From the age of four, Abigail Harrison knew she wanted to go to space. At age eleven, she sat down and wrote out a plannot just for how to become an astronaut, but how to be the first astronaut to set foot on Mars. With a degree in biology, internships at NASA, and a national organization founded to help kids reach for the stars themselves, Astronaut Abby is well on her way to achieving her dreamsand she wants to help others do the same!
In this book, readers will find helpful advice and practical tips that can help set them on the path toward finding, reaching for, and achieving their goals. With examples from Abby's own life, interactive activities to get readers going, and plenty of fun illustrations along the way, this is the perfect guide for anyoneof any agewith big dreams and plenty of determination. It's time to reach for the stars!
Praise for Dream Big!:
"With friendly encouragement . . . the content and approach are general enough to appeal both to STEM-oriented fans of the author as well as those whose interests lie in other areas . . . Fun and helpful." Kirkus Reviews
"Any young person who wants to achieve their dreams will find this comprehensive book helpful." Booklist
"The conversational style is easy to understand. . . . There are eye-catching fonts, icons, think bubbles, and callouts. . . . A recommended purchase for middle school and high school libraries. Counselors assisting high schoolers with college preparation and educators teaching leadership classes will find many of the journaling activities very useful." School Library Journal
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: Turning Dreams into Actions
Chapter 2: Be Loud, Be Proud!
Chapter 3: When Rubber Hits the Road: Making a Plan— and Sticking to It
Chapter 4: Disrupting—an Essential Part of Success
Chapter 5: Facing Your Fears
Chapter 6: Failure to Launch
Chapter 7: Striking a Balance
Chapter 8: Mentorship—the Importance of Lifting People Up
Chapter 9: Bringing Everyone to the Table
Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction.—Commander Chris Hadﬁeld, astronaut
Let me start out by making one thing super clear: I believe in you and your awesomeness. Really, I do! I know it’s true because I know you have a dream—maybe readily apparent or perhaps buried deep down—and I also know that you have the ability to achieve it given the right skills and tools. And I know it’s true even more so because you’re reading this book, which will help you ﬁnd your dreams and learn everything you need to know to chase them!
I know from personal experience that it’s never too early to ﬁnd your life’s passion and start chasing after your dreams—and, as you do so, to make a huge impact on the world. I discovered my dream when I was only about four or ﬁve years old, which was when I decided that I wanted to become an astronaut and the ﬁrst astronaut to walk on Mars. I spent most of my childhood hearing that my dreams weren’t realistic, that I would someday grow out of them and I should instead choose something more attain-able (i.e., more “mainstream”). But I never grew out of my big dream—rather than changing or fading over time, my dreams only became more vivid and tangible. As I got older I decided that I couldn’t wait for a “right time” to start chasing my dreams—I had to just get started. In the face of everything in the world telling me that my dream was unrealistic, I chose to take matters into my own hands and deﬁne for myself what I was capable of.
I haven’t fully achieved my dream yet (sadly twenty-two is a bit young to be sent to space), but I have spent over a decade chasing after my out-of-this-world dream and have accom-plished some incredible things during that time. I’ve worked in a NASA astrobiology lab as a scientist; conducted research in Siberia, one of the most remote corners of the world; and reached the most incredible highs and lows on this planet by receiving advanced scuba-dive training, going skydiving, and earning a pilot’s license. I’ve met countless astronauts and other space industry professionals, toured spacecraft devel-opment and launch facilities around the entire world, been invited to speak at hundreds of locations (including in front of Congress!), worked in collaboration with an astronaut dur-ing his time on the International Space Station, and become a social media inﬂuencer with almost a million followers. On top of that, at the age of eighteen, I co-founded a successful nonproﬁt to support the next generation in achieving great things. I never expected to have any of these experiences, and I deﬁnitely never imagined that at just twenty-two years old I would be considered an expert on the future of human space exploration, a world-renowned advocate for my generation, an author, or the founder of a successful and impactful nonproﬁt organization.
But for all that I could never have predicted what my future would hold, I also know that these things didn’t just happen to me—they were a direct result of my knowing what my dreams were and chasing after them with unabashed abandon. Now I want to share how I went about aspiring to achieve the impos-sible, breaking barriers, and changing the world for the better—and how you can too! In this book I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned throughout my journey about how to discover and achieve big dreams.
Before we really dive in, let me give you a hint: chasing your dreams involves just a few broad steps. Once you have those under your belt, you’ll be well on your way. Those steps are:
Know clearly what your dream is.
Do your research about it!
Form a plan of how you can achieve it.
Be willing to be vocal and stand up for your dream.
Of course, there are speciﬁc strategies to each of these ideas, and we’ll talk about them over the course of this book. But if I’ve learned one thing through my experiences, it is that hav-ing and reaching for a dream can be incredibly powerful. Finding your dreams and having the knowledge and skills to act on them gives you the ability to garner support from those around you, plan for your future, and cultivate bravery in the face of uncer-tainty. You can change the world, and you don’t have to wait to start doing it.
This book will expose you to the lessons I’ve learned about ﬁnding and achieving dreams and guide you through a series of interactive, self-reﬂective activities designed to help you ﬁnd your dreams, grow your conﬁdence, and learn the skills necessary to chase after success. Join me as I show you step by step how I pursued my goals and dreams and how you can too. Let’s get going and start dreaming big!
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Turning Dreams into Actions 5
Chapter 2 Be Loud, Be Proud! 33
Chapter 3 When Rubber Hits the Road: Making a Plan-and Sticking to It 69
Chapter 4 Disrupting-an Essential Part of Success 11
Chapter 5 Facing Your Fears 140
Chapter 6 Failure to Launch 168
Chapter 7 Striking a Balance 196
Chapter 8 Mentorship-the Importance of Lifting People Up 231
Chapter 9 Bringing Everyone to the Table 267