Have you seen any good movies lately? I went out tonight with my two eldest kids and really had a great time. (not sure if they would agree as much with their “MOM” tagging along but we’ll just leave good enough alone!) We decided to see “The Martian” together.
I have to say that the trailer for this movie didn’t really speak to me at first; but after hearing some rave reviews about the movie, I thought, what the heck?
The storyline and the feeling of it all made me want to stand up and applaud, cry my eyes out and feel as though I was in the story myself.
Not for the reasons you’d imagine – like the drama and the premise of the story line…
but more about the underlying meanings of the unfaltering human nature and drive that many of us forego in our day to day lives.
So for those of you who haven’t seen it or if you don’t know what it’s about; let me give you an outline of the story. (and no spoilers to worry about if you still want to see it). This is a story of a group of astronauts who travel to Mars and are on a mission that needs to be aborted earlier than expected, except that one of the astronauts is lost in a storm and left on Mars (assumed to be dead).
The true power comes not in the plot of how the story unfolds but in how we react to the situation at hand; every second, minute and day of our lives.
I have been obsessed with our mindsets; why some people stick to goals in life while others decide their goals are not worth the sacrifices and struggles it takes to reach those goals. In all reality, we are all pretty much the same. We have the same basic needs, struggles and wants. We have the same capabilities to believe in ourselves and what we want; or not. We can all achieve any goal we decide that we want bad enough to get after it but that doesn’t guarantee that all, or many at that, will persevere.
Now back to the movie; this astronaut would have been dead within hours or days if he hadn’t decided that there may be another way. He had to get over the initial shock of his situation and decide to fight like hell to make it no matter what. Why? Probably because he had no other option aside from giving up and dying and that can be a big motivating fact for most of us indeed. (Proof of this is after a doctors visit for those who are given a negative result of health or unwell and how they can make the changes in their foods and lifestyles that ordinarily they would not have)
I think of the many times I’ve become frustrated when things didn’t go the way I had expected, and I wanted to just give up and forget about it. . I think of the times when the goals I have are larger than the frustrations, so I dig in (after I calm down) and find another way or look for another solution to complete what needs to be done. How many times have you decided something wasn’t worth the headaches, sacrifices or stresses? Of course, if the goal isn’t enticing or important enough, chances are that not many (if any) of us would stay invested long enough to find a way.
So this astronaut first assumes defeat (much like we do when things, out of our control, seem to derail our best efforts) but the need for this man not to give up and die overshadows the enormity of his situation. Time after time, he is hit by what we would consider the “end of it all” and yet you see him looking for another solution in the cracks. How many of us can truly say that we exhaust all areas of a situation before giving up? I know for myself, I had only known walking away at the first sign of struggle or disappointment.
Really? My ego had to be submerged so that I could actually deal head on with issues that arose unexpectedly. And this is not easy.
But what is powerful is how our minds can expand to look at all roadblocks as a detour. We can become better and more practiced if we learn to look for that underlying route or “plan b”. Finding humor in the moments that can make or break us, is what I love most and can change the negativity in my mind to finding a better way. I remember a metaphor that was shared by one of my previous gym managers’; he asked us what we would do if we were driving along on the highway one day and up ahead we see a car stopped in our lane. We naturally slow down but what would we do next? Would you come to a complete stop behind this car and just wait it out because this was our “plan”? Or would we find a solution like maybe going around the car and getting in another lane or even going over the car if needed. Because we don’t know for sure if that car is going to continue and we sure as heck shouldn’t allow someone or something else to determine our reality.
Matt Damon, who plays the astronaut left on Mars, shares that his first initial thought when he realized he was left on the planet was “I’m going to die” but then he immediately shifts that thought into, what are the most critical things I need to survive right now and how can I go about achieving those now with what I have and my strong areas?
This should be an area we are all required to learn or study at least once in our lives. Being defeated doesn’t mean the story is over. Being defeated in one way, just means we MUST find another way. And we keep on looking for more solutions until the correct one is found.
But only if we want the end result as bad as we say we do. 😉