By the age of 46, the man has built three multibillion-dollar companies, and this is his secret.
- It’s easy to link Elon Musk’s rapid success, ability to solve unsolvable problems, and genius-level creativity to his incredible work ethic.
- But during a one-on-one interview with TED curator Chris Anderson, Musk attributed to his genius-level creativity and success to a method of reasoning called first principles.
- First-principles thinking works like this: First, you identify and define your assumptions; then, you break down the problem into its fundamental principles; and, lastly, you create new solutions from scratch.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” –Albert Einstein
Step 1: Identify and define your assumptions.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” –Albert Einstein Here are some examples from everyday life in business, health, and craft. “Growing my business will cost a lot of money.” “I have to struggle and starve to become a successful artist.” “I just can’t find enough time to work out and reach my weight-loss goals.” When next you’re faced with a familiar problem or challenge, simply write down your assumptions about them. (You can stop here and write these down now.)
Step 2: Break down the problem into its fundamental principles.
Step 3: Create solutions from scratch.
“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.” –Mortimer Adler
Source: Inc., MAR 22, 2019