Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tip#67: Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Part 1 - 4 Movie Tips

A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation

Whether you are age 6 or 60 learning all about optimism is a huge life skill to embrace. Some adults find it difficult to see the bright side of some situations especially if they were never taught that every cloud has a silver lining. That's why it is important to introduce optimism to kids when they are young.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking about optimism at a final year assembly of William Berczy Public School. There were over 500 kids from junior kindergarten to grade 6. I hadn't spoken to a school like this since about 4 years ago because I've been focusing on adults eager to learn how to see the silver lining in their struggles in life and careers. I'm glad I gave this presentation because these kids radiated the natural positive energy children possess that some grown ups lose along the way.

Here are some inspiring movies I talked about:

Stuart Little 2 (2002)

In the animated adventure film, Stuart Little 2, the little mouse Stuart, voiced by Michael J. Fox, was sad because his mother was angry with him and his brother wouldn't play with him. Stuart's father cheered him up by telling him that, "Every cloud has a silver lining." He then explains, "It's when you can look at any situation no matter how bleak or hopeless and still see the bright side... So keep your chin up, your back straight and your heart open."

Happy Feet (2006)

In the animated musical, Happy Feet, a penguin named Mumbles, voiced by Elijah Woods, was born different from the other penguins. He was born with a special gift for dancing which he loved to do. Loving what you do is a positive feeling and remembering to do what you love can help you be more optimistic when you feel sad and alone.

Elf (2003)

In the Christmas classic, Elf, Buddy the Elf was a grown up, played by Will Ferrell, who kept his eternally optimistic inner child alive. Even though other adults thought he was strange he remained happy and playful at all times. Buddy loved to talk about happy things like asking what your favourite colour was or share his favourite 4 main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup! Treating yourself to your favourites when you are feeling down can always lift you up.

School of Rock (2003)

In the comedy, School of Rock, Jack Black plays Dewey and loves rock and roll. Dewey didn't have any money so he ended up pretending to be a supply teacher at a private school. He discovers his students have talents for playing music so he teaches them the world of rock and roll. In the end he discovers a new passion in life and that is to teach what he loves the most. So remember whatever you are passionate about makes you feel good and it will re-energize you. And sharing your passion will make others feel good too.

All of these movies can also make you laugh and that is important. Making yourself laugh will replace the frown on your face with a smile. Listening to a funny joke, watching funny movies or your pet do silly things can make you feel good.

Feeling good when things look bad is what optimism is all about. Feeling good fuels your optimism. Life goes up and down so the key is to remember that when you are at low points in your life you will always have good days again. Remaining hopeful takes practice so remember these tips:

1) Know what your favourite treats are and treat yourself when you are down
2) Do things that will make you laugh
3) Do things you love doing because they will lift you up
4) Help others to feel good and you'll feel good too

So if you ever feel hopeless, sad or alone remember the simple truth that every cloud has a silver lining. Sometimes we forget as grown ups that solutions to our problems can be very simple. All you have to do to remind yourself of this is to look through the wondrous eyes of children to rediscover that eternally optimistic kid within you.

And remember, "Keep your chin up, your back straight and your heart open!"

Related Tips:
Tip#67: Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Part 1 - 4 Movie Tips 
Tip#621: Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Part 2 - Silver Linings Playbook  
Tip#902: Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Part 3 - Mental Health - K-PAX 
Tip#188: Wear A Coat of Optimism – The Shawshank Redemption
Tip#200: How To Build Indestructible Optimism - Top 9 Movie Tips 
Tip#593: Remember Your Indestructible Optimism, Part 1 - Argo
Tip#904: Remember Your Indestructible Optimism, Part 2 – Depression - The 33
Tip#974: Remember Your Indestructible Optimism, Part 3 - Ghostbusters 2016 
Tip#977: Remember Your Indestructible Optimism, Part 4 - Me Before You 
Tip#998: Top 20 Movies on How To Activate Indestructible Optimism! 

