An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Inspiring, entertaining, interesting, informative. Hadfield did the narration on the audiobook so I got to hear it all in his own voice.

I’m so glad there are people like Chris Hadfield in the world: hard-working, down-to-earth, smart, can-do, humble, friendly, and helpful. His book is a memoir with bonus lessons for living. There’s all kinds of interesting stuff about things like the 40-minute process to collect urine for a research project he participated in on the International Space Station (Peeing For Science), and what it’s like to adjust to gravity again after spending months in space. It’s all in the context of the importance of the space program, and with a little coda about the importance of protecting the Earth.

The lessons for living are down to earth and practical, too:
* Enjoy the process – the only thing you can control is your attitude. If your sense of self worth depends on achieving your ultimate goal (like space flight), which is affected by lots of things outside your control, you’ll never be happy. Study, learn, and appreciate every day.
* Practice negative thinking – visualize the worst and figure out how to prevent it
* Be humble – he calls this aiming to be a zero. Be competent and don’t get in the way while you observe and attempt to learn, rather than trying to impress others.
* Sweat the small stuff – we all know how important this is in the space program, where a tiny error can lead to tragedy.
* Appreciate and recognize other people’s efforts and sacrifices that enable you to work towards your own goals.

Written by Shan
I spent 25 years conducting performance audits of state agencies, looking for ways they could be more effective and efficient. I helped write countless government reports. I worked with the smartest, nicest people in state government, and was honored to be a part of that group. Now, though, I’m writing fiction (yay! adjectives! dialogue!), learning banjo, traveling, hanging out with my fabulous granddaughters, and – big surprise – I’m still not decluttering that back room that was on hold for the past 25 years.