Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending a lecture by Col. Chris Hadfield at the New Theatre in Oxford. (A fantastic Christmas present to my other half, if I do say so myself!)
As an Aeronautics and NASA fan, it was awe-inspiring to listen to Chris talk about his experiences as the commander of the international space station, but more so, how he prepared himself to become an astronaut. One of the most inspiring quotes I will take from the evening is “We are not the product of one success, but we are made up of all the little incremental moments that lead us to today” So completely true. We are not defined by what we want to be, but how we change ourselves to become that person.
Chris talked about how, as a trainee pilot, he knew there was no Canadian Space Agency, but instead of giving up on his dream he just made sure he was prepared for the time they did have a Canadian Space Agency. He learned Russian on the off-chance that he may go to Russia, knowing that a vast majority of space exploration was heading off into the skies from Russia. The biggest lesson I will take from this talk, was that if you know you want to do some thing enough, you’ll take the risks (maybe not to the extent of an astronaut, where every step of a mission starts with “What is going to kill me next?”) and instead of waiting for the opportunity to present itself to you, prepare yourself to be ready to go and get the opportunity you want.
I, along with everyone else in the audience, was hanging on his every word last night, and driving home on a post-space-high, I cannot wait for Tim Peake to return in July and attend one of his talks.
For the time being, I will make do with reading the signed copy of Chris Hadfield’s book “An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth” I got for my partner for Christmas, and watching NASA TV live stream from the ISS, and maybe even watch some of Space X’s Launch/Landing tests as the fire satellites into the atmosphere to allow us to discover more about our own planet, and beyond.