Most everything I have ever read about being a writer suggests that they should write about what they know, but there are many writers who write about their beliefs. Beliefs are very obviously written into blogs like The Daily Sisterhood as well as self-help and motivational books, but I started noticing that a writer’s beliefs can also be hidden within character lines of stories that they tell in books, movies, television shows, or even in songs. That is why I pay close attention to character lines; always looking for a special lesson I may be ready to learn.
One of these lessons happened just about a month ago. I was watching an episode of Star Trek Voyager that originally aired in 1997. For those of you who don’t watch the Star Trek series, this one is about a starship’s multi-species crew trying to get back to Earth after they had been transported 75,000 light-years away by an alien space probe.
In this particular episode, Mr. Tuvok, a Vulcan, was helping Kes, a young lady from the Ocompa species, develop her telekinetic abilities. She was trying to move a glass of water with her mind. Kes was focusing on the task of moving the glass, but her efforts thus far were unsuccessful, and she was getting very frustrated.
Then Mr. Tuvok said, “Focus on the goal, not the task.” The goal was to move the glass. Kes took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and pictured the glass as having already moved. Almost instantly, it moved across the table, and Kes was astonished at how easy it was.
Up until then, I had always heard that it is better to focus on the tasks required to reach a specific goal, so I was a bit confused at his logic. I decided to test it. I looked at my dirty kitchen and the pile of dishes I had to do, and thought it would be the perfect test subject.
So, the goal was to have a clean kitchen. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and pictured my dishes done and my kitchen clean. Granted, this was going to take longer than just moving a glass from one place to another, so I knew it would be necessary to really concentrate and keep bringing my mind back to the vision of the clean kitchen.
Surprisingly, it was pretty simple. The fact that it actually worked was even more surprising! Instead of looking with dread at the work still to be done, the vision of a clean kitchen motivated me to keep going. The tasks that were required to reach the clean kitchen goal faded into the background, leaving me almost unaware of the performance of the tasks, and before I knew it I was looking for something else to do. Except that there was nothing else. The kitchen was clean. Even the dishes had been dried and put away, almost like someone else had done it.
I am always looking at ways to inspire and motivate me, but I never expected to find such a life changing message buried within an old sci-fi show. The first time I watched that episode, I don’t remember paying much attention to what Mr. Tuvok said. It was just part of the story. I guess I just wasn’t ready to learn that lesson, but I’m very glad I finally did. It has helped me in so many areas of my life, including my job and my personal relationships.
Do you notice hidden lessons within a story you are reading, watching, or listening to? They are there; discretely placed by the author and waiting for you to be ready to learn from them.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.