Elon Musk will inspire you to read more. Guaranteed.
In an ode to the new Iron Movie out on DVD next week (just kidding), I wanted to highlight the man who inspired the character of Tony Stark while harping on the main message of this post: Read more. Read voraciously. Do whatever you can to drown yourself in words. Sync your computer with your tablet, cellular device, e-reader, solo-cup string phone, phablet, and anything else you can possibly read with in order to create, “A NEVER ENDING STREAM OF INFORMATION.”
Why, you ask? Shouldn’t I be resting my mind every once in a while to stay centered? Yes, you should. I’m being hyperbolic of course, and it’s late late at night, so bare with me here.
But back to Tony Stark’s inspiration. His name is Elon Musk and his story tells us why we should be eating books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He is the ballsiest, self-aggrandizing, seemingly delusional, entrepreneur in our lifetime. Yes, I said that. Steve Jobs was pure leadership-based genius. Bill Gates is a technical wunderkind. But, with Elon, we’re not dealing with computer hardware and software. We’re dealing with privatized space exploration, the first all electric car company, and a solar company poised to silence the energy critics.
Yes, Elon’s accomplishments should make you feel terrible about your life.
My favorite piece (as my younger brother re-routed me to today) on Elon can be found on Esquire here: Triumph of His Will
Elon’s first big win came after selling Paypal to Ebay in the early 2000’s for $1.3B. So how does an internet entrepreneur go from playing with computers to founding and leading a company who’s shuttles are the backbone of NASA’s current launch schedule? You guessed it! Books.
After a ridiculously ambitious conversation regarding Mars habitation that only a Silicon Valley internet billionaire would have, the article explains Elon’s self-education,
“He showed Cantrell the spreadsheet he’d been working on. “I looked at it and said, I’ll be damned — that’s why he’s been borrowing all my books. He’d been borrowing all my college textbooks on rocketry and propulsion. You know, whenever anybody asks Elon how he learned to build rockets, he says, ‘I read books.’ Well, it’s true. He devoured those books. He knew everything. He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met, and he’d been planning to build a rocket all along.”
Granted, Elon also happens to be blessed with a naturally ridiculous IQ, but at the same time, we’re not all looking to start rocket companies.
Do you want to further your career in fashion? Read everything about the origins of fashion trends. Build the foundation, and don’t just pore through websites focusing on what’s hot now. Your gradually expanding knowledge base will help you in all facets of your aspirational path. The deeper your knowledge, the deeper and more varied your thought processes. The deeper your thought processes, the more unique your approach or solution will be when presented with a problem at work or in life. You’d be surprised what a book on science fiction can do for your day job in finance.
That being said, make sure to vary your reading and expose yourself to genres you may be impartial to. If you stick to one realm, you’ll create a one trick mind-pony, only to be outpaced and out-thought by your open-minded peers.
Bottom line: If Elon can teach himself rocket science, then we can all use the power of books to up our game, whatever that game may be.
(If you have ANY book recommendations – please put them in the comments!)
Like this? Then read this book: Oprah Changed My Life – And My Friend’s Life, and Soon, Yours Too (The Most Important Book I’ve Ever Read)