What did you dream of becoming when you were a child? Did anyone ever tell you it was unrealistic or make you doubt yourself?
9-year-old Isaac dreams of becoming an astronaut one day, but his teacher implied that he might want to choose something more “realistic.” With no offense to the teacher, who may have been focusing on the assignment at hand, that’s probably not the best advice for a young, impressionable child.
In fact, every single person who has ever fulfilled their dreams in life was also once nine years old, and many were even told the same thing.
Ask An Astronaut
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), for instance, the American author and Emmy, National Medal of Arts, and Pulitzer Prize-winning dreamer once said, “Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.”
Well, Isaac never had a chance to hear that directly from Bradbury, but he did have the opportunity to share his dream in front of a packed audience recently during a question-answer period with his hero, Tim Peake at the Barbican Centre in London. Peake, a British Army Air Corps officer with the European Space Agency, was on stage while Isaac was in the audience.
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) May 5, 2017
Peake recently spent six months in space on the International Space Station, and he was more than happy to share about his experience and answer questions. Isaac had one. A good very one.
Since the presentation that evening was intended to promote Peake’s new book, “Ask An Astronaut,” Isaac jumped at the opportunity to do just that!
Isaac’s Big Question
“Hello, my name is Isaac and I am nine years old. My teacher asked my class to think of a challenge and how to overcome it. I put down that my challenge was to become an astronaut and I would overcome this by working really hard and being accepted into a NASA space program. My teacher wasn’t happy with this. She said we were supposed to pick something realistic. Well, you were once a nine-year-old boy. My question is – when the people around you were telling you it was impossible and during the time it felt like they were right – how did you stay motivated and never give up on your dream to become an astronaut? You’re my hero, Tim Peake.”
An Epic Answer
Peake’s response was an echo of what Ray Bradbury and countless other dream-fulfillers throughout history have stated as well. Peake told Isaac:
“Isaac, somehow I think already you’re the kind of person who knows not to listen when people tell you that you can’t do something. No one has the right to tell anybody that they can’t do something. You’ve got to focus on your dreams, and you’ve got to stay positive, and you’ve got to stay motivated. Your dreams might change along the route – for me, I wanted to be a pilot and in those early days of being a pilot, I never thought I would make it all the way to being an astronaut in my thirties – but I did. And that’s from somebody who left school – I didn’t go to university. Left school with three A-levels and joined the army. I think the key is to just have your self-confidence in your own abilities, and in what you can do. And it sounds like you’ve got that in spades, so well done, Isaac.”
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) September 26, 2017
This is a golden moment that is wonderful to read about, but even better to watch. You can see feel the positive energy in that auditorium when you see and hear Isaac get the response from his personal hero, Tim Peakes. Watch it below: