Actress Shantel VanSanten has appeared on a variety of hit shows throughout her career, from One Tree Hill to The Flash, and she’s now playing NASA astronaut Karen Baldwin on Apple TV+ ‘s For All Mankind, a series that reimagines the Space Race. The show’s plot offers a refreshing celebration of failure by exploring what the United States could have actually gained from losing the race. VanSanten tells Thrive that the show has helped her come to terms with – and reframe – her own failures. VanSanten encourages people to use their failures as an opportunity to evolve. “Life will change you on its own – circumstances force you to face fears, trials stretch your heart, and triumphs allow you to propel,” she tells Thrive.
In her Thrive Questionnaire, VanSanten talks about her experience with the transformative powers of gratitude.
Thrive Global: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
Shantel VanSanten: I would like to become the person who instantly says: “meditate.” But more realistically, I would sit and eat some good food. I feel my days are always so hectic, and having a meal isn’t always possible unless it’s while I am driving. So truthfully, I would take a moment to pause and stuff my face.
TG: Your new Apple TV+ show, For All Mankind, tells the story of an alternate universe where Russia beats America to the moon. Has the storyline of the show taught you anything about failure?
SV: Yes. While I am terrible at it and so afraid of it, so much can be gained from “failing.” More lessons and growth come from these moments than those where we succeed or win! If we don’t fail sometimes, we don’t learn, and then we don’t evolve. To me, I am not living unless I am evolving.
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