What is an asterisk?  It is a symbol used in grammar punctuation.  An asterisk is used to call the reader’s attention and then to refer them to somewhere else on the page (usually the bottom) for more information.

The asterisk in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ recently came up in a conversation about its importance.  It plays a vital role both symbolically as well as graphically.

Consistent with its purpose in punctuation, the asterisk in TED* refers the reader to its meaning: The Empowerment Dynamic.

In addition, it is symbolic of the six roles contained in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ and TED*. As illustrated in Chapter 9 (“Shift Happens”) of The Power of TED*, the asterisk serves as a reminder of the “choice points” we face in moving from the DDT to the antidote TED* roles. 

We have the capacity to shift from Victim to Creator by asking “what do I want?” or “how do I choose to respond to my situation?”  We can move from Persecutor to Challenger by making sure that our intention is one of learning, growth and development.  We can support others – as Creators – by shifting from Rescuer to Coach through the questions we ask them in clarifying outcomes, current realities, and/or Baby Step actions.   

Lastly, there is an intentional purpose for the six-pointed sand dollar pendant on the cover of the book and before the last chapter in the book.  In reality, sand dollars have only five points.  Thanks to the magical touch of our illustrator, Obadinah, the book designer, we are able to depict the sand dollar with six points to connect – symbolically – to the asterisk in TED*.

For all these reasons, the asterisk is a critical component of the attention to creating that TED* is calling for in the world.