What an Astronaut Can Teach Us About Living Life on Earth

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Chris Hadfield spent five months on the ICC (International Space Station) and was its first Canadian commander. He was the also the first astronaut to use social media consistently from space. YouTube videos featuring Hadfield singing and playing guitar became a worldwide phenomenon; his rendition of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie has been viewed tens of millions of times.

One of Hadfield’s first projects after returning to earth was to pen the book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything. Here is some of the wisdom he shared:

Put relationships first. Hadfield calls his wife, Helene, his biggest mentor, and he places a strong significance on family and friends. No matter how busy or successful anyone becomes, they should make time for significant relationships (and use social media as an enhancement — not a substitute).

Cultivate “tenacious patience.” Hadfield considers “tenacious patience” the most important trait for professional and personal success, especially when raising children.

Know when to delegate. Know the parameters of your capabilities and outsource accordingly; Hadfield himself consulted with his son Evan to help him get up to speed with social media.

The ability to listen. A key to effective leadership is the ability to truly listen while staying in touch with your own values and beliefs.

Finding balance. The viewpoints of the entire group or team should be considered when trying to determine the best plan of action; from there, all available resources should be used toward the highest good.

Aspire to your best. Hadfield believes that everyone has a personal best they can aspire to, no matter what path they choose.

Enjoy the journey. Lastly, even as you work toward achieving goals, strive to savor every moment of the journey — and have some fun along the way.

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