Bringing Awe Down to Earth: Inspiring High Performance Through Positive Executive Coaching

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



What inspires and sustains high performance? Positive psychology, the scientific study of human strengths and well-being, provides evidence-based insights into the mechanisms of, and characteristics associated with, flourishing. Astronauts represent a paragon of high performance through the intensely focused preparation, passion, and perseverance required in their training and during space missions. This capstone draws on both scientific findings from positive psychology and insights from astronaut training to provide a unique lens for a positive executive coaching program. In addition to a review of relevant positive psychology research to illustrate the principles of this program, this capstone includes personal anecdotes and interviews with astronauts about their experiences of awe and the practices that inspire high performance.


performance, resilience, awe, executive coaching, space psychology


Achievement, Well-being/Flourishing


Literature Review



Date Posted: 29 January 2018