What Makes Elon Musk Tick

What Makes Elon Musk Tick

When Elon Musk first started SpaceX, everybody thought he was insane.

Not only is space exploration an industry dominated by governments, but for someone without any background in space technology to go in with the belief that they could help drive meaningful progress was audacious to say the least.

Over the years, however, much of that initial doubt about what was then seen as Musk’s pet project has subsided. SpaceX has indeed done the seemingly impossible, and that doubt has largely turned into curiosity.

Given how involved Musk is in the engineering side of things, a question that he commonly gets asked is how on Earth he learned so much about rockets.

His answer? “I read a lot of books.”

It’s an answer that almost makes you want to laugh. Picking up rocket science as a hobby through reading isn’t what normal people do.

Yet, it’s not completely unbelievable. We’ve all heard the stories about how many of the people we admire attribute much of their success to their thirst for knowledge and their love of books. Even in our own lives, we’ve all had experiences that hit home the impact of reading.

A favorite childhood story. An inspiring writer. That one novel.

Still, I don’t think most of internalize quite how much, and sometimes how subtly, what we read determines who we become.

Input Shapes Your Output

Language is our primary tool of communication. It’s how we build and organize our knowledge, and it’s what allows us to interact with each other.

Outside of direct experience, it’s also largely how we create our perception of reality. The information your senses absorb through your surroundings combine to create linguistic (and subconscious) models in your mind about how the world works and the best way to interact with it.

One part of this occurs through verbal conversation, or listening to something in general, but for most knowledge workers and for the average person in developed countries a larger part of it is directly a result of what we consume.

You are what you read. The information that you input into your mind informs your thinking patterns, and it influences your output in the form of the decisions you make, the work you produce, and the interactions you have.

That’s a huge incentive to prioritize a block of time to think about what and how you consume, and whether or not you read adequately relative to the progress you want to make. It’s a reason to maybe pause and consider if you can do anything to purposefully shape the direction of your mind.

Naturally, input doesn’t necessarily mean quantity. The correlation between how much you read or consume and what you can do or who you become begins to even off after a certain point, and more isn’t always better.

This is entirely about what the quality of your predominant sources of input are, and the importance of those can’t be overstated.

SOURCE: Medium

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