It's almost comical that astronauts are stereotyped as daredevils and cowboys. As a rule, we're highly methodical and detail-oriented. Our passion isn't for thrills but for the grindstone, and pressing our noses to it.
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APAChris Hadfield Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=its-almost-comical-that-astronauts-are-stereotyped-as-daredevils-cowboys-as-rule-were-highly-methodical-detailoriented-our-passion-isnt-for-thrills-chris-hadfield
ChicagoChris Hadfield Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=its-almost-comical-that-astronauts-are-stereotyped-as-daredevils-cowboys-as-rule-were-highly-methodical-detailoriented-our-passion-isnt-for-thrills-chris-hadfield, accessed .
MLA"Chris Hadfield Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=its-almost-comical-that-astronauts-are-stereotyped-as-daredevils-cowboys-as-rule-were-highly-methodical-detailoriented-our-passion-isnt-for-thrills-chris-hadfield
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To me, it's simple: if you've got the time, use it to get ready. What else could you possibly have to do that's more important? Yes, maybe you'll learn how to do a few things you'll never wind up actually needing to do, but that's a much better problem to have than needing to do something and having no clue where to start.
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Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become.
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I wasn't lonely. Loneliness, I think, has very little to do with location. It's a state of mind. In the centre of every city are some of the loneliest people in the world. If anything, because our whole planet was just outside the window, I felt even more aware of and connected to the seven billion other people who call it home.
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My optimism and confidence come not from feeling I'm luckier than other mortals, and they sure don't come from visualizing victory. They're the result of a lifetime spent visualizing defeat and figuring out how to prevent it. Like most astronauts, I'm pretty sure that I can deal with what life throws at me because I've thought about what to do if things go wrong, as well as right. That's the power of negative thinking.
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For the last several years and culminating in six months in orbit next year, I've been training for my third space flight. This one is almost in a category completely different than the previous two, specifically to live in on the space station for six months, to command a space ship and to fly a new rocket ship.
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One Chief Astronaut used to make a point of phoning the front desk at the clinic where applicants are sent for medical testing, to find out which ones treated the staff well-and which ones stood out in a bad way. The nurses and clinic staff have seen a whole lot of astronauts over the years, and they know what the wrong stuff looks like. A person with a superiority complex might unwittingly, right there in the waiting room, quash his or her chances of ever going to space.
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Still, I also know that most people, including me, tend to applaud the wrong things: the showy, dramatic record-setting sprint rather than the years of dogged preparation or the unwavering grace displayed during a string of losses. Applause, then, never bore much relation to the reality of my life as an astronaut, which was not all about, or even mostly about, flying around in space.
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In any new situation, whether it involves an elevator or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. Or as a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn't tip the balance one way or the other. Or you'll be seen as a plus one: someone who actively adds value. Everyone wants to be a plus one, of course. But proclaiming your plus-oneness at the outset almost guarantees you'll be perceived as a minus one, regardless of the skills you bring to the table or how you actually perform.
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When you have some skills but don't fully understand your environment, there is no way you can be a plus one. At best, you can be a zero. But a zero isn't a bad thing to be. You're competent enough not to create problems or make more work for everyone else. And you have to be competent, and prove to others that you are, before you can be extraordinary. There are no short-cuts, unfortunately.
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There's really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.
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