How does he do it?
Elon Musk is creating success in so many fields;
- Finance – X.com, Paypal
- Technology – Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, HyperLoop, OpenAI, NeuraLink
- Urban Planning – The Boring Company
Most entrepreneurs struggle to build one successful company, Elon has built 4 profitable businesses so far and who knows what the final tally will be.
How does he do it?!?
The simple fact of the matter is that Elon Musk has learned to tap into both parts of his brain and has mastered how to use them effectively.
Too many people tend to pigeonhole themselves and apply overly-simplistic labels.
And the two worst are Thinker and Feeler.
The Thinkers tend to think logically, sequentially, and use data to back up their opinions.
The Feelers, on the other hand, tend to focus on feeling their emotions, intuition, and creative spark that just comes to them.
But the simple fact of the matter is that you are neither a Thinker or a Feeler.
You’ve just haven’t learned how to apply your thinking and feeling appropriately.
But that’s what Elon does and he does it well.
Elon Musk as a Thinker
From an early age, Elon escaped into science fiction books and the wonders of technology.
Reading stories from Robert Heinlein, Douglas Adams, Frank Herbert among others stimulated the imagination and possibilities of a future that wasn’t constrained by one planet or even one solar system.
Coupled with this far-reaching image of what is possible, as a teenager, Elon began programming computers; learning a sequential process of how to make things happen.
This eventually led to Elon Musk becoming successfully involved in the financial industries with X.com and PayPal.
But his exploration as a thinker didn’t stop just there, he also completed two degrees, one in physics, the other in economics to hone his thinking skills.
All of this helped to build the foundation for future success in space, cars, and AI.
Elon Musk as a Feeler
One reason why Elon escaped into science fiction as a kid was because Elon was often a victim of bullying in school.
The bullying was so terrible that he was once hospitalized after being thrown down a flight of stairs and blacking out from the traumatic accident.
These terrible incidents at such a young age had a huge emotional impact on young Elon. He had experienced some of the worst that people can do to one another.
And in the books that he escaped to, he also could see some of the wonders that man was capable of also.
It was this dichotomy of viciousness and greatness that planted the seed for Elon, imagining a better world.
So much so that even when dating, one of the first questions he would ask a woman was on the topic of electric cars (decades before Tesla was born), that’s a little awkward…
But Elon had a dream.
A dream he could feel viscerally, think about cognitively, and take action on each and every day.
The Two Parts of Your Brain
When most people think about two parts of the brain, they think left/right.
Cognitive thinker and Creative Feeler.
But they’re wrong.
The two parts of the brain are the Primitive Amygdala and the Modern NeoCortex.
One deals with fear, not just from an emotional aspect but from the more short-term survival sense. Recognizing a threat and then coming up with the best way to deal with that threat.
The other deals with the abstract and long-term thinking, planning, and reflecting. It seeks to make sense out of the chaos and to bring chaos into structure, art.
One is immediate, the other is not.
One keeps us focused on right here and right now and how to feel safe, happy, and alive.
The other ponders meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction.
One avoids discomfort, the other embraces it.
One seeks the easy path and the other chooses the high road.
Here’s a short 2-minute video of Elon showing his mastery by seeking negative feedback;
And that is why Elon has successfully mastered both parts of his brain.
He actively seeks to feel uncomfortable and then thinks up plans on how to alleviate that pain.
Putting It On the Mat
In martial arts, there’s a phrase we use, “put it on the mat.”
To learn and grow, at some point, you need to take it from the conceptual and theoretical and put it into the applicable and practical.
You have to put it on the mat and try it, test it, and refine it.
So how will you put it on the mat to build your thinking and feeling brain.
If, in the past, you’ve thought of yourself as a thinker, how can you better tap into your feelings, passions, and emotions.
Both fear and joy offer lessons and experiences for living life more fully.
Where can you live life a little bit more courageously, vulnerably, and openly?
If, in the past, you’ve thought of yourself as a feeler, how can you better create structure, habits and rituals that allow you to be more strategic in creating art.
Structure can take many forms.
Like a school playground with a fence around it, it corrals the kids into a safe area to play, explore and have fun.
Or like a leash for a frolicing puppy, it allows him to run around and explore, just not too far…
Where can you add a bit of structure and constraint to your creative play to focus it and refine it?