An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield Book Summary

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield | Free Book Summary

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

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.

 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.

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The Big Ideas

  1. In order to stay calm in a high-stress, high-stakes situation, all you really need is knowledge.
  2. Feeling ready to do something doesn’t mean feeling certain you’ll succeed. Truly being ready means understanding what could go wrong as well.
  3. Optimism and confidence come not from visualizing victory, but from visualizing defeat and figuring out how to prevent it.
  4. If you’re striving for excellence, there’s no such thing as over-preparation.

Being An Astronaut

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.

Having An Attitude

Success is feeling good about the work you do throughout the long, unheralded journey that may or may not wind up at the launch pad.

You shouldn’t determine whether you arrive at the desired professional destinations. Too many variables are out of your control.Free book, podcast summaries

There is just one thing in our control: your attitude during the journey. This is what should keep you feeling steady and stable and heading in the right direction. Losing an attitude is worse than not achieving your goal.

Sweat the Small Stuff

If you’re striving for excellence, whether playing the 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.

Living In Space

Living in space requires a lot of preparation, which is a key component to having a good life on Earth no matter what you do.

If you want to survive as a space explorer, you’ve got to learn how to take criticism, which is a skill we can all learn to be happier.

Coming back to Earth after being in outer space is difficult, but also gives astronauts a new outlook and sense of appreciation.

Learning From Failure

If you want to be truly exceptional, you must try in order to learn how not to do whatever you’re working on. That means you have to welcome any feedback, including negative feedback, if you want to improve.

Taking corrections 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 criticism from your teammates, it will be hard to work together in life-or-death scenarios.

Getting Back To Earth

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 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.

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