face us in our quest. But it is the realization of the problems as tangible physical walls that prevent us from even trying sometimes.

Instead, when the problems are seen as challenges or hurdles to be surmounted, do we really ascend to our higher potential.

In 1970, when the Apollo 13 mission to the moon came to an abrupt halt due to a rupture in an oxygen tank on board, leaving 3 humans stranded midway between the Earth and the Moon, most everyone thought all was lost.

With no hope of getting a rescue ship out there, or means of sending any new supplies to them, the three astronauts were surely doomed.

Fortunately, the hero engineers and scientists at NASA back then did not think that way.

With rolled up sleeves, paper clips and rubber bands approach, they figured out a way to bring the three lost astronauts back home safe. They showed us how in the face of certain defeat, man can rise above his own defeatist attitude and accomplish almost anything.

Fortunately, Riker is of the same ilk as those men of 1970 NASA. Following Guinan's advice and his own ingenuity, Riker manages to defeat the Capt. Picard guided Borg.

Using these people as role models, we can all overcome our own inhibitive approach to difficult situations and accomplish almost anything.

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