I’m an Elon Musk fanboy until I die. Here are some practical lessons I learned from him, from his recent interview with Joe Rogan:
1. Remove lag/latency
I remember when I was a kid, playing Counter-Strike 1.6. The worst downside was having ‘lag’ (latency) which would cause you to lose. Same goes with Starcraft.
The reason why people love the Tesla (or electric motor cars in general) is that there is a better reaction time. The moment you put the pedal to the metal you get instant feedback, and an immediate response!
Idea: What can you create that removes latency from people’s lives? To increase response time?
2. Give others benefit of the doubt
A good life philosophy from Elon Musk:
Assume others are good people.
The problem with the internet is that we have this wrong representation of the world. We assume the world is full of trolls. But in reality, very few people are negative and nasty. Even with trolls on the internet, they represent probably only .01% of the population. Because most ‘normal’ people don’t write comments. And for the people who do write comments, they tend to be extreme people (either extremely positive, or extremely negative).
Thus, it is a good idea that we should treat others,
‘Innocent until proven otherwise.’
First principle: Assume other people are good, and have good intentions.
3. Remove bottlenecks
What holds back innovation? Bottlenecks. Bottlenecks either in individuals or social structures.
To increase the rate of innovation, we should seek to remove any kinks in the pipe-line, to straighten the pipe-line, and to remove bottlenecks, which prevent the desired outcome from happening.
Question: How can you remove bottlenecks from your life? What slows you down or gets in your way? How can you eliminate these bottlenecks?
4. I like to get things done
‘I like to get things done’ – Elon
I can relate with Elon Musk — I like to get things done. And similarly, like Elon Musk, I like to ‘be useful’.
Another idea I got from Elon:
“Do useful stuff for other people that I like doing.”
No need to be a martyr to die or kill yourself for some ‘greater’ cause (and unnecessarily put yourself through superfluous pain). Instead my suggestion is simple:
Do meaningful work that empowers others and yourself.
5. I’ll try it
‘Ill try it’ – Elon
Good attitude to life. When in doubt, just try it out. You never know if trying something novel can help empower you!
6. Make the future something you look forward to!
A lesson I learned from Elon:
Maximize the probability the future is good…make the future something you’re looking forward to!
Or in other words,
Do you look forward to waking up in the morning?
Elon doesn’t want to make humans a space-faring species just for the sake of looking at space. I think he wants to do it in order to make us humans to dream big! To have optimism for the future! To realize that the best isn’t behind us; the best is yet to come.
7. Make things that people love!
“Very few things we buy really give us joy…” – Elon
Elon is right, very few things that we can purchase bring us real joy.
So as a simple tip,
Make something that people love.
Make things that you love yourself. That means create things with your soul, with the soul of a craftsman (like the spirit of Steve Jobs). Put your name on the line, and sign what you do– to show that you genuinely care what you create! (This is what Steve Jobs did with the original Macintosh; the Mac team all signed the inside of the original Macintosh).
8. Are you pro-human?
“I’m pro human — I love humanity, it is great!” – Elon
Do you like humans? Are you pro-human?
Strangely enough, I know some people who say “I hate people”. When I hear that, I think what people mean to say is:
I hate people who are assholes.
But I think all of us love humans. We love those we care about– we love our friends, family, and loved ones.
But I think in terms of my hierarchy of being human is this:
First start off by loving yourself, then love your local community, friends, and family.
Then when you are stronger, do the second (more epic step):
Extend your love for all of humanity.
This is why Jesus is one of my great inspirations. He genuinely cared and loved ALL of humanity– unconditionally.
9. Love is the answer
“[This is] corny, but love is the answer. It doesn’t hurt having more love in the world.” – Elon
Simple and true: it doesn’t hurt to have additional love in the world.
When in doubt, be generous, give the other the benefit of the doubt, and show love.
10. Deleting social media
“Instagram is so thirsty, yet gives you Death by Water.” — Elon
Elon says that it is “Easier to be mean on social media, then be mean in real life.” Truth.
The internet is weird; it changes how people interact, because when you’re on the internet, you don’t have any ‘skin in the game’ (especially when you’re anonymous). Thus anonymity on the web brings out some bad things inside of people.
Yet at the same time, most people are good. I think the medium of the web just encourages (some) negative and toxic folks. But still– I am the optimist. I think 99.9999% of the internet is positive. It is just the tiny .000001% of trolls who have their voice over-represented.
I know that for myself, ever since I deleted my Instagram, I have re-gained some control of my brain. I care less about what others think of me, and I have started to care more about what I think.
If Elon Musk can delete his Instagram, if Kanye West can delete his Instagram, if Jay Z and Dr. Dre not have an Instagram– why can’t you?
Elon; keep hustling, you’re empowering so much of us. Keep hustling, and so we will we.