Many people procrastinate whenever they think of doing something important and tell themselves that the task is beyond their capabilities or that they lack the resources. The truth is we have been taught to have this mindset in school, at work, and by people telling us that hyper-successful people and billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet are of a different breed.
However, if you think about it, these are simply people who broke the rules of normalcy and disrupted several industries by their mindset and attitude in life and business. Although, contrary to popular belief, optimism, hope, hard work, and risk-taking aren’t the only ingredients required to be successful in life. You need to have a relentless drive for getting things done with an open mind and a neutral perspective.
Such is the thinking and attitude of Elon Musk, the world’s richest man according to Forbes and the founder of Tesla, SolarCity, SpaceX, and several other ventures – also the man who we’ll be putting under the microscope in this post to explain how a realist and occasional pessimist can have such a positive attitude in life.
About Elon Musk – A Brief Introduction
Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur who started his long journey of moving to a mystical place by cofounding the digital-payment firm PayPal, one of the most popular payment gateways in the world. However, he sold his shares in the company and invested in the electric car manufacturing company, Tesla, of which he later became CEO. Following the success of Tesla’s EVs, Elon Musk founded SpaceX in the hope of fulfilling his life-long dream of making interplanetary travel possible by making more affordable rockets. With all his success and failures, he has amassed wealth exceeding $300 billion and is still working day and night to solve different problems that will help humanity.
Elon Musk’s Positive Attitude On Life and Business that Makes him Successful
1. It’s Never Been About the Money
Not caring about money is central to Elon Musk and his positive attitude in life and business. According to many interviews and reports, he didn’t even know how rich he was. He claimed that his wealth was simply due to a certain number of shares in his companies and their collective value in the marketplace. Although he doesn’t have anything against wealth, he doesn’t want to accumulate it but rather spends it on initiatives that make a difference. Overall, this approach seems to be working for him with several investments under his belt, including Bitcoin, the Boring Company, Hyperloop, AI and Neuralink, and Zip2.
2. Thinking Big All the Time
One of the key personality traits of Elon Musk has been his attitude towards innovation. Most of the ideas that he has turned into reality would’ve been considered audacious a few decades ago, and ideas like colonizing mars, building super-fast trains, and integrating AI into human brains, are still considered far-fetched or too ambitious. Simply put, Elon Musk believes in breakthrough or game-changing improvement, not just modest ones that most incrementalist companies prefer.
3. Grounded Optimism
Some might think that realism and pessimism aren’t terms you’d associate with positive. On the contrary, grounded optimism is among Elon Musk’s most remarkable qualities. Many people claim that most of his ambitions make him arrogant. However, he has never claimed that he was going to achieve everything he set out to do. Instead, he always says that he will give everything he aspires to achieve his best shot.
4. No Risks, No Success
Elon Musk believes that you need to have skin in the game to succeed, as there you will be faced with a ton of risks along your way. He would have been set for life with PayPal alone, just Like Mark Zuckerberg would have been if he had agreed to his parent’s idea of buying a McDonald’s franchise for him. The point is, Elon was ready to sell his shares for half their worth and invest most of his fortune into his businesses. Even after SpaceX’s first three launches failed miserably, he still kept his head up, learned from his failures, and moved forward without giving up.
5. Always Have a Contingency
Finally, the last attribute worth considering is Elon Musk’s attitude regarding failure. He uses his pessimistic mindset to understand that things will go wrong and adapt and learn from his failures to create different fail-safes or contingencies. For instance, in 2008, Tesla was on the brink of filing for bankruptcies as the company had just two weeks of money left. His company was saved by a last-minute investment he had planned as a last resort.
In his words, Elon Musk said that the only way you can be truly happy is when your personal and professional life are both going well. The only way to ensure happiness is by fostering a positive attitude around planning for the worst and hoping for the best, being a realist, taking calculated risks, and not giving up until the last possible second. Success in the modern age requires a mindset that encompasses the good and the bad and creates the necessary balance to help you achieve your dreams.
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