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tip#66: Follow The Signs, Part 4 - I Heart Huckabees

Accelerate your goals

This is the final part of my mini saga demonstrating the rich benefits you can receive whenever you follow the signs right in front of you. This is a big part of achieving any goal you have. All you have to do is believe signs are always given to you and train yourself to recognize the patterns. Your life will truly accelerate and you will enjoy the journey towards your goals.

So continuing after...

When I dropped off my laptop to be repaired I experienced one last synchronistic sign. I saw that the Mac store I was at was right across a big health food store. Something inside me told me to go in. Normally I wouldn't have gone in because I heard the prices were much more expensive here than other health stores. I just trusted my gut and went in.

To my unexpected surprise I found the perfect protein powder brand I'd been looking for the past few weeks (See part 2, tip#64). I was thrilled and did not hesitate to purchase it right away. Perfect timing too because it happened to be on sale that very day!

And so while my laptop was getting a brand new hard drive I could now take care of my own inner hard drive with a new delicious diet of protein shakes. I was now able to improve my concentration levels based on the research I was doing on the positive effects of protein on the brain. I had been overwhelmed looking at all the many choices of protein powder brands but by following my synchronistic signs I was led to the perfect one.

Finally and after 4 days since my laptop crashed I picked it up fully repaired on a gorgeous, sunny Wednesday with its new lease on life. On top of that I was now upgrading my own brain functions with higher levels of proteins. I felt great!

I hope this mini saga inspires you to follow your own signs to attract the positive changes in your life that you want. As a summary here are some of the steps to help you follow the signs that will guide you:

1) Learn to recognize synchronistic or repeating patterns
2) Take immediate action when opportunities show up
3) Stay positive by stepping back from problems and potential stress
4) Believe that every cloud has a silver lining
5) Remember you are always in control of what steps to take

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

This comedy fantasy explores the nature of coincidences, our mind power and how all of life is connected. Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin play existential detectives where, in the first 15 minutes zestfully demonstrates a great metaphor for how everything is already connected in life. The film also explores, in humorous ways, the nature of coincidences we experience and why bad things happen in our life.

It demonstrates the great learning that can come from things that 'seemingly' block us from achieving our goals. And like a great movie script, nothing that happens in your life is ever a waste. Remember to also see your life as a perfect movie script where random events and encounters have a purpose. Stay open to the possibility that everything is connected.

Synchronistic signs and people that come into my life have always amazed and excite me. My passion for these experiences is what fuels me to write and share them with you and others. And doing so increases even more synchronicities and accelerations in my life. That's the law of attraction in action.

Accelerate Similar Experiences

So get excited about your own possibilities for positive change. Everyone can accelerate similar experiences and attain goals faster than you previously imagined. The only person stopping you from shifting into higher gear is you.

Choose to shift. Why not test-drive your fast lane options? Step out of your comfort zone once in awhile. Take ACTION and follow the signs you are already receiving. You'll be amazed at how fun life can get!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Related Tips:
Tip#63: Follow The Signs, Part 1 - Stranger Than Fiction
Tip#64: Follow The Signs, Part 2 - The Matrix
Tip#65: Follow The Signs, Part 3 - Great Expectations
Tip#66: Follow The Signs, Part 4 - I Heart Huckabees

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tip#65: Follow The Signs, Part 3 - Great Expectations

Your life script is filled with helpful characters

Meeting certain people briefly in your life and thinking of them years later can be a powerful sign. The first encounter may not reveal the importance of a future connection but life has a playful way of planting those seeds anyways. Your journey can unfold like a movie script with initial characters reappearing later. And if you follow the signs these individuals could make a significant difference in your life.

Continuing now with my mini saga...

That Sunday when I had learned more about the internal mind of a computer hard drive, my tech friend was finally out of solutions for fixing my laptop. So I began to think I needed to purchase a new laptop even though I felt my current one had many years left of life in it. No matter what I remained in control of my feelings and didn't get stressed. Right then I made it my focus and goal to get my laptop working again.

That positive attitude was definitely radiating out because a sudden thought came to me. I remembered a Mac consultant friend who had always helped me with computer purchases I've made over the past decade. Something just told me to contact him. So I ACTED on that thought without question and sent him an email the next day on Monday.

