So I went to watch this movie and little did I know it was a love story. 

I mean...just LOOK at that ship!

Love at first sight (with the ship) when I saw the trailer.

Love at first sight (with the ship) when I saw the trailer.

What drawed me in was the spaceship Avalon.

Oh my. What a beauty.  

If I have to define the first 5 minutes of ‘Passengers’ I’d say its science-porn.

If you don’t know by now, I’m quite a geek.

And since you clicked on this even though I wrote a ‘spoiler alert’ warning, I’ll assume you have no problem reading what I think and how it applies to fitness.

You Have Been Warned!

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So I made time to go watch Passengers (starring Jennifer Lawrence & Chris Pratt).

I hope I’m not making this email sound like a movie review, but I have to say the movie made (to me at least) a lot of sense.

For the first half at least.

I get that Chris Pratt couldn’t get into the crew hibernation pods, but they should have woken up the entire crew the moment the Deck Chief, Gus, woke up - rather than wait until he died of necrosis.

After all, the crew (or captain at the very least) would know the ship better than a passenger.

Trained crew members working simultaneously would have fixed the problem faster and safer than Chris Pratt would. And Gus would probably live!

Nevertheless, I had a really good time watching it. The science - spot on (in a very non-committal way. Which is very good! They would have spoiled it otherwise).

Fun fact! Did you know that, theoretically, fusion rockets work by ‘shatting’, and detonating, >250 deuterium/helium-3 mini-pallets per second behind a ship? That’s why the spaceship Avalon’s rear end looks a ring with blue fire on the inside – those are plasma confined within an electromagnetic field that ‘pushes’ the ship forward as energy is released from the pallets. Google ‘Project Daedalus’.

Another fun fact! Did you know that the energy released from such a drive is 10x hotter than the temperature of the sun? Because of that, the nozzle for the rocket cannot be made of any physical material because of wear and tear. Therefore, they have to ‘create’ a nozzle out of an electromagnetic field to confine the ‘explosions’ so that it spreads to the rear of the ship, pushing it forward. Google ‘Tokamak’ for more info.

Anyways, how does it apply to us?

#1 – Notice and Name.

Both of them noticed that things have been wonky, but decided to not pay any attention to the little things and just focused on the more emotionally charged aspects of: 1st – screwing each other senseless, and then 2nd – hating on Chris (JL), and regret on waking up Jennifer (CP). If they had stopped and asked ‘why are these things happening?’, they’ll probably realized sooner that there is more to the problem than just a malfunctioning hibernation pod.

In life, noticing and naming plays a very important role. We tend to move forward so fast – reacting to situations and incidences that we stop, slow down, and look ahead and around us to notice how are our activities (or inactivity) is affecting our results and our life.

Notice and name gives us opportunities to recognize/celebrate what we are doing right (so that we are encouraged to do more of it), as well as what we’re doing sub-optimally (so that we can make better choices). This is what’s known as being mindful.

What can YOU do to be more mindful today? What are the things you noticed you have done today that are worthy of being celebrated/avoided?

#2 – Solve THE PROBLEM, rather than the symptom.

Understanding, noticing & naming what’s going on not only allows us to know what’s up, we can also analyze the trend, and where we’re headed. It also enables us to work on the BIGGEST stuff that are holding us back.

We call this thing a Limiting Factor.

Imagine if Gus were to just work on fixing the small problems without first identifying the NEED to IDENTIFY the main problem. The two poor souls would probably be fighting fire (and fail), until the ship explodes and take 5000 people onboard with them.

But lookie here – with just a good perspective, the two passengers have found the root cause of the problem that, as it turns out, as simple to fix as replacing a chip board and holding a door open.

(AAaaaaannd….I won’t get into a rant on how avoidable that is if the crew was awake)

 Find your limiting factor, and you’ll find the solution.

Albert Einstein once said: if his life depended on the solution to a problem, and he needs to fix the problem within an hour, he’ll spend 55 minutes working on the right question – and 5 minutes working on the solution. Because once he got the right question he would get the right answer.

What do you think is YOUR limiting factor?

#3 - Leave it to the experts.

If Chris Pratt just chosen to wake up another passenger who is more knowledgeable than he is, especially in the areas of computing (rather than a hot blonde), he would probably be able to fix the ship, go back to sleep, and arrive at the bloody planet safe and sound.

Find a mechanical engineer. Scientist. Computer expert. Doctor? HACKER! He was dealing with AI most of the time and that impregnable door – with 2 years to spare you that hacker can’t figure the ship out if his life was on the line?

Stop trying to do everything on your own. Find the right people for the job and focus on your own unique way to contribute. In the case of fitness, rather than spending tons of time, effort, and hard earned $$$$ to figure things out on your own, an alternative is to just buy a program, or hire a coach for whichever area you need help on.

The right person with the right skillsets will make it 10x faster for you to achieve what you want. They’ve spent their life working on their craft – it might be a good idea to trust that it will ultimately cost more money to do everything on your own expecting almost-the-same results.

That’s why even *I* have my own coach.

What are the areas you have been struggling with, that might be better handled by a pro?

#4 – Have a Contingency Plan.

Why do people ALWAYS plan things ahead as if nothing is going to go wrong? Dude PLAN!

How can it make sense at all that a 120-year voyage has no contingency for hibernation pod failure? At the very least, a few crew members should be waking up every 10 years or so for a week (etc) to perform routine maintenance checkups. All on the assumption that ‘they say that it’s impossible for hibernation pods to fail’.

Dude you gonna let your life and death be governed by an assumption that things will go 100% well??

In fitness, a lot of people set goals but the goals are made with the assumption that everything is going to turn out A-okay.

“After I finish work, I will go to the gym” usually turns into “I’m so tired.”, “I had a bad day, so I need to chill tonight.”

Stress, actions of others, plain ol’ traffic jam, and even forces beyond our control such as natural disasters and acts of God.

Nothing goes to plan, and ‘change’ is the only constant. The only way we can guarantee our goals is to be prepared to do the necessary actions when faced with complications.

“No plan survives first contact with the enemy” – German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke.

Shit happens all the time. I wrote about how this affects consistency and how to beat it in http://www.badgerfitness.net/hbrevolution.

Have you been planning your days without having a contingency plan? Or have you not been planning ahead at all?

How would you use what you’ve learned today help you in your own fitness goals?

Comment, or email me flexwithmeaning@gmail.com

To your success,
Felix

PS – Why is it that Hollywood celebrities whose names starts with ‘Jennifer’ tend to be so hot? (Jennifer Lawrence/Jennifer Lopez/Jennifer Garner)

Comment below.

PPS – check out http://www.badgerfitness.net/hbrevolution.

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