Beating the No-Win Scenario

In the movie, Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan, Lieutenant Saavik (played by Kirstie Alley) asks Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) how he handled a no-win scenario called the Kobiyashi Maru when he was a cadet at the Starfleet Academy.  It turns out Kirk is the only cadet in Starfleet history who ever beat the no-win scenario.  “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario,” he replied when Saavik opined Kirk didn’t face the point of the simulation, which is to train cadets to face the prospect of losing and death.  (The Wrath of Khan, 1982,

Our work, and more so our life, can feel like a no-win scenario.

We sometimes feel we are stuck.  We want to earn more money but we can’t.  We want to travel but we can’t.  We want to have more time but we can’t. 

We want to start a new business but we don’t have enough capital. We want to travel but our employer doesn’t allow us enough vacation leave.  We want to make a change in how things are done at work, but we can’t seem to get people to cooperate. 

We read from the news and social media how other people become successful.  There are entrepreneurs who started small and are now earning big.  There are the blog writers who have millions of followers in social media.  There are the very happy families who seem to have all the time in the world to travel together.  There are the companies where improvements in products and processes are happening in real time. 

We wonder how they do it.  And we say we can’t do what they did because they were lucky or rich in the first place.  They had the resources, we didn’t.  They had the opportunities, we didn’t.  They have the talent, we don’t.  They have the upper management support, we don’t. 

When we do try and end up failing, we believe more strongly we can’t win.  We can’t progress.  We’re stuck. 

But we can be whatever we want to be once we realize we can change ourselves or the environment we live in.   

We can adapt or we can change the rules of the game of real-life. 

A lot of people stress innovation and guts.  But I believe It starts with initiative and confidence.  One just needs to begin by saying “I can do it.”

“Change your world.” 

Robert McCall, The Equalizer, played by Denzel Washington (The Equalizer, 2014,

Published by Ellery

Since I started blogging in 2019, I've written personal insights about supply chains, operations management, & industrial engineering. I have also delved in topics that cover how we deal with people, property, and service providers. My mission is to boost productivity via offering solutions and ideas. If you like what I write or disagree with what I say, feel free to like, dislike, comment, or if you have a lengthy discourse, email me at ; I'm also on LinkedIn:

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