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It takes years of serious, sustained effort to become an astronaut, because you need to build a new knowledge base, develop your physical capabilities and dramatically expand your technical skill set. But the most important thing you need to change - is your mind. You need to learn to think like an astronaut.
Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling like you have control with what's about to happen. You may feel helpless, more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts. if you're not sure what to be alarmed about, everything is alarming.
Life is just a lot better if you feel you’re having 10 wins a day rather than a win every 10 years or so.
If you're striving for excellence whether playing guitar or flying a jet - there is no such thing as over-preparation. It's your best chance of improving your odds.
This skill isn’t just useful for going to space though. It helps to be ready for any obstacle that suddenly shows up. When I lost my job last year, for example, some of my preparations made that a lot easier.
If you want to become truly exceptional, you’ve got to try so you learn how not to do whatever you’re working toward. That means you have to welcome any feedback, including negative, if you want to improve.
Taking correction well is especially vital if you’re on a team like astronauts are. When serious problems arise the group only has each other to rely on. And if you can’t roll with the punches of criticism from your teammates, it will be hard to work together in life or death scenarios.
If you think the trip to space is hard, wait until you hear about the way back. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is the only way to and from the International Space Station. And the hour-long landings are notably turbulent.
It’s also hard to adjust to normal life after getting home from a space mission. In zero gravity, your body’s muscles deteriorate. But when you return, the weight of being on earth is difficult to manage.
Even sitting down isn’t comfortable because your body isn’t used to carrying its own weight.
An astronaut is someone who’s able to make good decisions quickly, with incomplete information, when the consequences really matter
Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive
If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.
Diplomatic Services operational officer
An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth teaches you how to live better by taking lessons from the rigorous requirements of going to outer space and applying them to everyday life.
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