From Dogecoin drama to a Saturday Night Live debut, it seemed like Tesla founder Elon Musk was everywhere in the past few weeks — not that he’s ever far from the headlines.
Whatever your opinion is of Elon and his vision for the future, I wanted to highlight three quotes from him that resonate with me. Even if your goal or mission is something slightly less ambitious than colonizing Mars, I believe these concepts can help you shift your mindset and find your own ludicrous — as in ludicrously good — mode, personally and professionally.
“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
I know this is true. I’ve lived it. I grew up on a modest farm in Cookstown, Ontario. I loved my mom and my stepdad, but I sensed from an early age that a bigger, bolder world lay beyond our quiet country roads. At age 16, I chose to leave it all behind — home, family, friends, school. Because I knew that no one was going to hand me the extraordinary life I was starting to envision for myself. I had to choose to go after it. I had to choose myself. I still do, every day.
“If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.”
I don’t know if it’s neurochemistry or genetics or something else, but my superpower is waking up each morning feeling genuinely positive and upbeat, excited to start the day. I recognize this is not everyone’s natural disposition — and there’s no shame in that. But as Elon suggests, your mindset can be the difference between possibility and improbability. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, coffee, reading inspirational words, more coffee … I encourage you to do whatever helps you lean more toward the light and bright.
“To anyone I have offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
I’m cheating, this is from Elon’s SNL monologue and it’s very Elon-specific, yet it’s not! These lines say to me that it’s OK for you to be you, to unapologetically pursue whatever it is that floats your boat, to be intensely passionate about something, to let your freak flag fly a little. The master stroke, as demonstrated by Elon, is adding a splash of self-deprecation.
I hope these thoughts help you in whatever journey you’re on. In Tesla terms, life’s too short to not be supercharged.