Steamboat Springs, Colorado
October 4, 2020
I watched The Martian last night with Jason Bourne - sorry, Matt Damon. I have seen it several times and always enjoyed it as an adventure, sci-fi movie. Big fan of the “Hot Stuff“ scene. I have also enjoyed the book.
But last night, I saw it as a different type of movie. A movie explicitly about resilience, about choosing one’s attitude. In part as a remembrance to my friend Sharon and her husband Brian I now wear a wristband with the expression “be relentlessly optimistic.” And that is what The Martian is about. Mark Watney could have easily curled up in a ball and said it’s all over. But instead he chose an optimistic approach. That gave him clarity of purpose which in turn gave him the ability to relentlessly problem solve.
Of course, NASA is unlikely to choose a person to be an astronaut who has pessimistic/depressive tendencies. But I’m going to take a broader lesson away from the movie. Resilience is a skill. We are born with varying amounts in our DNA. The rest we need to develop, exercise and strengthen. For me that is an important lesson we can apply to the chaos in our world. We can choose to let it overwhelm us, or we can chose to be resilient to the negativity. And we can take it a step further and be relentlessly optimistic. Like resilience, we can increase our optimism. Step 1 is not giving in (as much) to the negativity. It’s not easy and the path is not linear, but we can do it.