How does Elon Musk study?

by Yang Yang on December 13, 2014

Elon Musk
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Someone asked this question on Quora. I wrote an answer.

How does Elon Musk study?

People tend to overstate their feelings about somebody. They are usually not as good as we say they are nor as bad as we say they are.

Elon is smart but he’s not so much so unless he has a world-class team backing him up. And that takes money, which comes from his risk-taking business endeavors rather than his ability to study effectively, albeit it definitely adds up.

But still. It’s not about how fast / effective you study but about knowing exactly what to study against a very specific problem or well defined goal.

Elon has a definitive goal that he wants to achieve. This is what distinguishes him from others. Most study for the sake of knowledge, while he studies to solve problems.

This is the reason why it seems he’s more effectively in studying because he solves more problems than we do with the same amount of study.

80% of knowledge and techniques are cool but useless. Elon only spends time for the other 20% that are actually helpful in achieving his goals.

He does the right study in the right amount just enough at the right time just when the problem arises. Anything more is a waste.

Another reason I think why Elon studies well is he smartly modularizes his ultimate goal in smaller milestones that are easier to achieve one by one. Through consistent positive feedback, he has been able to stay motivated all the way, which is another boost to his study efficiency.

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