In a recent interview with CBC Radio, Commander Chris Hadfield gave his three secrets for becoming an astronaut:
- Keep your body in shape and eat well
- Challenge yourself with education, and push yourself to learn things you barely expect to learn
- Practice making decisions and sticking with them
Pretty simple. Refreshingly simple, in fact. And broadly useful, I’ve no doubt. I speculate that this advice is actually applicable to any reasonably intellectual endeavour.
Each has its own challenges: in a busy life it can be hard to eat right and make time to exercise; education requires an investment of money and time (but increasingly there are free online courses from leading institutions) and it can really be exhausting to learn something challenging; and decision-making is fraught with risks and prone to second-guesses.
But the pay-off is grand.
As a multi-point of trivia, Commander Hadfield and I have a few things in common:
- We both have ties to the University of Waterloo: me as a student and donor, and he as a professor
- We both worked at the Canadian Space Agency
- We both were interviewed by CBC Radio
- We both starred in a YouTube video, but I’ll grant that his got a few million more hits
…and while he has been to space, I’m tremendously interested in space, and that should count for something.
What do *you* think?