Elon Musk is a world-famous entrepreneur known for his work at Tesla and SpaceX where he’s constantly pushing the new frontiers of modern technology. His work has turned himself into one of the most influential people in our world today (and it’s turned him into one of the 50 richest people in the world.)
He’s had a number of controversial and surprising opinions on the way modern technology can improve our lives. In the discussion you’re about to watch, he starts with his classic innovative approach but keep your eyes open because you might be surprised by the simplicity he ultimately recommends.
By the end of this article we’re going to go over:
- What Elon Musk thinks is missing from education today.
- Explore why most students FAIL BIG trying to be motivated
- Show you exactly why your teachers are usually wrong about this.
- And give you the Thrive Mindset
*By the way, this is a video by Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a great free way to learn a ton of different subjects.
Elon first discusses the value of gamifying learning. That’s something modern technology can help with.
Here is where he ultimately leads himself to:
“Why are we teaching people these things? And we should tell them why we are teaching them these things.”
There is a quote I’ve heard from a number of different sources that says this a little differently:
You can achieve any how if you have a big enough why.
Be Intimate With Yourself
Yes… I know how this headline sounds.
It sounds a little dirty (to us native English speakers,) right?
But it’s not dirty and the fact that it sounds that way is part of the problem.
When you understand your own personal quirks, preferences, and aspirations, you can achieve anything you set your mind to and the motivation becomes automatic.
‘Why’ is an personal and powerful question. It’s something that can dig into your deepest and most personal desires.
Most people don’t reveal those deeper feelings. In fact, they actively try to hide who they are and what they really want.
I want to study.
If you ask them:
Why do you want to study?
Because I want good grades.
Now ask yourself:
Is there any biological reason they’d “want good grades”?
- Is a big A on a sheet of paper going to let you go without eating for a few days?
- Is it going to help you procreate?
- Is it going to make you more fit to survive your environment?
Not directly. That’s for damn sure.
That means the answer “because I want good grades” is hiding more than it’s revealing.
There is no emotion is “I want good grades.”
It’s a pathetic whimpering mini-motivation.
In the past people used to learn because, if they didn’t, they’d die. That’s a real motivation.
(“because my mom would be disappointed in me if I didn’t.” Mom’s disappointed face can cause a visceral reaction.)
Most students are taught weak motivations.
Why Teachers Tell You To Study
Study hard today so 4-12 years from now you can get to a place where you can spend $100k to learn a skill that can hopefully (if the job market is good) improve your chances at finding a good job where you can work another 40 years to hopefully have a comfortable retirement where you can play shuffleboard in Florida (even if you do need a part time job as a greeter at Wal-Mart to get by.)
Delaying gratification my pale white caboose.
That’s not delaying gratification.
That’s waving goodbye to gratification and promising you’ll write a letter every once in a while.
That motivation sucks.
You’re better than that.
How Do You Thrive In A World Begging You To Flounder
Elon is discussing how the education system can change itself to make life better for students like you in the future.
Unfortunately, most of you won’t get the privilege of learning in that kind of an environment.
Think about it this way: we can’t control the winds but we can adjust our sails accordingly.
Learning isn’t about memorizing but school is. Elon said it himself.
Good grades can improve your future.
The principles we always try to teach here are simple:
Get extraordinary grades in as little time as possible because that means you have plenty of time for learning the things that really matter.
If you find the path of least resistance for your grades then you can achieve great things with what you learn in the process. And you never have to sacrifice the important things.
You can have close friends.
You can do fun things.
You can enjoy the process.
You just need a why that you feel in your gut.
School won’t hand you a reason why.
You need to find the reason you want to study.
It can be anything from genuine curiosity to cold number-crunching practicality.
When you’re struggling to get started, the answer to that question is going to be your guiding beacon in the storms as you adjust your sails to go just where you want to go.
Oh… “Love is the answer” too.
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