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3 Things A Martian Taught Me About Overcoming Adversity


Truth be told, I am a little behind on my movie watching.

That being said, apparently, I am also a procrastinator.

I firsts saw The Martian about 18 months ago and wanted to write this post (along with one on the movie Zootopia) but am just getting to it now. So, my apologies.

If you haven’t seen the movie, this post does contain some spoilers, and I am not 100% sure what the timeline is for spoiler alerts, so better safe than sorry. My ten second summary:

The Martian is about an astronaut, Mark Watney played by Matt Damon, who is stranded on the planet Mars, left for dead by NASA, and has to figure out how to survive until he is rescued. As interesting as it was to learn that I can grow potatoes in my own poop, there were some deeper lessons and life actions that I felt it important to share.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me

Bad things happen in life. Things rarely go according to plan. When they do, celebrate. When they don’t, as Watney says in the movie, “You can either accept that….or you can get to work.”

He could have easily blamed his crew for abandoning him, blamed the world for not leaving more supplies, and blamed the planet for being uncolonized, but at the end of the day, the only way out was to start working.

On Overwhelm

Problems can be overwhelming. JUST IMAGINE being stranded on a strange planet with no food, water, and little chance for survival. Heck, I have a hard time when I get lost on a local road trip!

The best advice I found in the movie is that you have to start with just one problem. Break it down. What is the first step. If your goal is to get fit, what is "challenge 1." Solve it. If your goal is to start a business, what is the first thing you can do. Once task one is completed, move to task 2.

On Friendship

Watney's fellow astronauts and friends accidentally left him on Mars alone and started making the trip back to earth. NASA told them it was hopeless and that they should just leave him there.

Find friends who will come back to Mars to get you. Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with. Would they come to Mars to get you? On the trip, will they be helpful and supportive? Would you go to Mars to get them? If not, find new friends.

Did you see the movie?

Overall, great movie packed with some very "down to earth" (pun intended) lessons.

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