Amazingly he responded via email within an hour and that was another positive sign in itself. You see, due to his busy schedule, I sometimes don't hear back from him for weeks when I send him messages.

An hour or two later we were talking on the phone and I described what had happened to my laptop. My Mac friend said it sounded like I needed a brand new hard drive. So he recommended a Mac store owner he trusted to take care of installing a new hard drive for me. I felt fantastic having trusted in the initial sign to contact him. His unexpected and fast solution truly made my day.

Signs Unfolded

Now even more synchronicities and signs unfolded. The recommended store owner turned out to be someone I already met at a party my Mac friend had hosted last year around this time. I remembered he was a really nice guy. Plus I also remembered my brother in law bought his new laptop earlier this year from the same person. Knowing all this just increased my optimism.

So on Tuesday morning I contacted the computer store and dropped off the laptop that afternoon and got a great deal on the installation of a brand new hard drive. Life was great!

Do you see how fast solutions can manifest when you follow the signs you are given? My goal to have my laptop fixed manifested in just a few days. On top of that you will see how following the signs led to even more synchronicities in the next and last part of this mini saga.

So remember the people you meet all have a purpose if you allow yourself to believe so. Every encounter you have has the possibility of meaning something more. Remember you are always surrounded by people ready to help you. And some of them may feel like they are earth angels in your greatest time of need. See tip#6, tip#7 and tip#41. The key is to recognize the signs given to you that will lead you to them (tip#63).

Many movies reflect this concept of people re-entering the picture to make a difference in the main character’s life.

Great Expectations (1998)

In the romantic modernized film version of Great Expectationsthe story begins with a scene with a little boy forced to help an escaped convict played by Robert DeNiro. The little boy grows up to become a talented artist who is nurtured and financed by a secret benefactor. I'll let you use your imagination to who that benefactor turned out to be.

So think of your life as a well-written movie script where all the initial encounters are meaningful. See it filled with characters planted in your life with a bigger purpose that may not be revealed until months, years or even decades later. They might be people you knew in college, high school or someone you met at a party many years ago.

ACT on your impulses when you think of someone when you are stuck in life. Be bold and initiate contact with them even if it's been a long time. Or think about what it is about them that you admired or appreciated. Those insights can be helpful signs too. The people you remember may not have the full answers you seek but they may provide clarity or another contact that could help.

In the end just imagine your inner computer mind is simply accessing the files of your memory banks for the perfect person who could help you with the next step towards your goals and dreams. All you have to do is take ACTION and connect!

Related Tips:
Tip#63: Follow The Signs, Part 1 - Stranger Than Fiction
Tip#64: Follow The Signs, Part 2 - The Matrix
Tip#65: Follow The Signs, Part 3 - Great Expectations
Tip#66: Follow The Signs, Part 4 - I Heart Huckabees

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tip#64: Follow The Signs, Part 2 - The Matrix

You are always in control

Recognizing meaningful signs in your life can accelerate you towards your goals. It can be a powerful skill to develop. You just have to remember you are always in control of the road you are on no matter what negatives appear around you.

Continuing now with my mini saga of synchronicities…

In the morning after the Saturday I found my new watch I remained unworried about my laptop not working. Feeling relaxed and positive, I began thinking of calling my computer tech friend who has helped me before with my laptop crashes (see tip#45). Just then the phone suddenly rang and it was my friend I was just thinking of! I got chills up my spine. I was amazed and excited about the synchronicity so I took immediate ACTION and arranged to meet with him.

We got together that Sunday morning for a coffee and later he graciously spent the whole afternoon analyzing my laptop. That day I learned so much about hard drives: the inner mind of a computer. Knowing more about the basics of how computers function became a powerful metaphor for understanding how our human minds process information. The more you understand the inner mechanics of both the more you can optimize your computer and your own mind.

I began to remember some synchronistic signs that occurred several weeks before where 3 friends at different times were talking about their favourite protein shakes. I was amazed because I had already started to research increasing my protein intake. I had discovered that specific amounts of daily protein was a main ingredient to improving health and concentration levels. So those 3 friends were timely messages to help me with my new health goal.

