A Secret Thinking Method

Why Elon Musk Is Successful In Completely Different Fields

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

There is a secret thinking method that Elon Musk uses, but no-one else used it, because of that Elon Musk is successful in extra ordinary fields.

Here, people can’t even run 1 successful company and he is ceo of a private space company. Do you want to know what that method is?

It’s Think Using First Principles

Elon Musk used “first principles” word in maximum interviews he has done.

So, it’s a very important post for people who want to change their method of thinking.

But first we have to understand why everyone is interested in him?

Elon musk made a payments company PayPal and earned 180 million dollars from that. Then he started two companies completely different from his experience.

His first company was SpaceX, and the goal of this company was to create reusable rockets. Everyone said that he can’t make it, but finally in the entire human history reusable rockets were made. Even NASA could not do it.

Next company was Tesla, which made electric cars.

The primary goals of these companies was not to earn money but to solve 2 major problems. If we look at the history, then there are 5 major extinctions. So, if we think that sixth extinction is not possible, then it’s an idiotic point.

To make human MULTIPLANETARY, he made SpaceX. My friend said, “if I’ll have time to go to in a rocket I will reject it, because it’s too risky.” For those people I want to say every human innovation seems risky at first take example of air planes what if a technical problem came, then you will be in real troube.

The second problem was fossil fuels. He saw every industry is running from fossil fuels, and we use 3 major types of fossil fuels.

  • coal
  • natural gas
  • crude oil

All of them will get exhausted one day. And it will take 300 million years to make them. Now some people will say “only cars and industries will not work everything else is fine”. But another problem is global warming. Whenever we burn fossil fuels, it releases co2 and it raise temperature of earth.

If temperate will increase 6–10 degree celsius, then water level will rise above 200 meters.

If the temperature increases over 58 degrees, then the life will start extincting from earth.

So, he started running cars from electricity. Before his company got success, no one was making them. When the company became recognised, maximum companies like BMW, Nissan, Porsche etc started making electric cars.

Once an interviewer asked him what is his business plan and he said “I don’t have a business plan”. Cause he is here to change the world, not to do business.

He is so successful because he doesn’t think like normal people, and he admits it. He thinks using first principles.

Now let’s go in depth of first principles:-

We humans think in two ways: 1) analogy 2) first principles.

  • When we think with analogy, then we have our own ideas, experiences and with all those ideas and experiences we conclude.

For example:- Just imagine you want to be fluent in speaking English, but you haven’t studied in Spanish medium. Here you can think in two ways.

  1. Analogy:- “I had so many friends and they were also bad in English. They also took courses of it, but in the end all of them failed. I can’t learn it no matter how hard I try, so why should I try?”
  2. First principle:- “Spanish and English both are languages the difference is English has different letters, in both languages we have to take out different sounds and I am not dumb. So, learning English is easy I just need some practice”.

Look, by using first principles we can change the situation we are in. We can get to more good and clear conclusions.

Another example from Elon Musk- If we want to make batteries then we can think in two ways.

  1. Batteries are very costly, no matter from which supplier I will buy.
  2. What is battery made from Cobalt, nickel, aluminium, carbon and a steel can? If I will buy it from market, then I can get them at very cheap prizes.

Many time people struggle in thinking using first principles because we are not trained to think like that.

For example:- If a father asks his son to wear shoes, then the child will ask why, then father will say “if you’ll not wear then you will feel cold” then child will ask “why I will feel cold” then father answer “cause seasons change”. Then the child will ask “why season change”, then father said “cause earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees” and so on.

By doing this child will go to such depth from where all decisions get concluded or first principles also called undeniable truths.

But the reality is parents are tired and when child asks “why I have to wear shoes” then parents say “cause I am saying, wear them”. And the conversation ends there.

After facing this situation every time we lose our sense of reasoning, they program us to follow orders. Even research proved it!

In the 1960s a researcher name george land done a study on 1600 students on creativity. And after every 5 years, they took their creativity test.

When the children were 5 years old, then 98% students scored very well. When they turned 10, then only 30% did well. When they turned 15, then only 12% did well. At 25, the percentage was 2%.

In short, society kills our creativity. Whenever we ask questions from our relatives, they answer with analogies like.

  1. My grandmother did the same
  2. Media said this
  3. Our religion says this
  4. Do like this, cause I am saying

In short, there are a very few people who can give logical answers. Because of that, there are very few people who challenge conventional methods with their logical minds.



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Anshul Patyal

Anshul Patyal

science student who studies 4 sciences simultaneously. interested in technology and preparing to be a doctor.