Elon Musk: "It will be an incredible adventure. It would be the most inspiring thing that I could imagine. Life needs to be more than just solving problems every day. You need to wake up and be excited about the future.”
What Elon is talking about in the above quote is humans going to Mars. And, not just going there, but setting up a colony. A new day for mankind will arise. That is what happened when Columbus traveled across the ocean to new lands.
Columbus lived during the “Age of Exploration.” A time when expeditions cast in search of riches, not knowing what they would find.
That is not the situation with Elon Musk. We know Mars. We have sent robots to Mars and have mapped the planet.
We know not what wealth might come from the expeditions, but, as proven in the quote above, that is not why Elon Musk is going to Mars. He’s going for the excitement and inspiration it would give to humankind.
It is this sense of life that I am comparing Elon Musk to Christopher Columbus. The sense of adventure; the excitement of a whole new world.
America needs a change in culture. We once had much more of a sense of adventure. I think it changed in the 1960s.
I’m 72. And as I look back over the decades, I think everything changed for America when President Kennedy was assassinated, followed by Dr. Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy.
Kennedy is the president that said let’s go to the moon. Dr. King was leading the charge for political equality. Bobby Kennedy fought the Mafia. And, American’s sense of life changed.
Then the culture took another turn in the late 60s and 70s when the philosophy of the day was wrapped up in the saying, “If it feels good do it." That meant it was good to turn away from reason and go by your emotions. Emotions are often wrong.
Our culture still chooses emotions over reason. And, it seems to be getting worse. We need a return to reason for guidance.
You can’t build a successful rocket company based on emotions. The process is based on logic and equations, as well as experiment and trial and error. And when things don’t work out as planned, reason is used to find a different way of doing it.
Building one billion dollar company is hard. Imagine building two of them like Tesla and SpaceX. There were times Elon slept in the factories. He works 80 to 100 hours a week and has for over two decades.
Talk about hard. That is hard. I’ve never heard of any CEO doing that.
And, his two great visions require time and effort. There is no easy way to accomplish either much less both. Short-term thinking doesn’t work in building something of significance.
Look at our culture today. How many people today want easy, not hard? How many people want the government to solve their problems?
People laughed at Elon. They said his electric cars would never work. They also said having rockets go up and then come back to earth to land so they could be used again wasn’t possible.
Elon persisted. If one thing didn’t work, he would find another way. If one alloy didn’t work, he and his team would invent a new allow.
Elon persisted. And, succeeded. And, in the process, he has become the richest man on the planet.
What about his goal of going to Mars? If anyone will accomplish it, Elon is that person. The results will be spectacular.
Christopher Columbus opened the door to more exploration by others. What doors will be open by Elon Musk when he lands on Mars? What doors will be open when a colony on Mars is created?
Humankind will be opening up a whole new world history. To make that happen, inventions will be created, job categories like never before will come into existence, and a lot more we can’t see now will occur.
Exciting times are ahead for the human race.
Napoleon Hill once said, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.” Well, Elon Musk conceives spectacular destinations, believe it is possible even though improbable, and he takes action to make it happen.
Tesla is growing over 50% a year. SpaceX has rockets it has used 10 times and more reducing the cost to NASA to send astronauts to the International Space Station, as well as reducing the cost to put satellites into orbit. Years ago, those two feats were possible though improbable. Now…they are reality.
What can we learn from Elon? What did old Europe learn from Christopher Columbus? To dream big, to take action, and to make things happen. And in the process, new worlds appear and new histories created.
That is a culture I want young people to grow up in. A time when centuries of exploration lead to startling discoveries. And humankind moves out into the Universe.
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