So I started to see the breakdown of my laptop as a big sign leading me to learn more about taking care of the mind of my hard drive as well as the internal computer in my head. All I did was recognize the patterns that had unfolded over time.

Back to that Sunday afternoon, my friend reminded me that no matter whatever bad happened around me that I was always in control. I was in control of what to do next and how to feel. And he knows what he is talking about because he's a very positive, optimistic person despite the many health issues he's had over the years.

This message reminded me of Neo from the movie, The Matrix.

The Matrix (1999)

In the sci fi action film, The Matrix, Neo, played by Keannu Reeves, is told that he has the ability to control his reality. He could dodge bullets and never get hurt if he first chose to believe in his abilities. Believing was the key. Through practice and training he was then able to do incredible, heroic acts to save himself and others from harm. Neo was able to see through the illusions around him and control the experience he wanted.

Let that inspire you to stay in control of every aspect of your life especially when things are crashing. Let this message become a 'spiritual protein shake' for you. Drink it in! Train your mind to concentrate on the experiences you want.

Hearing my friend remind me that I was always in control helped that day especially when we realized my laptop was not getting fixed at that time. And as you will read in the next part I remained optimistic for the next set of signs I would attract to help me move forward with answers.

So remember to stay positive and optimistic even when things look dire. Don't dwell on the past or worry about the future. Enjoy the moment no matter what. Concentrate and focus your mind on what you want. Your 'feel good feelings' will radiate a positive energy that will attract signs to help you with the next best step to take.

"You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind."
The Matrix

Related Tips:
Tip#63: Follow The Signs, Part 1 - Stranger Than Fiction
Tip#64: Follow The Signs, Part 2 - The Matrix
Tip#65: Follow The Signs, Part 3 - Great Expectations
Tip#66: Follow The Signs, Part 4 - I Heart Huckabees

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tip#63: Follow The Signs, Part 1 - Stranger Than Fiction

If you are open and ready, a cascade of changes can occur once you initiate new choices in your life. This can happen rapidly as it did for me right after the events in my last tip#62 when I chose to take time and step back from my stressful situations. I kept open to the unexpected directions I needed to go and took quick ACTION on the signs given. You can learn to ACT quickly too if you recognize there are many signs given to you in advance.

To begin, I am going to share a mini saga in 4 parts that started a week before I found my new watch in my last blog tip.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

The romantic comedy fantasy drama, Stranger Than Fiction, is about Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) who starts to experience strange events like hearing a woman's voice in his head narrate his life. At the start of this film his watch face started doing strange things which heralded the chain of events that would change his life profoundly.

Recently and without warning I saw that my old watch started to do strange things as well. When I pressed the light button the digital face started flashing strange symbols and characters. It looked so similar to what happened to Harold in the film!

I had a gut feeling something was going to happen to me too. The coincidence of that movie and my watch just felt so strong. A few days later is when my laptop crashed and this time it felt permanently shut down. That led me to taking that sunny Saturday break where I finally found the new watch I'd been looking for.

I was beginning to wonder if the Stranger Than Fictionmovie was happening to me in real life. Life imitating art. I wouldn't mind, after all, Ferrell's character had successfully changed many of his old paradigms improving his life for the better. He began to live his life to the fullest and even found true love.

You could choose to see this watch and movie example as just coincidence of course. But my old watch acting strangely did herald a cascade of changes for me as I will explain in the next parts for following signs. Seeing these events in retrospect can change a skeptic mind when you start to see the rich benefits and goals that are achieved. Believing in signs are key.

Only in retrospect can you see the pattern of signs that led you to significant changes in your life. I highly recommend journaling everyday. Start by opening up a new document on your computer called 'My Daily Journal' or buy yourself a new blank book to write in.

Make daily notes of who you met, articles you read, tv shows or movies you watched that you liked. Make notes of billboard ads you read, flyers you walked by that caught your eye and even songs you heard on the radio with lyrics that stuck in your head. Record these random events in your day everyday. Start with just a few points a day just to get warmed up. After a week or two reread the notes and see if names or ideas reoccur.

You will eventually train yourself to recognize meaningful patterns that will lead you to positive changes in your life. Taking time to be introspective is powerful for moving forward with confidence. And then you can take ACTION whenever you want.

