The Astronaut's Worst Career Advice

Question: What’s the worst career advice you ever received?

Leroy Chiao: The worst career advice I've ever gotten? The worst career advise I've ever gotten that I've never followed, and I can' tell you who – more than one person has said this to me, and I can't tell you who they are because I can't remember. But I remember getting advice like, "Oh, do what interests you. Don't worry about tomorrow, live for today," kind of thing. And to a degree, you've got to do that, you've got to follow your passions. You've got to follow your dreams, but you also have to have a plan. You can't just say I'm going to do what interests me today and I'm not going to worry about tomorrow, that doesn't work. And anyone who's tried that I think quickly finds that out, or hopefully quickly finds that out. You've got to follow your passions. And now that's what I tell people, especially young kids. Think about what turns you on, what do you dream about? What you'd like to accomplish? But along with that, make a plan and work hard to make it happen

 

Recorded on December 16, 2009

Telling people to pursue there interests without an eye to the future is a big mistake.

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