Happy Monday, everyone, hope you’re having a fantastic start to 2019! I’ve been spending a lot of time with family doing all the things we love, like escape rooms and visiting museums, but when I have down time, I’ve also been reading some books from my local library. Most of these are quick pleasures that I enjoy and then mostly forget about, but one novel has stuck with me. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Col. Chris Hadfield, describes Col. Hadfield’s journey from being a young boy in Canada watching Neil Armstrong go to the moon, to going to space three times himself. As someone who personally loves space travel (if only I met the height requirement of NASA!), I enjoyed Col. Hadfield’s frank, down-to-earth (ha-ha) advice on how to keep your calm in any situation, and how to remain determined, creative, and prepared throughout life.
The book is divided into three segments: Pre-Launch, Liftoff, and Coming down to Earth. Throughout the pages, Col. Hadfield discusses how he became a serious potential candidate for NASA’s space travel program, how he rose through the ranks, and how, after he retired, he remained content and proud of his life’s accomplishments.
It all comes down to a matter of perspective.
You see, astronauts in the media are seen as daredevils, people who are willing to strap themselves on a rocket and shoot off the planet willy-nilly. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth – astronauts enter space programs knowing that they might never get a chance to leave Earth, and they certainly don’t think that they’ll have to MacGyver their way into saving the day.
Yet, they continue to train, learn, and prepare with the same fervent ardor as if they were. Because when you’re prepared for every possible scenario, including the ones where you do or don’t go to space, you can reduce your own anxiety, and remain happy with your life, however it turns out.
This same mindset can, of course, be applied to anyone. When you base your entire self-worth on one thing, such as getting straight-As, or climbing Mount Everest, then you’ll only experience happiness when you accomplish that goal, and you won’t be content when you’re working towards or coming down from that situation. If, however, you accept that these things may or may not happen, while at the same time working to ensure that you do all you can to try and make them happen, then even the most arbitrary tasks will feel like fun.
There is much more sage advice and good humour tucked into this book, and I highly, highly recommend reading it.