Would You Volunteer to Die on Mars?

Feeling bored of Earth after more than 30 years here?

Can you live without sex?

If your answer to both of the above questions is yes, perhaps you’d consider going on the trip of a lifetime.

A not-for-profit company called Mars One is currently raising money to send 4 people on a trip to Mars.

Below is a fascinating 10 minute video about some of the selected finalists and why they want to go to Mars.  The interviewed applicants all seem slightly jaded by time so far here on Earth. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they want off this planet.

Anyone can apply to be a part of the Mars mission- you don’t need any special qualifications other than robust physical health.

There’s only one catch: you can never return. Not ever.

Mars One received over 200,000 applications for their one-way Mars mission and have just narrowed it down to around 700 finalists.

The chosen spacefarers will train for 10 years on Earth before heading to Mars in 2025. Mars One is currently in the process of raising 6 billion dollars for the project- tens if not hundreds of billions less than any manned mission to Mars proposed by NASA.

Here’s what the space-travelers won’t have:

  • Sex! (Intercourse will discouraged because there won’t be supplies to support the arrival of a baby in space.)
  • Connection to friends and family (you think internet is slow here, imagine it 35 million miles away)!
  • Delicious Mac and Cheese (Spacefood will be limited …and cheese, if it exists, will likely be Kraft- making any mac and cheese concoction a lot less delicious.)
  • The ability to travel (once on Mars, you’ve already taken the absolute grand slam of a trip…and you’ve traded in all smaller trips for that one.)
  • Everything else we take for granted here on Earth!

Who knows if the Mars mission will actually happen? But it’s a serious undertaking, a potential reality show, and it’s getting a whole lot of press right now.

It’s funny to think about how we’ll feel if this ever becomes reality. We’ll be like ‘remember when we thought the whole going to Mars thing was never going to happen..or was even impossible?’

But we also have to remember that we’re the generation that grew up without laptops. We used card catalogues. We had land line phones. We lived in a world of no internet! A lot of technological magic was suddenly thrust upon us in our early lives. We understand the reality of really quick changes.

Just imagine all the potential ahead.

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Would you volunteer to die on Mars?

Do you have a mission statement?

Last night I was down in the dumps, feeling lost and somewhat aimless in my life. A lot of this feeling comes from being in graduate school, in a program where I’m often home alone, writing, trying to will my imagination to work with me, damnit. You would think graduate school would actually provide me with MORE of a sense of focus, but alas, that has not been the case.

I could write with other people, or go to different locations, but I find my best work is done solo in a quiet space. (I might have to re-evaluate this theory soon). When I’m in my own head too long, I tend to go a little stir crazy, but when I have too much social interaction, I also go crazy. It’s all about keeping a fine balance between nurturing my introversion and extroversion.

Back to last night. I poured myself a glass of wine and got into some google searching. I think I started with “thirty something feeling lost,” and found some interesting articles. As long as you don’t go down a crazy rabbit hole time-suck, I highly recommend googling your feelings to make yourself feel less alone.

One of the articles I stumbled upon was about crafting a life mission statement. The kind of mission statement the writer is talking about isn’t the one at the top of your resume, or your LinkedIn profile. This is your personal life mission statement, perhaps oriented around your values or how you want to spend your time.

Here are two anonymous examples I found on franklincovey.com. (This company is a business oriented leadership site, but they had some great examples of personal mission statements.)

“My mission is to give, for giving is what I do best and I can learn to do better.
I will seek to learn, for learning is the basis for growth, and growing is the key to living. I will seek first to understand, for understanding is the key to finding value, and value is the basis for respect, decisions, and action. This should be my first act with my wife, my family, and my business.
I want to help influence the future development of people and organizations. I want to teach my children and others to love and laugh, to learn and grow beyond their current bounds. I will build personal, business, and civic relationships by giving, in frequent little ways.”

I loved this one:

“I want to be the kind of person my dog already thinks I am.”

Do you have a mission statement?

I don’t have one now, but I’m going to craft one soon. Maybe it could help alleviate that ‘lost’ feeling.

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