Do You Have The Motivation To Be An Astronaut?

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Astronauts are considered to be highly intelligent, incredibly fit, and extremely motivated individuals. Traditionally, astronauts have been selected from the armed services where these traits are prized, and their skills are honed. However, there are literally thousands of service people who apply to become astronauts and only a handful are chosen. What sets astronauts apart from the other hopefuls? Do you have the motivation to be an astronaut?

The motivation that it takes to be an astronaut far surpasses the average service person?s commitment to the process. If motivation were so simple, everyone who claimed to want to be a millionaire would be a rich!

Motivation is not what you think it is. For some, motivation is the ?carrot on the stick? or ?the mansion and yacht?. We work towards a promotion or are rewarded for our performance. We believe that the motivator is something outside of us.

True motivation is an internal process. External incentives make us work a little harder, but what is the true incentive? Is it a material prize, or is it the chance to be a winner?


Humans are complex beings that are driven by emotions and not things. For some reason, we have lost sight of the fact that how we feel is more powerful than what we own.

Internal motivation is further fueled with the meaning that we imbue into our goals. Meaning is the catalyst to true motivation. We work towards something that provides meaning to our core being.

Using the example of becoming a millionaire again, why do some lose sight of that goal? Simply put, they found something that meant more to them than the money. Perhaps they were unwilling to give up time with their family to devote countless hours to making money, or they found more joy in a service-based career.

Meaningless goals are soon abandoned. In Humanistic Psychologist Eric Klinger’s 1977 book, Meaning and the Void-Inner Experience and Incentives in People’s Lives,?he says that life?s mission was to find meaning in things. Without meaning, Klinger posited, there would be a void in our lives. This was an extension of Viktor Frankl?s ?Existential Vacuum? theory, which states that meaning is found in what we desire, and a lack of what we want leaves a hole in our lives. Creating and maintaining meaningful goals is the key to not only getting what we want, but also feeling fulfilled in life.

Subsequently, it begs the question again, do you have the motivation to be an astronaut? Eliminating the obvious risk it takes to venture into space, an astronaut?s life is grueling. They work tirelessly to be the best in their fields without any kind of obvious or immediate incentive. Their motivation comes from doing their best and completing the assigned mission. These men and women are driven by honor, and the meaning they give that feeling is not easily understood by the lay person.

Since we are moving towards a different understanding of space, perhaps the new question is whether we have the motivation to live in space? This mission begins with some introspection and an analysis of the meaning you have assigned to space life.

For some, living in space will not just be completing a mission but fulfilling a lifetime goal to living a life outside of the norm. For others, it will be the realization of a life they always wanted to lead. The first step to this goal is searching your soul and asking yourself, ?do I have the motivation to live in space??

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