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


Joy Wang said...

That's excellent, I'm a big moviegoer, it's great to hear that to take a step further to better understand the movies as well as the characters except for pastime only. Thanks for the fantastic tips!

Anonymous said...

I just checked your blog, great tip and advice for the inspiring TV show, but Star Trek sounds quite old to me, anyway, I will check if I could find in Shanghai…


Anonymous said...

I had a quick read through of your blog on star trek and whoopi and so on. I've never been star trek fan, but I am a fan of yours!

Best regards,

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