Here’s why Elon Musk Believes Reading Can Help You Reach for the Stars
The phrase ‘Genius’ gets tossed up and about a little bit too often these days. Most of the times, we use the phrase to describe people who have dared to dream of the unbelievable. At times, we tend to misuse the phrase.
In the case of Elon Musk, the ‘Genius’ phrase is quite apt. He’s an engineer by trade and hence, it’s a bit perplexing that he has been able to build an enviable business model that private entities and governments would like to have.
Elon Musk developed a keen interest in reading about everything, both fiction and non-fiction, at a young age. It is documented that he would often read 10 hours a day and by fourth grade, he had developed a thing for the Encyclopedia Britannica. To him, reading was a way to expand and constantly update the human software embedded in our brains.
We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘rocket-science’ being mentioned a couple of times too. Often times, it is used when people want to describe something impossible to achieve. Even as an engineer, Elon Musk was not fazed by the mind-boggling intricacies of space exploration.
Traditionally, space exploration was preserved by governments. The numerous books he picked up as a young scholar helped him dream about the stars and off he went into space exploration.
At present, he runs the SpaceX project that has pioneered a couple of space landings and is set to revolutionize travel as we know it. He’s also the CEO of Tesla, an impressive automotive company. As a man of many achievements, it is important to also note that he co-founded PayPal back in the 90’s.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
GIGO is a term that was developed during the early years of the development of computers. It was used to refer to the processing capabilities of these machines. The output was fully dependent on the input data. To produce valuable information, one has to structure the input logically.
As a human race, language is our most essential communication tool. Our daily lives are based on our level of interaction with one another through the organization and dissemination of knowledge.
It is through language that we have been able to shape our realities. We are able to take in information from our surroundings and create linguistic models in our subconscious. Through this, we are able to explain the machinations of the universe and how to interact with fellow beings.
Reading involves an elevated use of our linguistic skills. By following the same GIGO principle, it is safe to assume that we are what we read. Information that we internalize by reading can greatly influence our school of thought. This can have a ricochet effect of determining how we work, our productivity, our levels of interactions and decisions we make.
With reading, quality always trumps quantity. Our brains can only handle so many hours reading about a particular subject while constantly absorbing new information. Over extended periods, comprehension and retention begin to level off.
In the new age, finding time to read seems like a challenge. This is because we are constantly faced with the struggle of juggling, school, work, and family altogether. There’s usually hardly enough time to squeeze in some alone time.
Creating a reading schedule is an excellent idea for one to take in as much information as they come within a day. We can do this during our least productive hours or by subscribing to news feeds. Most importantly, reading should be done with great awareness; it should be something we simply stumble upon.
At present, there’s too much information flying right about everywhere in our faces. Most of us hardly take note of these sources of information. Instead, we should develop a culture of discerning what information is pertinent to what we need and ensure that we regularly follow such sources.
A good reading culture tends to promote good thinking habits. By reading about our subjects of interest, we can expand our understanding of various phenomena whilst gaining a great grasp of various colloquialisms that we can employ in spoken communication.
We can all draw inspiration from Elon Musk, the South African born prodigy who developed a liking for technology so much, that he dreamt his way into Silicon Valley, and then, to the stars.
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