When Chris Hadfield was nine years old he set a goal that seemed impossible. After watching the Apollo moon landing, he decided that he wanted to become an astronaut. The problem was that Canada didn't hire astronauts and had little involvement in space exploration. But that didn't stop Chris. He decided to start thinking like an astronaut and even though it took over two decades or work and study, he was successful. He not only was chosen to go into space three times but, in 2013 was the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station where he lived for five months.
Chris took common sayings and turned them inside out for help him to achieve his goal. For example, instead of adopting the commonly held idea of "don't sweat the small stuff", Chris became a detail person, ensuring that he learned to pay attention to what seemed to be the tiniest things and perfecting them. He captured the power of negative thinking to consider things that might go wrong in his career and life so that he could learn skills to prevent or remedy them. He also taught himself to always be an observer who could humbly learn from situations and others rather than try to have the answers to everything.
Chris developed skills that would help him become physically and mentally strong. He became a skiing coach, outdoorsman and accomplished pilot. He learned to be a team player, always supporting the projects in which he was involved without seeking personal glory. And he found ways to support his wife and three children who spent a lot of their time without him while he was pursuing his career goals.
This book documents Chris Hadfield's experiences in an extremely interesting manner. He describes his training and personal involvement in the space program in detail, answering questions that the reader might not have even thought about. He always knew that there wasn't a good chance of him being chosen to go into space so he had to prepare for the possibilities that he might not.
Although his description of life as an astronaut is fascinating, the way that he applied the lessons that he learned throughout his career to his own personal life is even more brilliant.
Chris uses this work to promote the values that he treasures in the areas of education, communication, health and family. When he returned to earth from the International Space Station stint, he had to focus on rehabilitation tasks for several months. Chris knew, however, that doing this and then retiring from his job was not going to be the end of his public life. In fact, he has used his experiences to become a professional speaker, university professor and author. He also continues to play guitar for his own enjoyment and in a band.
We have definitely not heard the last from Chris Hadfield.
I truly loved this book and highly recommend it as an interesting read that has powerful life lessons. In fact, I just couldn't put it down until the reached the last page!