Dr. Mike Massimino was rejected from NASA’s astronaut program 3 times before being accepted.
Dr. Peggy Whitson who, as of this August has logged almost 2 years in space was rejected 4 times before joining NASA.
José Herández’, whose journey from the farm fields of Stockton, California all the way to running missions in space was recently depicted in the film A Million Miles Away, was rejected 11 times before being accepted into NASA’s astronaut program.
Herández applied every year for over a decade all the while working on developing skills to improve his candidacy — think about the state of mind that one would need to possess to be this dedicated.
I admire these astronauts not just for their outstanding level of tenacity, but also for their clear understanding of The Game of which failure is simply a part of.
If you miss the bulls-eye — which will be the case on many occasions — you figure out how you can do better, pick up another dart, and try again.