Elon Musk, One of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of All Time, Calls this a Powerful yet Difficult Way of Thinking
The success story of Elon Musk didn’t stop at building PayPal and SpaceX. The young entrepreneur also runs the world’s most disruptive vehicle companies. Elon Musk has many medals pinned on his shirt just at the age of 48.
In a Ted Talk, Elon shared his views about how to maximize your potential and hitting the boundaries to achieve extraordinary things. He said, if the person has to make a decision under any circumstances, the person must adopt first principles thinking, which means that, all the facts must be reasoned at the fundamental level. A person must reason with facts and not with analogies.
Musk accepts that every person prevails by copying what other people do by doing some changes, this is something that each one of us does for their lifetime.
How to deconstruct complex problems
Aristotle was the first person in the whole world to use the term “first principles” just 2000 years ago. The philosopher insisted that to understand even the most complex subject, one must divide it down and break it to the most fundamental principles.
How to think powerfully?
Elon Musk has given hints to first principles thinking a couple of times. He thinks of knowledge as a semantic tree. One must understand that the fundamental aspects, i.e., the trunk and the branches before getting to know the later part, i.e., leaves and fruits.
While giving a speech at the University of South California, musk said do not do what others are doing, don’t run after trends, instead, start thinking about things with a physics approach. At the end of the day, things will start making sense, and it is also an excellent way to assess if you are running behind a trend or does the thing you are running after really makes sense.
Musk added further that this is the hardest thing about being human. To reason with oneself is not an easy task and requires a lot of effort. However, if you are running after something new, thinking with reason is the most powerful thing that a person can do.
First-principles thinking can lead you to a good life
The term isn’t made for just technical stuff and space programs. The simple change of thinking process can really fix the daily problems, whether it be a personal relationship, work, finances, or any other thing. It happens a lot of times that we base our most important decisions on outdated or false information. That is why it is necessary to approach problems with the first principles approach.
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