What is Elon Musk way of learning? How he learn anything fast?
How Elon Musk acquired the knowledge to build multimillion companies?
“When Elon Musk wants to learn anything, he simply does it.
And this isn’t because he’s superhuman or has a magic elixir.”
It’s simply because he mastered some brilliant techniques for learning rapidly and thoroughly.
So, what’s Musk secret to learning which has led him to acquire the requisite knowledge for building multimillion companies in the fields of software, energy, transportation, and aerospace?
A Jack Of All Trades Is A Master Of None
This basically means that if someone tries his hand at multiple disciplines will end up being an expert at nothing at all. However, Musk dispels this myth as he pursues in-depth learning across multiple areas to great success
In fact, when we look at other polymaths throughout history, including Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo, we see the same pattern and the jack of all trades, Maxim simply doesn’t hold up.
Of course, this is partly due to the expansive talent and skill of these individuals. But it’s also down to something else known as cross-learning.
Basically, when you enter a new field and build knowledge in a new area, your new competency inevitably leaks into existing areas of knowledge and can expand and alter your perspective.
This often means things in a whole new light and coming up with a whole host of ideas you would have never thought of otherwise.
Indeed, innovation comes from viewing things from multiple perspectives.
A physicist, for example, who has a good knowledge of biology, too, will have a unique perspective on his craft, and be able to view things in a more enlightened broader way.
Musk has a degree in both economics and physics, which are two vastly different areas. His knowledge of each respectively informs his overall outlook on his business. And means he can come up with ideas no one else can
Elon Musk’s brother Kimball Musk claims that growing up,
Elon would read at least two books a day, this total 730 books a year,
there is no doubt that extensive reading is a great tool for learning.
But what is key about his reading habit is that he would focus on a diverse range of disciplines, and so acquire the learning method called Learning transfer.
This simply means taking knowledge from one area and applying it to another.
From reading all those books, Musk learned a great deal about various subjects and is able to recall and transfer that information over into his professional life.
Learning about new subjects becomes easier because of the backlog of applicable information.
This bar layouts for how Musk was able to take a rudimentary knowledge of artificial intelligence and engineering and combine them to create the technology we see in Tesla.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything from 2014, Musk spoke about seeing knowledge as a semantic tree.
By this he meant that learning fundamental principles should constitute the tree trunk, with other key topics forming the larger branches. And finally adding the finer details for leaves.
Starting with the small stuff means the leaves have nothing to hang off and your knowledge is unlikely to be retained. So, when it comes to learning about new subjects Musk recommends tackling the core first before you get caught up in the more superficial details
Another way to think of this as like learning a ballroom dance, naturally, you need to master the most basic steps before you can start learning any of the flourishes like spins and lifts. Approach your learning in the same way and get to grips with those fundamental steps
Once you’re firm on your feet, then you can start adding the wow factor stuff. And the good news is that supplementary knowledge will come much easier and faster when you’re secure on the core
Like we’re learning a language. If you get the basic grammar down, new vocabulary can be learned and applied to the rules you already know in no time at all.
The Semantic Tree
The semantic tree metaphor Musk uses also represents another significant method for learn building connections. When it comes to learning memory is obviously a vital factor.
According to musk and several memory experts, building connections between facts is the best way to get them secured in our minds. We’re all vaguely aware of course that linking new knowledge to a piece of information we already know makes it much easier to remember.
We’re more likely for example, to remember someone’s name if it’s the same exact name as our own mother’s. And we also stand a better chance of remembering a word in a foreign language if it relates to a word in our own language.
New Knowledge simply won’t be as quick or straightforward to acquire without a strong base knowledge first is therefore even more essential that you spend adequate time securing fundamental knowledge into your brain.
So, if you want to learn faster than others, don’t pursue advanced material, even if that’s what you’re most interested in, until you’ve securely acquired the core principles of the subject.
Taking this approach will lead to a quicker and smarter learning in the long run, which is, of course the goal.
The Absolute Limits
In the same reddit AMA, Musk admitted that his brain is often running at full capacity, and he doesn’t ever give it a break.
In his own words, he said “I do kind of feel like my head is full”.
Pushing yourself to the absolute limits mentally is certainly a piece of advice worth taking on board.
At least it is if you have ambitions which come anywhere near Musk’s.
“I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without try.”
By this he means that most people can push themselves further than they think. So don’t place overcautious limits on what you’re able to do and see how much more you’re able to learn
If you really want to learn deeply and thoroughly, you should spend time with other highly intelligent people. We are highly influenced by those we surround ourselves with.
For better or worse, the speech patterns, the attitude, and the interest of others will all eventually rub off on us too. If we spend a lot of time with.
After all, it’s how we build society, it can be used to our advantage as exactly who we hang out with is completely in our hands. And when we choose wisely, it can have some positive effects on us and our ability to learn.
When Musk first struck up an interest in the aerospace industry with SpaceX, he employed the rocket Engineer Tom Waller, who is generally considered the most intelligent propulsion expert in the game
Musk spent a lot of time with this guy and absorbed as much knowledge as possible from him. In many ways. This equipped Musk with the knowledge he needed to make SpaceX that huge success that it is today
Hanging around others that we can learn from is just as good as reading a book on a subject. And since the relationship will involve conversation and a lot of engagement, it can even prove to be a more effective means of learning
By surrounding yourself with intelligent people who possess some of the same knowledge you’re looking to acquire, can be a big boost when it comes to learning
The other advantages of choosing your company based on intelligence is that it keeps you motivated. This is because you’ll probably develop a certain sense of competition, which will keep you on your A-game, but also because you’ll be more inspired simply by watching their impressive skills.
So, to really advance your learning capacity, spending time with highly intelligent, highly knowledgeable people will be a huge aid.
While we might not be able to teach ourselves rocket science like Elon Musk,
We can apply some of his methods to learning new skills and expertise ourselves using below practices:
- Read a lot.
- Explore lots of different subject areas.
- Building Memory Connections.
- Push yourselves to the max.
- Hang out with other intelligent people.
- Innovate yourself with multiple perspectives.
- Take Knowledge and Apply it to another.
Share your thoughts, ideas, commitments from this lessons.
Let me know what is your takeaway from this article?