I recently watched the film The Martian starring Matt Damon and felt moved by the message in the film, well the message I saw, to write a post about it. It was too important not to share.

I love all things about Space, this is one of my favourite film genres so it was enjoyable for me to watch The Martian, which it turns out is a really good film (8.4 currently on IMDb) and I took away a lot of great learnings too.

Spoiler Alert. There are spoilers in this post so you may want to watch the film first before reading this. 🙂

It’s a beautifully visual & cinematic experience telling the story of how one man stuck on Mars is desperately trying to get home in one piece with all the people on Earth, most notably NASA, and his crew on their way home rally around to help get him home safely. It also shows the pioneering spirit and love of exploration that seems to be built into our presence as we look to further understand and explore the planet Mars.

The film is also very funny and had me and others in the cinema laughing out loud at times. The humour definitely helped you fall in love with the main character Mark (Matt Damon) as he tried to battle against the odds of survival and getting back to Earth in one piece.

The film initially made me feel warm and fuzzy. A happy contentedness with a sense of joy from the story telling, humour and outcome. Two super powers coming together for the good of exploration, mankind, and peace.

Most of the humour in the film came from Mark just being himself, having fun even though things were grim and desperate at times. I still smile now at him being Iron Man. 🙂

That’s enough about the film. Now I want to share what I learned.

Be yourself, pursue your passion, help the people you can help, be an active part of a community, work towards your goals and have fun.

‘Do the math’ as Mark says. Take small steps for each problem. What’s the first task that needs to be done. Ok, cool you’ve done that. What’s the next task. Before you know it you have done all you needed to solve the problem. It’ the same principle for achieving your goals.

Relax, stay calm and think.

This reminded me so much about business. In fact, it reminds me of life. Despite working towards your mission or goal there will always be challenges and obstacles. But like in the film you can’t do it alone. Get help from the right people who can help you with that challenge. Ask for help don’t feel you need to struggle on your own. Get the right people around you who bring the best out of you, people who inspire you and who raise your game.

Then ask for their help when you need it. They will always want to help but they need to aware of your challenge first, that’s why you ask. Even staring death in the face Mark was funny and he was prepared to die knowing he did something he loved and gave it his all.

When you are facing what seem like certain defeat, still try to be yourself and enjoy the ride. There is something to learn from the experience that you can use in the future. Our ability to solve problems in extreme circumstances even when our life is in danger is amazing. We can cope under huge pressure. That’s the power of the human spirit tied together with logical thinking and implementation.

The best-laid plans, dreams, and expectations will not always go the way you want, something will always happen to you that needs interaction for a course correction. That’s when you are tested. Just solve one problem at a time. The first and most important thing first then the next. Then the next.

One filmgoer said to me afterwards that he found the film strange, he hadn’t made up his mind whether he enjoyed it. I found it funny, it created a sense of greater community in the world for a great cause, I enjoyed the visuals (they were pretty spectacular) and the film showed me that no matter what we all have the ability within us to accomplish any goal and conquer any challenge.

Watching the film and relating to it’s message I felt an urge to want to join the space program but sadly I’m not a US Citizen and I don’t have 20/20 vision. Maybe I could partner with Space X instead, that would be so cool.

These guys are my heroes. I want to be like them. There must be people out there that are like them which will save me moving to NASA HQ to hang around with astronauts. 🙂