Once you develop the skill of recognizing meaningful signs and synchronicities you'll be enjoying life on a whole new level!

Related Tips:
Tip#63: Follow The Signs, Part 1 - Stranger Than Fiction
Tip#64: Follow The Signs, Part 2 - The Matrix
Tip#65: Follow The Signs, Part 3 - Great Expectations
Tip#66: Follow The Signs, Part 4 - I Heart Huckabees

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tip#62: When It's Time To Step Back - The Count of Monte Cristo

Sometimes people get stuck in their life or career because they feel they are out of options. While others, like myself, mostly get stuck when there are too many choices. These are the times when it is important to step back. Step back out of the chaos to clear your head. Unexpected benefits will always follow.

Stepping Back Is Stepping Forward

Recently I felt overloaded with many new work opportunities and my long 'to do' list. On top of that my laptop had crashed again which took a lot of time to figure out. As you can imagine that is a frustrating situation since a laptop or computer can be a much needed, daily tool and can halt your daily schedule. All this overwhelmed me by the week's end. So by the weekend I just let go of any impending stress and worry and took a walk around the city.

Toronto was alive on that sunny and hot Saturday with many outdoor events happening. I surrendered to my situation and just followed my nose (see tip#51). I could feel my head clearing from the outside environment and new sounds and sights I encountered. Then I found myself naturally gravitate towards an ongoing search to find a new watch. I'd been looking for over a year and hadn't found one a really liked.

I was looking for that knowing, magic moment when you know you've found what you were looking for. For those who have a passion for shopping you know what I am talking about. It's when you find an item and it feels like your name was written on it. It feels like it had been calling you because it was made just for you. And when you find it you trust your gut and purchase it without letting the price tag stop you. For some, like myself, looking at the price tag first is an old habit I'd been wanting to break.

So on that sunny Saturday I tried something new and shopped for a new watch and didn’t look at the price tag first. It felt empowering trying on all these watches I was attracted to and just had fun imagining that money was no barrier. I was fully aware I was breaking an old paradigm that was holding me back in more ways than one.

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

In the adventure movie The Count of Monte Cristo Jim Caviezel plays Edmond Dantes who was wrongfully imprisoned for many years. Through perseverance and help from a fellow prisoner he was rewarded with enormous treasures and riches upon his escape. What was exhilarating about this film is you get to witness his transformation in appearance and confidence when he purchases the best that money can buy.

You see him in luxurious clothes, the richest of homes and able to throw the most lavish housewarming party for hundreds of guests. The Count had unlimited wealth and that allowed him to follow his heart’s desire. And though at first he doesn't use the wealth for noble purposes he eventually learns to use it for good.

The point of this is to FEEL you have unlimited wealth. That is the first step in building your self-worth. That positive energy is what will attract that wealth (money or richness in spirit) in the physical world. That's the law of attraction in action. The Count actually prepared himself for receiving his wealth by enriching his mind and skills while imprisoned.

Now before breaking your old paradigms you have to be made aware of it. Old belief systems will hold back the flow of money or wealth into your life. It's what Bob Proctor talked about (see tips#56) with the need to break multiple habits of thinking. These old ways of thinking are walls that can prevent you from seeing your self-worth if you keep making decisions based on the unconscious feeling of lack. Not looking at a price tag to make your buying decisions is an exercise Proctor said would help.

A New Paradigm

So back to that bright Saturday where I decided to put into play my new paradigm of having thoughts and feelings for unlimited wealth. I must have been radiating something because I received outstanding help from an excellent salesperson. I eventually found the perfect watch! It looked perfect and I really felt like a million bucks wearing it. I zestfully purchased it on the spot and wore it out of the store with a big smile on my face.

My search that day was not only an enjoyable experience but a valuable exercise in allowing myself to feel rich and deserving. The long journey to find this watch was ultimately a lesson in creating a new paradigm of BEING rich and deserving. I realized that the law of attraction was working all this time in getting me my dream watch. It was also getting me to break my old paradigms regarding money.

