Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things. Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success’, so know that you don’t have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle. Your odds of happiness are better that way. But if you’re extreme, you must be what you are, which means that happiness is more or less beside the point. These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way. They developed strategies to survive, and as they grow older they find ways to apply these strategies to other things, and create for themselves a distinct and powerful advantage. They don’t think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.
Do I know a lot about George Canning? No, but I agree to this quote of his. What I do know is that indecisions do have a cost associated with it and sometimes it can be super expensive just not to make decisions, let alone not making them at the right time.
So take action now, come to a decision – right or wrong but make a decision and move forward with your life.
Are you listening to the heartbeat of needs and wants?
In today’s fast paced world, what do you do to get a person’s attention? A wise man once explained me that people pump out heartbeats of needs and wants. A simple yet effective way to connect to the other person and hold their attention is to hear those heartbeat of needs and wants. Those needs and wants will represent their interest. Capture that interest and you have their attention. Fail to do that and you have nothing in common. Wrap those needs and wants as part of your product or service and you got business. Simple! Yes, but how many of us put other people’s interest ahead of ours?
How do you learn so much so fast? Lots of people read books and talk to other smart people, but you’ve taken it to a whole new level.
It seems you have an extremely proficient understanding of aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, all various subdisciplines (avionics, power electronics, structural engineering, propulsion, energy storage, AI) ETC ETC nearly all things technical.
I know you’ve read a lot of books and you hire a lot of smart people and soak up what they know, but you have to acknowledge you seem to have found a way to pack more knowledge into your head than nearly anyone else alive. Do you have any advice on learning? How are you so good at it?
Elon’s Answer to this question is:
I do kinda feel like my head is full! My context switching penalty is high and my process isolation is not what it used to be.
Frankly, though, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.
One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.
A colleague shared this image today – many thanks to her (ok, ok i remade the image for quality sake). The message is simple yet a powerful one. No one but at the end we should decide on how we feel about anything going on in our life and our day. Keep on improving quality of your day and bit by bit you are going to move the mountains.
Where do you fit in? The more value you add – to the person, the conversation, the group, the organisation, the not-for-profit, to the relation – the more people will want to talk to you and importantly listen to you.
How many times do we read this? How many times to we hear “Be Yourself”? We may even have advised few people that they should be themselves and not pretend to live someone else’s life. But every now and then we may forget this message ourselves, especially when we are rushing through life and chasing “things” that may not necessarily add a long term value to us. Write this piece of advice for yourself, etch it in your mind and heart, put this as a background on your phone. Being yourself will make you happy, you will feel the freedom and feeling of liberation.
And yes, you can always keep on improving “Yourself”.
Complaining might make you feel important, but that in itself does not add value to yourself or others.
So should we stop complaining? Yes, if we can but at the very least try to have a solution for a problem when you complain about something, someone or someplace. Complaining might be a birth right to most and a privilege to some. If you hold that privilege then make the most of it to bring about a positive change. Make your complains matter that will make a difference to someone.
But Is Cheapness Good?
Is this obsession with saving dollars and cents really worth all the effort? The advocates of scrimping are unequivocal. Cheapness increases profitability, they say. It keeps companies slim. It puts cash in the bank for future growth. And it gives businesses an advantage over their spendthrift rivals.
But if that’s bad news for would-be cheap artists on either coast, the final lesson from the cheap hunt is worse: If your company doesn’t work this way now, it probably never will. Older companies with ingrained bad habits will find it difficult, if not impossible, to slim down. Admire Fastenal if you will; not every business can emulate it.
So the advantage goes to the start-up. “It’s easier to do this up front than to try to dismantle an organization halfway through its maturity cycle,” says author Woolf. “When you ask an overweight man to run a four-minute mile, you’re asking an awful lot.”
Being frugal does not mean that you are being cheap. I always believe that a dollar saved is better in your pocket or account than the other party. There is no shame in negotiating if you can get a better deal, be it at street side shopping or at your workplace. Remember, if you don’t ask, you might not get it. At the worst you might get a big ‘NO’.
Being frugal is a mindset thing and it is easy to get into the mindset while you are comfortable with your circumstances. It certainly gets hard emotionally and psychologically when you are forced to be frugal because of your circumstances. This is true even you are an individual, a small company or a big corporation.
How do you get started on being frugal? There is no one right or wrong answer and it will depend on you, what you want and where are in your life. Here are some points to get you thinking.