I hear it pretty often in the support desk, where people write to me and tell me all the reasons they CAN’T
- They can’t afford it.
- They are poor because they do charity work.
- They can’t do it because their mom or dad died.
- They can’t do it because they don’t have enough time.
They can’t do it because they don’t know how to hire help.
Hey I get it. I do.
Life is one hard knock after another.
There never seems to be enough day in the day, and enough money in your accounts. I’ve had those kind of days, weeks, and years myself. Yeah, I’ve had them Recently.
For example, and this is just one of my “mildly” bad days
Just this morning, I discovered my software is being stolen via refund fraud and redistributed all over the place. People don’t even bother to hide what they are doing. It sucks to work that hard and have people treat you like dirt.
Then, the garbage disposal is clogged again, the new blender leaked protein shake all over my papers..
…and when I went to start caulking up the lines around the new baseboards I installed yesterday, the BACK side of the caulk tube split, leaking calk all over and leaving me without any caulk to use. And it’s not even 10am.
It happens. Just when you get something good going, random events strike, knocking down all your carefully piled blocks and setting you back– sometimes all the way to zero.
Throw in all of the smaller snags where things don’t come out as expected and It’s really tempting to sit down by the side of a long road and think about all the reasons you can’t or won’t make it to your goals.
Sometimes even the most optimistic soul can’t help but feel sorry for themselves when they look over all the gotchas that have sprung up unexpectedly and are facing climbing that mountain one more time.
And that is why every business person who’s ever faced a really bad day and is on the verge of giving up should go see The Martian immediately.
In the movie, Matt Damon is astronaut Mark Watney, who has been accidentally left for dead on Mars. With limited supplies, no communication, and no way off the cold, airless, dust storm ravaged red planet he’s the guy having the worst day I can imagine.
But he has one thing going for him. He’s ALIVE and he hasn’t given up.
It would be easy, in Watney’s shoes, to simply walk out into the sands and remove his space suit helmet, abandoning hope and taking the instant way out.
But that isn’t what he does.
He starts solving problems, starting with the small ones he can do something about immediately.
Mark doesn’t let the bigger problems with harder solutions stop him from fixing the things he can first.
There is a LOT of work involved. And the solutions to his problems are sometimes on the revolting side.
More things go wrong. Sometimes the setbacks are SO BIG, it feels like he just can’t win– and you see him have those moments of doubt and disbelief.
But every time, he goes back to work, thinking through and around obstacles. Sometimes he makes it through on pure luck, and sometimes its luck and a huge leap of faith.
I won’t spoil it for you except to say it’s an amazing movie with one of the best messages of last year, and probably this year too.
If you are facing a personal mountain, take a couple of hours to go watch it.
Understand the message, be inspired to start thinking in terms of ALL solutions instead of being discouraged by problems you don’t have answers for yet.
If you can do that, you’re already halfway there.
Human beings have this amazing potential to look past obstacles and see the future. Then make it become reality. Fire up your engines and get to work.