And who knows, perhaps my laptop crashing was part of the universe orchestrating how I could achieve my goal of finding a new watch. The paradox is that I accomplished an old goal by stepping back from the negative feelings from my overloaded schedule and computer problems. And based on the law of attraction I would have magnetized more issues and stress.

'Watch' Out For Hidden Benefits

So remember this watch story when you feel stuck and overloaded with work, with other responsibilities or problems. See it as a time to step back and allow synchronicity to lead you on a necessary detour. Taking different pathways will always lead you back to your main road in life. And you will always pick up insights along the way. Plus you'll feel a little more energized, positive and optimistic. See it as mini vacations.

Those insights you pick up may also be about breaking old paradigms of thinking that will benefit you in all areas of your life. Become aware of old belief systems holding you back with issues of money, relationships, career and health. Chip away at the walls keeping you from realizing your self-worth.

Worry is a waste of time and energy. There are better ways to focus your energy. Train yourself to remember that you are ALWAYS in control of your day. Even when you feel stuck. You are in control of all your past and future paradigms. Just remember to step back when it feels time to step back.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
John Lennon

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tip#61: When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade - Baby Boom

Unexpected change in life isn't always pleasant. Sometimes it can be a painful experience. It forces you into an unwanted transition and pushes you out of your comfort zones. But if you can be courageous and look for the silver lining than life could become much sweeter.

During times of depression I would use my creative talents to express my feelings with my illustrations and poetry. Those poems would then turn into heartfelt lyrics of loneliness when I began composing music and songs. The darkness didn’t feel so hopeless when I was being creative. In 1999 I ended up producing my first music CD called Rain of Angels. This achievement was the silver lining of a dark period and the instrumental version of the title track ended up getting regular airplay on Galaxie CBC Radio. I then started to receive royalty cheques from the album! This is how I made lemonade out of lemons. See: Rain of Angels music video

Baby Boom (1987)

In the comedy film, Baby Boom, Diane Keaton stars as J.C. Wyatt, a high powered executive in line to become partner of a huge corporation. One day she unexpectedly inherits a cousin's baby that throws all her career plans up in the air. She soon becomes attached to the little girl and finds a new passion in being a mother. Unfortunately the balancing act of caring for her child at the office doesn't work and she is forced to resign.

Despite that low point J.C. picks herself up and purchases a dream home she’d been dreaming about and moves out of the bustling city and into a small country town. With much time on her hands she learns to harvest her vast apple orchard and makes applesauce for her baby.

The "Aha" Moment

Soon J.C. discovers tourists are buying her applesauce that she'd packaged and displayed at the local store. This is an "aha" moment for J.C. who has found an untapped market for country style baby food. She becomes a huge success thanks to her previous work experience and ultimately her ability to adapt to the previous changes in her life.

This is one of my favourite films and female heroes for showing how to overcome unexpected life and career change. I love to recommend this movie in my motivational talks for people dealing with unexpected change or crisis.  J.C. identified the silver lining of her adversity and chose to make lemonade out of the lemons life had dumped on her!

Inspiring Themes:
• Passion
• Resilience
• Adaptability
• Leadership
• Career Transitions
• Entrepreneurial Spirit
• Work/Life Balance

Let this movie remind you that unexpected changes in your life, workplace or career can be blessings in disguise. Believe in your innate ability to adapt. Train yourself to always ask what the message or gift is within the challenges you face. And if you have creative abilities apply a playful attitude towards producing something positive out of the negatives.

Life has a funny way of throwing you off course. Choose to see it as part of the same path you've been on. Remember you are being guided back to your real purpose in life that revolves around your true passions, personal interests and core values. All you have to do is choose to turn the lemons you get in life into lemonade (or applesauce from apples)!

“You know, you kind of remind me of a bull terrier of some kind.” 
Baby Boom (1987)

See more info under "Keynotes & Seminars: Here

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tip#60: Favourite TV Shows Inspire Careers - Star Trek

Star Trek

Once there was a time it was very 'uncool' to admit to loving a TV show like Star Trek. It used to be looked down upon as a 'loser' interest. Times have changed and I'm proud to say that this amazing world of Star Trekhad ignited my imagination growing up and continues to inspire my career and the careers of others all over the world.

