As an astronaut, Chris Hadfield knows firsthand that the journey to space is a long and unpredictable one.

But most of an astronaut's journey isn't spent among the stars.

During his twenty-one year career as an astronaut, Hadfield spent just six months in space.

Fortunately, according to Hadfield, the thrill of being an astronaut wasn't just about the fleeting moments of weightlessness and breathtaking views of Earth from above.

It was about the journey itself and finding joy in the hard work and dedication required to even be considered for a mission.

Hadfield writes in his book, โ€‹An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earthโ€‹, that the ratio of prep time to time in orbit is often years to just a single day in space.

And even then, a multitude of factors outside of an astronaut's control can determine who gets selected for a mission.

For example, after thirty years of service, the Shuttle program was retired and replaced with the smaller Soyuz vehicle.

This meant that some astronauts who had been hired during the Shuttle era were simply too tall to fit in the Soyuz and had zero chance of going to space.

Despite these challenges, Hadfield found that adopting a "pessimistic view" of his own prospects helped him love his job and stay motivated throughout the long and sometimes uncertain journey to the launchpad.

He advises others to find the thing they love, even if it means embracing the boring parts.

After all, as Hadfield says, if the only thing you enjoyed about being an astronaut was the short time spent in space, you'd probably hate the job.

So, the next time you're feeling discouraged about the journey to achieving your goals, remember to focus on finding joy in the process, not just the end result.

The goal is not the reward. The journey is the reward.

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