A personal opinion on Elon Musk and what makes successful people tick

I was reading about Elon Musk recently. A South African by origin, he was the co-founder of PayPal and is regarded as one of the most ambitious humans of our generations. His dreams have no limits and he is known to dream about the most bizzare of things.

While I don’t approve of his dreams, I wonder what makes people like Elon Musk succeed. What makes them high achievers? He says he puts in close to 100+ hours of work each week, which literally translates to 3–4 hours of sleep each day. I’m sure a lot of people on the planet put in lots of hours to work, but, despite all that there are very few Elon Musks in the world today. While this question remained unanswered in my mind, a speaker in one of the videos about him said something that caught my attention. Apparently Elon Musk was a child prodigy and during his childhood read for close to 5 hours a day. Reading, here, mind you doesn’t mean reading academic materials. Not just this, he also developed a graphic enabled computer program that was quite a hit during his days.

Now, what really made him a child prodigy? I refuse to think that some humans are born with special talents. In fact, talent, in my opinion is repetitive hard work. That said, in my opinion today’s Elon Musk was born few decades ago. Somehow, what you do between 10–22 years of your life, caps a limit on your capacities. I think the inherent curiosity in Musk led him to study/read a lot of things that in turn changed the way he thought and acted. People who have invested good amount of time in reading during childhood have grown up to become knowledgeable, wise adults. Their grasp, abilities to concentrate and sustain pressures are higher than those of normal individuals. What’s best is that their constant reading and studying has made them quick learners. Given this, their academic success has been a mere consequence of their abilities that were honed by reading a range of things. This I have personally seen happen in few of my favourite folks on the Internet. In bits, I have personally experienced the benefits of reading albeit I don’t read as much as I would want to. Everytime I expose myself to good reading, my mind works better. Curiosity and essential reading when inculcated in children at the right age, can transform their lives in big ways.

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