The top 3 personality traits of successful people, according to NASA

Have you ever considered what it takes to be an astronaut? Most astronauts are experts in one or more fields and are exceptionally well-educated and/or trained. 

But apart from basic requirements like a master’s degree in a STEM field, 20/20 vision (glasses are allowed!), being a US citizen, etc., there are three personality traits NASA sees as particularly important for space missions. 

Those are:

  • A thick skin
  • A long fuse
  • An optimistic outlook

All three are valuable in various fields, not just space exploration and beyond.

1) A thick skin

People with thick skin can handle criticism, rejection, and failure without being emotionally derailed. 

They don’t take everything personally and believe that feedback is the way to grow and achieve great things. 

As we know, successful people often face significant challenges and setbacks. Having a thick skin helps them persist through tough times and learn from their mistakes instead of giving up.

For example, astronauts undergo rigorous training and selection processes. Plus, they only let some applicants through. But after becoming an astronaut, the real challenges begin as they face intense scrutiny and evaluations. 

A thick-skinned astronaut can handle constructive criticism and learn from it. It makes them more adaptable and resilient during their missions.

In everyday life, people encounter criticism and rejection in their personal or professional spheres. 

Having a thick skin allows them to cope with feedback and setbacks, enabling personal growth and the ability to bounce back from failures.

Plus, we all have stressful situations in our daily lives – important presentations at work, dealing with family emergencies, or facing personal crises. 

A thick-skinned person can manage stress better, think more clearly, and act effectively during challenging times.

2) A long fuse

Having a long fuse is important because it shows your patience and how you remain calm and composed in stressful situations. 

Success is rarely immediate, and many obstacles arise on the path to achieving your goals. A long fuse lets you stay focused and level-headed, making better decisions under pressure.

Astronauts must adapt to changing circumstances and challenges during space missions. They experience setbacks, delays, or unexpected events that require flexibility and patience. 

Not to mention they’re sitting on top of millions of pounds of fuel when they’re launching into space.  

A long fuse allows them to persevere through these difficulties without losing hope or motivation.

In everyday life, unexpected situations and obstacles are also a regular occurrence. Whether facing traffic delays, dealing with technology malfunctions (these are the worst!), or personal setbacks. 

If you have a long fuse, you’ll bounce back quickly and find alternative solutions to problems. 

But to me, this characteristic is important because it shows one thing – you’re more likely to understand other peoples’ perspectives. 

You listen actively and resolve conflicts peacefully, promoting a positive and supportive social network.

3) An optimistic outlook

Optimism is a powerful driving force that keeps successful people motivated and proactive. 

It helps them maintain a positive attitude even when faced with difficulties and uncertainties. 

An optimistic mindset also attracts and inspires others and benefits both astronauts and everyday people alike.

For example, both astronauts and everyday people set goals to achieve in their personal and professional lives. 

Having an optimistic outlook allows them to dream big and believe in their ability to accomplish those goals. 

They maintain a positive mindset, even when the journey is demanding, and use their optimism to fuel their ambitions.

How to develop successful people’s personality traits

Developing these traits takes time and effort, but with consistent practice and self-awareness, you can work on acquiring them. Here are some strategies:

  1. Learn to accept constructive criticism without taking it personally. Focus on the feedback’s content and use it to improve yourself rather than feeling hurt by it.
  2. Instead of dwelling on failure, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong, improve upon things, and use that knowledge to do better.
  3. When faced with a stressful situation, pause before reacting. Take a moment to assess the situation and consider the potential consequences of different responses.
  4. Imagine achieving your goals and picture a positive outcome. Visualizing success can help you stay motivated and optimistic, even when facing difficulties.
  5. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, challenge those thoughts. Reframe them in a more positive and constructive way.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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