Advance Performance | Life Lessons from The Martian
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Life Lessons from The Martian

Life Lessons from The Martian

The Martian is undoubtedly THE movie of the month to see on the big screen with its fantastic cinematography, humorous and personal performance from Matt Damon, NASA related training for the actors and out-of-this-world special effects – this is a vision that will be a highlight of your week.

The Martian

The Martian is an uplifting movie with scenes, ideas and humour which you will take away with you – and some valuable Life Lessons from the astronaut Mark Watney and all the team on Earth working out the maths to bring their astronaut home.

So how could you achieve your ultimate goal with help from The Martian?

State your ultimate out-of-this-world SMART goal to the world

When Watney is left abandoned on Mars by his crew during an anomalous windstorm and they think he is dead, he needs to save his own life by working out how to survive alone without enough food until the next Mars mission which is in four years.  Watney records his goal to camera – stating his affirmation visually, specifically, measurably, achievable, realistic and time bound with humour.  He aims to survive – but his survival is against the odds without enough food, and no immediate way to grow food.

Remember to write down or record your ultimate goal as a SMART affirmation – be visual and emotional in your goal so that you feel fully invested in your dream.  By recording your goal you are making it real and can share this goal with others who will inspire and support you.

Break down your ultimate out-of-this-world goal to achievable smaller steps and prepare yourself

Deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when you’ve never been up a mountain may be considered an unachievable goal.  However, like Mark Watney, by breaking down the goal to small achievable and solvable steps, you are far more likely to achieve your aim.  Mark works out each problem in turn – as he says “Do the math”, he writes it down, and works out each problem logically and practically.  He needs to grow food and so he counts his potatoes, and decides to plant the small ones.  He finds a way to grow his own compost and then has the huge problem of a lack of water…which he solves.

If a problem seems unsolvable, break it down and take on your past experiences, skills and knowledge.  Work out the maths by writing it down and then work on the practical application.

Be prepared!

The Scouts’ motto could also be the motto for astronauts and anyone aiming for their ultimate goal.  The crew of the Hermes and Watney have all undergone thousands of hours of preparation and Watney believes he is “the best botanist on the planet” so he has used his expertise to grow food on Mars.

Before you work on the practical aspects of your goal, do your preparation by gaining knowledge, skills, increasing fitness and gathering the necessary resources.

Don’t be afraid to accept help from others. Teamwork enables you to achieve

Back on Earth, the NASA team show their specialist expertise in the science, maths, and the engineering aspects to bring back their astronaut.  They do all need to draw their expertise together and communicate, and at one crucial point, listen to the expertise of an unknown astrophysicist who looks at the maths to rescue Watney through a different perspective.

Always be prepared to accept help from an unlikely source because individuals have hidden skills and knowledge.  Communicate your issues and discuss problems and solutions openly with peers, colleagues and other experts.

If all fails use Sellotape, string and a Tarpaulin

The Martian shows what can be achieved with strong masking tape (this may be specialised NASA tape!), string and a tarpaulin to brave the windstorms, anti-gravity, red sand and maintaining air pressure. Remember to always carry some masking tape, string and a tarpaulin because they can save your life!  Seriously though, it highlights the importance of adaptability, thinking on your feet without panicking and working out the practical solution to a problem through utilising all your resources.

Even if your goal appears unsurmountable, never give in! If you do the preparation and gain your resources and knowledge, you will have the skills to work through any problems.  Thinking on your feet rather than panicking will be easier if you know you have done your preparation. You can then adapt your strategy if faced with an out-of-this-world problem.

Be inspired and uplifted by The Martian’s story and believe that with strength of mind, physical fitness and the adaptability humans have the ability  to survive against the odds – on Earth or on Mars!