An officer leads a life of adventure and excitement, all in the name of peace and discovery. Sure…it may all be fiction, but thinking like a Star Fleet Officer in your real life may be able to help you in ways that you haven’t even imagined. Science Fiction can often be a unique lens through which we can look at our own current lives. It gives us “what if” scenarios, which can be really important to our personal development. Plus, let’s face it…imagining that we live in a future full of giant spaceships, aliens and phasers…well, that’s just cool.
First of all, think like a professional. A Star Fleet officer dedicates their life to a mission of exploration. This means that they always have to be learning new skills, staying sharp, attending conferences and honing their talents. You should always be educating yourself about what’s up and coming and relevant to your life, career and goals.
Think logically. Take a cue from the Vulcans and approach problems from a logical stance. When something goes wrong, be willing to examine your problem with less emotion. Treat yourself to some critical thinking instead of whining, blowing up immediately or getting hysterical. Consider all possible causes and solutions, and be willing to look at things with a healthy dose of skepticism while considering many different possibilities.
Be decisive and learn to think critically. Star Fleet officers are often forced into situations where very quick decisions must be made. Learn to put this into practice in your own life. There is a difference between rushing an important decision and having the ability to make an intelligent strategic decision in a quick manner. Often times by being forced to make a decision quicker than you’d like to, you must weigh options more realistically and make a decision with less emotion.
Do what you love. A career in Star Fleet means never having to say you’re sorry. In Roddenberry’s imagined future, money is no longer relevant, poverty is gone, and all diseases are cured. So nobody is forced into making a career decision out of guilt or survival. Consider what you would do in similar circumstances. It’s well known that people who love their jobs have more fulfilling lives, many never even retire. Start considering what would make you feel fulfilled and put a plan into place to attain that dream job.
Don’t be afraid of community. Star Fleet officers are usually stationed on commissioned space ships. This means that they live with the same people that they work with, thus forcing them into a community. That may sound dreadful to us. We work hard to keep work and personal lives separate, and sometimes that’s healthy. But getting to know your co-workers in any situation and viewing your environments as team settings can help not only your efficiency, but also everyone’s morale. (This includes a family unit.) Learn your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people in your community. How can you help meet each other’s needs? You’re in a community whether you like it or not. You have neighbors, family, friends, and co-workers. Plug in and see what happens.
Learn to delegate. In Star Fleet, the jobs are big. There are supervisors in the imagined future, just like there are now. Because there is no money to be gained, there is less squabbling in the workplace. Learn to delegate, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a boss to 20. Who’s good at what? Can you teach your children to be self-sufficient in some areas sooner, like laundry or dishes? One person can’t do everything, and sometimes by trying to take all the credit or responsibility, we rob ourselves of peace of mind and others of the chance to learn things they might enjoy or find satisfying. Delegate tasks, and do so with dignity and respect, this can really help all involved.
Relax. Star Fleet officers take time on the holodeck, away missions or shuttles to vacations spots. They don’t just relax once a year, they reward themselves for particularly long or tedious assignments and they are taught to self-assess their own mental health and visit a counselor anytime they are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or confused. They never let themselves get to a low point, because they listen to themselves and admit when they are in need. Of anything. And they never apologize for these circumstances. Neither should you. Human beings need maintenance. All of us.
Prioritize. Everyone has wants and needs, these are two separate things. In the Star Trek universe, advertisements are no longer a part of life. Nor is television. People are left to think for themselves about what it is they really want and need, instead of getting mixed mental messages as consumers. What would life be like for you if we didn’t live in a consumer society? What would you be doing if you didn’t have to pay for that cable bill, that new cell phone, that giant television, or those brand name designer bags or clothes? Would you be travelling, getting another degree, working on your art or expanding your family? Use this idea to separate your wants from your needs. You’d be amazed at how relaxing it is when you stop and think about what your real priorities are, it makes making decisions about your future far easier.
Be open-minded. Star Fleet officers live rich lives full of culture. They are often interacting with many different races and cultures, and they take the chance to learn about all those cultures every chance they get. They respect cultural differences instead of fearing them and approach learning about them with eagerness and excitement.
Don’t be afraid to be smart and well-rounded. Star Fleet officers pay attention to history so that the negative events of the past don’t repeat themselves, and they offer their help to ensure that instead of sitting back and criticizing those who are trying. They focus and concentrate on learning things that they know will help them in the future, even when such things may be difficult to learn. They attain at least a working knowledge of all disciplines necessary to life on a starship including math, science, self-defense, etc.
Don’t second guess yourself. Star Fleet officers aren’t ashamed of whatever their hobbies may be, things such as jazz music (Riker), acting (Picard), martial arts(Worf), horse-riding (Picard), pet ownership (Data), or competitive sports (Worf, Riker, and others). All Star Fleet officers continue pursuing their extra-curricular interests while maintaining careers.
Don’t be ruled by your ego. They never pretend to be anything less than what they are, or anything more for that matter. Their lives are not about pride, rewards, competition, or victory. They are secure in their individuality and aren’t threatened by others excellence. Their lives are about peaceful exploration, helping others, and living out what they do best.