What I Learned From Starship Captains

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Welcome to Part Three of How to Be the Hero of Your Own Story. I just have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had with research in a long time! I’ve learned so much from the heroes I’ve studied… things that have changed my life (no lie).

What follows is my favorite list by far (being the fantasy/sci-fi geek that I am). Starship captains are some of the BEST heroes to learn from because of the standards they hold themselves to in everyday life and the myriad situations that put those standards to the test.

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Here is what I have learned from studying Starship Captains…
•    Never give up.
•    Never lose your sense of humor.
•    Never let unbeatable odds get you down.
•    Negative thinking is a complete waste of time (and extremely destructive).
•    Always care more about people than situations or possessions.
•    Always work for the greater good.
•    Never lose sight of the goal, but stay aware of what’s around you.

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  • Never compromise your personal vision. Know who you are and be it. Know your path and walk it.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you not to do what you know is right.
  • Never waver in your resolve, but adapt the plan when appropriate or advantageous.
  • Stay open to new points of view.
  • Put heart in everything you do.
  • Always remain positive even in the face of certain failure.

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  •    Choose your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose for you.
  •    If there’s no other way, play rough.
  •    Pick your battles carefully. Don’t make fighting your first choice. If you have to fight, win. If you   don’t have to fight, head for an exit.
  •    Never make someone feel ‘less than’ for voicing an opinion or idea.
  •    Consider all options outwardly, weigh your options inwardly, state your decision affirmatively.
  •    Listen to the council of  close friends and  brilliant colleagues, then make your own decision.

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  • Allow yourself to trust even after you’ve been hurt.
  • Never forget where you come from.
  • If you’re lost, remember there’s always a way  back, even if you can’t see it.
  • Establish your intention and choose your direction at the start of each new day.
  • Be an optimist and realist at the same time.
  • Be open to trying new things (even if they sometimes get you in trouble).

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  •    Choose a path  that can coexist with your  values and spiritual  beliefs.
  •    Embrace any chance to grow.
  •    Allow yourself to be vulnerable to your closest friends and family.
  •    Admit when you’re wrong.
  •    Stay physically fit and mentally aware.
  •    Pay attention to what people say and do.

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  • If an idea or a relationship isn’t working, give it every chance to succeed, then assess the situation fairly, and if it is still not working, abort.
  • Stretch your mind and the limits of your reality.
  • Never insist on being right, instead, always look for truth.
  • Define your mission. Recruit those who are aligned with your vision.
  • Never fear an adventure into the unknown.
  • Listen to your instincts and use your intuition.

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  •    Live in the now, but be open and ready for what lies ahead.
  •    Heal the wounds of the past. Don’t allow past pain to limit your present or your future.
  •    Study human interaction and apply the science of compassion.
  •    Be an advocate of the human spirit.
  •    Embrace ingenuity and creativity.
  •    Be passionate while maintaining control.
  •    Eyes open. Always.

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  • Be an impartial witness. Don’t take sides.
  • Use your heart along with your head.
  • Never abandon manners in a social situation. Learn the customs of foreign cultures before entering their domain.
  • Never complain about unfortunate circumstances.
  • Embrace change but respect history.
  • Don’t let your temper get the better of you. But if it does, get over it quickly.
  • Listen to people’s stories.

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  • Communicate as concisely and accurately as possible. Use clear, simple language.
  • Do not be quick to judge.
  • Develop a sixth sense about danger and who to trust.
  • Never let fear stop you. Allow it to inform you.
  • Listen to your  gut, even if your head refuses to go along.
  • Take responsibility for those under you r command. Inspire greatness. Encourage ingenuity. Cultivate loyalty.

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  •    Don’t waste time arguing or responding to criticism.
  •    Be open-minded in your approach to life and old fashion in your values.
  •    Embrace a childlike fascination with the world  and a wise man acceptance of it.
  •    When possible go slow, build a foundation.
  •    Don’t defend your ego. Defend your friends.
  •    Make forgiveness a priority because it is the only way to be free.
  •    Don’t get angry at yourself for things that are beyond your control.
  •    Wait patiently, but not passively. Always be gathering information.

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  • Believe in something greater than yourself.
  • Walk with purpose through life.
  • Always act as if what you do will make a difference.
  • Express anger at situations instead of at people.
  • Cultivate a quiet calm in the face of adversity. Don’t be quick to react or jump to conclusions, but instead, quietly assess the situation and formulate a plan based on acute observation.
  • Be in a constant state of readiness with utter calm.

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  • Never make another person feel small. Evaluate those around you and honor them for their skills, traits, and contributions… if need be, find the smallest positive attribute to praise.
  • Rid your mind and heart of expectation and enter each moment with a clean slate. With zero expectations, the mind is never disappointed or caught unawares.
  • Resist the temptation to overreact, or become upset at a difficult interlude. Always be looking for more pieces to the puzzle, and continue to gather information in an effort to see and comprehend the whole picture before making a decision to act. And then, when ready, move forward with full conviction.

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That’s the Captain’s List. See you next time when I share my own personal list of Hero Traits, in Lessons Learned from Life and Leaders.

Thanks for spending time with me!

Elayne

Elayne G. James is the author of the adventure/
fantasy coming-of-age series, The LightBridge 
Legacy, a new holiday novel titled The Saint of 
Carringtion, and the upcoming Dragonbond Books.
For more info visit: http://www.ElayneJames.com
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