I'll try to keep it basic.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the United Federation Starship: Enterprise has recurring encounters with an omnipotent powerful being know only as "Q". Q is capable of such powers that make him seem god-like by our standards.
Captain Picard as a young military cadet has an altercation with an alien race known as the Nausicaan. The Nausicaans are aggressive, militant, and generally all around bad-asses. During a fight with three Nausicaans twice his size, Picard is stabbed in the back, straight through his heart. Due to 23rd Century medical science, he does not die, but lives the rest of his life with an artificial heart.
In our episode, during a battle, Picard is hit in the chest with 23rd Century phaser fire(for non sci-fi fans; think laser gun) The wound damages his artificial heart and he dies. Or so it appears.
Picard suddenly finds himself in the presence of "Q" appearing as God. Q and Picard discuss the wound that causes his "death". Had Picard had a real heart, the wound may not have been fatal, but the charge of the weapon fuses the mechanics of the artificial organ.
Picard relates the story of how he gained the fake heart and regrets the impetuous, arrogant and irresponsible days of his youth that led to his stabbing by the Nausicaan. He wishes that things would have been different.
In a flash, Q whisks Picard back into time as his younger self before the encounter, and gives Picard a chance to avoid the fight. With a promise that the future of mankind would not be altered by these actions. Picard indeed avoids the fight, and saves his real heart and suddenly finds himself back on his ship alive and now, NOT a captain but a Junior officer. "Q" never made a promise that Picard's personal future would not be altered.
Since Picard never took the risk with the Nausicaan, never acted, never knew what fear of dying was, he never progressed, never achieved. He lived a life of quiet mediocrity. He begs "Q" to take him back once again to the fight. He realizes that his actions in his youth, colored who he was as a man. He realizes that the risks and the danger was necessary to succeed. He fights the Nausicaan and is stabbed once again, and laughs as the blade pierces his heart. In an instant, once again, Captain Picard awakes on the medical table back on the Enterprise as the Medical Officer revives him. He is still softly laughing.
In traffic, as well as in life, U-turns are frowned upon. Most U-turns on the road are illegal and can cause accidents, and reverting to old habits and regressing in life are usually to your detriment.
But, rules are made for the occasional exception that they create. On some roads, U-turns are a necessity and sometimes you have to go backward and pick up on some past incident in life in order to succeed.
Like Picard, you can't always avoid the challenge, sometimes the risk is what you need.
I can remember several times, I avoided the "fight with the Nausicaan" and it hindered me later on. Comedy is about risks. The road to comedic success does not have a lot of security, you have to challenge yourself and make the changes. Recently, on my "day gig"; I, at first, reluctantly entered the metaphorical room of Nausicaans and danced around the fight. I wanted to avoid the fight. In the end, I have fought the fight and fell upon the blade and accepted the new challenge of a promotion. The encounter led to a money offer above what I expected. The fight proved fruitful.
If you find yourself passing by opportunity in 2012, either through your day job, your comedy career, or whatever; remember sometimes a U-turn is okay. Go back. Change direction, give yourself a second shot. Don't live a life of regret and mediocrity. Fight the Nausicaan