Don’t Be a Red Shirt

On the original Star Trek television series different characters wore different colored shirts. James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Bones all wore blue shirts. Sometimes they wore some weird yellow shirt. But a lot of the characters wore red shirts, and wearing a red shirt meant you weren’t likely to be on Star Trek for long.

As soon as there was trouble in an episode of Star Trek, people in red shirts were killed. A red shirt meant you were nothing more than fodder (Except Scotty, I think). People in blue shirts survived, no matter how unlikely the circumstances. Knowing this, why would you ever put on a red shirt?

Red Shirt Thinking

Red shirts wait for the world to act upon them. They march steadily into their fate, believing everything that happens to them is inevitable. They believe the locus of control is external. For a red shirt, everything is outside of their control.

When you believe that your results and your fate are determined by outside forces, you dis-empower yourself. Worse, when you believe you are playing an extra, you never live up to your full potential, depriving the world of your gifts. And all because of the color of your shirt.

Change Your Shirt

Why not try on the blue shirt? Why not decide to be the hero in the story you tell instead of the victim?

A Blue Shirt acts on their world. They determine the outcome, and when they don’t get exactly what they want, they go at it some other way, exercising their initiative and their resourcefulness. This, instead of marching to their fate as if they were some sort of automaton.

Blue shirts are empowered. By who or what? By their beliefs about who they are and what they can do.

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