49 Priceless Chris Hadfield Quotes

Chris Hadfield is a retired Canadian astronaut and the first Canadian to walk in space. Serving as the Commander of the International Space Station, Hadfield flew two space shuttle missions during his 35 year career as a military pilot and astronaut. Here is a look at some of the most notable Chris Hadfield quotes to be familiar with.

“Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk.”

“By looking at the difference between perceived danger and actual danger, you can fundamentally change your reaction.”

“Competence means keeping your head in a crisis, sticking with a task even when it seems hopeless, and improvising good solutions to tough problems when every second counts.”

“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction.”

“Do your homework in advance about the actual travel details so transportation issues do not define your holiday.”

“Doing a space walk. It is one of the most rare human experiences. To leave your spaceship and go outside, so that you are alone in the universe with Earth distant and the universe around you. That is amazing.”

“Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.”

“Early success is a terrible teacher. You’re essentially being rewarded for a lack of preparation, so when you find yourself in a situation where you must prepare, you can’t do it. You don’t know how.”

“Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that.”

“Every single day you’re the result of what you did on the days prior.”

“Fatherhood is the unending imperfect task of turning yourself into your dad while secretly maintaining the unbridled elation of your boyhood.”

“Focus on the journey, not on arriving at a certain destination.”

“For the last several years and culminating in six months in orbit next year, I’ve been training for my third space flight.”

“Good leadership means leading the way, not hectoring other people to do things your way.”

“I guarantee if you walk into 100 spider webs, you will have changed your fundamental human behavior. And you can apply this to anything, And figure out a way to reprogram yourself, to change your primal fear.”

“I want to know: How does a space suit on Mars work? Show me how it is pressurized, and how it is cooled. What’s the glove design? None of that stuff can be bought off the rack.”

“I wasn’t destined to be an astronaut. I had to turn myself into one.”

“I wasn’t lonely. Loneliness, I think, has very little to do with location. It’s a state of mind. In the centre of every city are some of the loneliest people in the world.”

“If you haven’t learned to ride a bike by the time your peer group has, then suddenly it’s an embarrassment and you’ll avoid opportunities where you’re expected to ride a bike.”

“If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.”

“I’m not a wealthy person and I don’t think that I would be able to prioritize that much money to go for a ride to a place that I have already lived.”

“Imbibe three or four times as much water as you think you need and skip at least one, if not two meals, when you are travelling. You should arrive at your destination feeling slightly hungry and your digestive system reset.”

“In all of the movie portrayals, a spacewalking suit seems sort of insignificant, like a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. No one thinks much about it.”

“In any field, it’s a plus if you view criticism as potentially helpful advice rather than as a personal attack.”

“In any new situation, whether it involves an elevator or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems.”

“In my experience, fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen. When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts.”

“It is spectacular. From about five minutes in, when we knew for sure that we were going to have the weather to go, the smile on my face just got bigger and bigger, and I was just beaming through the whole launch. I mean, it is just an amazing ride.”

“It’s not enough to shelve your own competitive streak. You have to try, consciously, to help others succeed.”

“It’s like being a newborn, this sudden sensory overload of noise, color, smells and gravity after months of quietly floating, encased in relative calm and isolation. No wonder babies cry in protest when they’re born.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to fly to space twice.”

“I’ve had a chance to fly a lot of different airplanes, but it was nothing like the shuttle ride.”

“Most budget airlines anywhere in the world are going to leave you dissatisfied after using them.”

“My favourite city for nightlife is Toronto, as it has such a multicultural feel, with so many different restaurants and theatres.”

“My optimism and confidence come not from feeling I’m luckier than other mortals, and they sure don’t come from visualizing victory.”

“No one ever accomplished anything great sitting down.”

“Our training pushes us to develop a new set of instincts: instead of reacting to danger with a fight-or-flight adrenaline rush, we’re trained to respond unemotionally by immediately prioritizing threats and methodically seeking to defuse them.”

“People tend to think astronauts have the courage of a superhero – or maybe the emotional range of a robot. But in order to stay calm in a high-stress, high-stakes situation, all you really need is knowledge.”

“Preparation is not only about managing external risks, but about limiting the likelihood that you’ll unwittingly add to them. When you’re the author of your own fate, you don’t want to write a tragedy.”

“Remember, nobody changes the world on their own.”

“Success is feeling good about the work you do throughout the long, unheralded journey that may or may not wind up at the launch pad.”

“Sweat the small stuff. Without letting anyone see you sweat.”

“The cool things about space is when you put your pants on here, you can put them on two legs at a time.”

“The emotional build-up and anticipation if you travel at Christmas can make it harder to enjoy a trip. I think sometimes it is better to travel outside of conventional holiday times for that reason.”

“There is no problem so bad that you cannot make it worse.”

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.”

“We are not machines exploring the universe, we are people.”

“When I stand on the edge of a cliff or right at the edge of a building or something, it’s one of the few things that gives me kind of a deep, overwhelming, irrational fear where it affects my physiology.”

“You can’t change the bricks, and together, you still have to build a wall.”

“You can’t just ignore spacewalking suit; it partially defines the experience.”

Here is a Ted Talk featuring Chris Hadfield as he discusses his time up in space.