If you have not yet seen The Martian with Matt Damon, I highly recommend that you do. Yes, it is very engaging and highly entertaining, but more importantly, I believe that we can learn from this movie how to be successful beyond our wildest dreams.
Without sharing too much of the storyline, The Martian is about a man (Damon, a.k.a. Watney) who finds himself stuck on the planet Mars. Anyone in his shoes might consider himself to be in an impossible situation, right? Well, not to Watney. He keeps his sense of humor and remains positive in his attitude and approach, which allows him to think outside of the box when it comes to dealing with his predicament.
When negative things happen to us, it is very easy to fall into that pity trap of “Why me?” We can spend all of our time questioning why we’re in the situation we’re in and who to blame for it. Sometimes we put the blame on others for doing things that put us where we are; other times we cast the blame on ourselves for whatever actions we did or did not take that have placed us in whatever we currently face. Either way, we are stuck in the past trying to make sense of our current situation.
The problem with that way of thinking is that it doesn’t generate anything positive for you. In fact it does just the opposite and keeps you stuck right where you are. When you’re so focused on the past…and who or what is responsible for your situation it takes all of your energy away from seeing how you can take what’s right in front of you and use it to take a proper step forward.
When you can approach life from a positive mindset, a humorous one even, there is no place for pity to drain your energy. You can think more clearly with a more forward-looking thought process. Instead of sitting there crying about your circumstances, you’re in a position where you can make light of them and ultimately think outside the box. You begin to solve your problems and find your way out of troublesome situations because you have the right energy and the attitude to do so.
Life will always hand us things that are unpleasant. People will get sick and die, savings accounts will dwindle (if not perish completely), and the ones we love will break our hearts. Occasionally we will even find ourselves in predicaments where we wonder, “What am I going to do now?”
Your response to that question can ultimately determine if the situation gets the best of you or if you get the best of the situation. If your response is one that involves sitting there and asking “Why me?” or “Why am I always on the losing end?” then the situation will probably get the best of you.
However, if your response is more along the lines of “Huh…who would have thought I’d be here? Guess it’s time to make the best of it and move forward,” then there’s no doubt you’ll emerge victorious. It might not be in the way you thought or the way you intended, but you’ll at least have the peace of mind to make choices and take action…which places you in a much better position than just sitting around and whining about where you are. Besides, laughing is much more fun.