The Science of Success

How This Astronaut Survived Going Blind In Space & Tools for Crushing Fear with Chris Hadfield

October 19, 2017
In this episode, we discuss what happened when our guest astronaut Chris Hadfield went blind during a space walk - and how he made it out alive. We talk about the mental toughness necessary to survive extremely dangerous situations like that, discuss in depth how astronauts deal with fear, look at the vital importance of powerful training to deal with huge risks, and much more with  Chris Hadfield.
Chris Hadfield, who the BBC called “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong" has been a part of several space missions with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA. He served as Chief of Robotics and Chief of International Space Station Operations. Chris was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and inducted to the Canadian Aviation Hall Of Fame. In addition to his work as an engineer and astronaut Chris is an author, musician, and speaker.
We discuss:
  • The 3 key things that enabled chris to make it all the way through the astronaut selection process
  • How Chris survived going BLIND during a space walk in outer space!!
  • How astronauts rescue incapacitated crew in outer space
  • How to cultivate the mental toughness to survive the most dangerous situations imaginable
  • The learned and trained ability to deal with extremely complex circumstances
  • Why Chris was an astronaut for 21 years and only spent 6 months in space, thats how important training is
  • In outer space, you can’t count on luck, you count on your own learned ability to deal with the probable things that could go wrong
  • How NASA develops training programs to do everything possible to be successful
  • The vital importance of visualizing failure and understanding what could go wrong
  • The importance of practicing the 10,000 things that could go wrong
  • Astronauts don’t visualize success, they practice for failure, all the time
  • Visualize failure, incrementally improve, don't count on luck
  • NASA’s Recipe for Success
  • The relationship between DANGER and FEAR
  • Things aren't’ scary, but people get scared
  • Things don’t change whether or not you are afraid of them - the ONLY question is whether or not you are prepared
  • Preparation is the antidote to fear, if you’re ready, you won’t be afraid
  • Your body’s physiology reacts to being unprepared to a dangers situation with a reaction we simply call “fear”
  • Perpetual fear = STRESS (and overwhelm)
  • Ask yourself “what thing am I not prepared for that is causing me stress?"
  • Listen to fear, but don’t keep fear from allowing you to dictate your life
  • How do you change your own threshold of fear?
  • How to overcome your fear of spiders!
  • Recognize real threats through the noise of the non threats
  • if you dont know what to be afraid fo, then your afraid of everything
  • the difference between belief and knowledge
  • If you're afraid of a jaguar, should you be afraid of a kitten?
  • One of the ways to increase your own significance is to exaggerate your problems
  • Why the perception that the world is more dangerous now than ever is fundamentally flawed
  • "The Sky is Not The Limit"
  • Life is TOUGH and the earth is TOUGH - it’s been here for 4.5 billion years
  • The perspective of an astronaut viewing the entire world from above
  • The shared nature of human existence
  • Why Chris recommends that you should “aim to be a zero”
  • Take the time to get informed, understand what is happening, and then take action
  • The building is very seldom on fire, yet we always treat it like it is
  • In space, ”there is no problem so bad, that you can’t make it worse”
  • Don’t just accept your fear, understand WHY, dig in, and treat it clinically - whats the REAL danger, whats the REAL problem I’m trying to solve, how can I change who I am to solve that problem / challenge better, what skill am I lacking? Why am I allowing myself to be terrified? 
  • How can I change myself to move beyond fear
  • Fear is a destructive long term solution to anything