You’ll Never Win

In life and in work, sometimes you’re in a position known in Star Trek lore as the “Kobayashi Maru.”

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. The Kobayashi Maru is a test of one’s character or a solution that involves redefining the problem.

Sometimes you can fight and try to find a way to win but in some instances (and workplaces, and job types) it’s utterly impossible.

I’m happy that I am in the know as far as one of my favorite TV series goes and can take lessons from them such as for the unwinnable situation. It allows me to sit back, possibly cheat to get things done that I need to, and not care so much about the outcome and not think that you HAVE to win. When you think that you HAVE to win, you’ve already set yourself up to lose.

Over the many years working in a certain field, I’ve seen more Kobayashi Maru’s than I can count and the lesson they taught me is this. Do a good job, do what you can, that’s all you can do and if someone or higher ups aren’t cooperative, still do what they say, wait until it fails, have your explanation ready, know they won’t accept it and will still blame you, take a sip of your favorite tea or coffee and move on without shame, pain or concern.


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