Astronaut Training Skills Applied to Daily Life

Astronaut Chris Hadfield brings space lessons down to Earth

Jim Farina


Photo by NASA on Unsplash

We take the pull of gravity for granted, much like breathing air. Every so often, we consider how it’s just an accepted part of our existence here on planet Earth — breathable air and gravity’s constant pull.

Wouldn’t it be a blast to float around in zero gravity? An astronaut knows what it’s like.

Have you ever thought about what life is like for an astronaut?

What’s their motivation to do it?

What is the right stuff it takes?

What kind of skills and training are required?

Can anybody do it with the proper training, or are only extraordinary people able to make the cut?

The Right Stuff

The life of an astronaut sounds adventurous and thrilling to young kids as they might imagine spending much of the time whipping around the outer atmosphere in a spaceship, dodging meteors, and shifting into hyper-thrust speed.

It’s probably the same thinking that prompted many young students to study archaeology a few decades ago. Thinking, like Indiana Jones, they’d spend their days globe-hopping, dodging booby-traps in ancient temples, and retrieving precious artifacts from the clutches of evil villains.

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and logged more than 4000 hours in space. He can tell us what it takes. And he does precisely that in his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons:

  • Don’t visualize success
  • Do care what others think
  • Always sweat the small stuff

You must be a jack of all trades