Star Trekhad inspired real life doctors, engineers and NASA astronauts like Dr. Mae Jemison. Jemison became the first African American to orbit the Earth on the space shuttle Endeavor. Bill Gates of Microsoft has also attributed the evolution of computers to the technologies of Star Trek.

A Vision of a Bright Future

I grew up loving the original show with Captain Kirk and later the movie versions and TV spin offs like, Star Trek: The Next Generation.Captain Picard became a role model for me because of his self-confidence and his leadership style. Thankfully, pop culture and the internet today has allowed a more open acceptance of fans to indulge in the inspiring elements of the Star Trekfranchise and other favourite TV shows.

The Star Trekphenomenon had influenced me in other ways including the creativity in my artwork and opening up my imagination. It gave me a vision of a positive future I'd like to see here in the present where people's differences and uniqueness are celebrated and no longer barriers. Racism is gone and we have all learned to live together in peace.

The characters of Star Treklive in a time and society where they focus on learning, improving one's self and, of course, 'exploring new worlds and new civilizations'. Star Trekcreator, Gene Roddenberry truly had a bright vision of our future and it highlighted cooperation over conflict.

A Life Changing Experience

One of the many positive stories I've heard of Star Trekinspiring successful careers comes from Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Uhura in the original 60's show. In interviews she's talked about this little girl who was nine years old when Star Trekfirst came on and what happened when she saw her character. She went screaming through the house for her mom to come quick because, "there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!" She knew right then and there she could be anything she wanted to be. That little girl grew up to be Whoopi Goldberg.

Later during the first year of Star Trek: The Next Generationseries in 1987, Whoopi told her agents she wanted to have a role on the show. They told her she couldn't do that because she was already on the big screen, an Oscar winner and not suppose to go to the little screen. Of course time has changed today and many big screen stars are in successful tv shows.

So Whoopi's agents finally asked the Star Trekoffice about her request and they gave the same reaction as the agent, specifically Gene Roddenberry. So she insisted on meeting with him face to face to tell her why he doesn't want her. They met and he said, "Well, I'll just ask you one question and I'll make my decision on that. You're a big screen star, why do you want to be on a little screen, why do you want to be in Star Trek?"

Whoopi looked at him and she said, "Well, it's all Nichelle Nichols's fault." and proceeded to tell him the story of getting inspired after seeing Lt. Uhura when she was nine years old. Roddenberry then said, "I'll write you a role."

Passion + TV Show = Positive Role Models

Let this story inspire you to look carefully at your own favourite TV shows. Just like movies they can be unexpected resources for learning about yourself. Your favourite shows can reveal positive role models for you to explore. They can help you become the person you want to be and show you the career you want to have.

Don't be afraid to admit to yourself that you have specific characters and TV programs you really love. They can be mirrors for your future self. They can be inspiring your hidden self-confidence or jobs that excite you. So what if someone around you doesn't agree in your taste in TV shows or movies. What matters is that they speak to you in some way.

Positive role models on TV can excite a career path to pursue. According to the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, forensic science is the hottest new academic pursuit because of the popularity of the trio of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV shows.

So allow yourself to get excited about your TV role models like Whoopi did when she first saw Star Trek.That burst of positive energy is a sign you are resonating with a path in life you're being shown. Feel free to explore that excitement.

Look more deeply into characters you resonate with. Ask yourself...

1) What is it about your favourite character's behaviour or personality you admire? Is it their self-confidence? Or do they a mirror your own hidden abilities?
2) Are the show's cast of characters the type of friends or work colleagues you want in your life? Or do they represent the life or work you feel trapped in?
3) Are the settings or environments attractive to you? Are you being shown places you'd like to visit, live in or work at?

Whatever your answers are they are a big step towards increasing your awareness of yourself and seeing beyond a simple pastime. Your favourite TV shows have enormous value if you want to look deeper. They are filled with heroes showing you exciting possibilities.

And in reference to what Captain Kirk once said, space is not necessarily the final frontier. The final frontier is your undiscovered potential.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007