Elon Musk is truly an extraordinary human being – in fact I wonder if he’s human at all. How did Elon Musk develop his focus in order to create and manage the creation of all those great inventions and innovations? I think the answer lies in his ability to focus – both fundamentally on the big picture, and being able to plug out from the distractions.
Focus – the hidden gem of performance and fulfillment
Most of the people have more or less clear picture on the definition of focus. Focus is a center of activity, attraction or attention. Almost everybody naturally understands, that if we want to accomplish anything, we need to focus our cognitive abilities to the particular action. Without it, we are depleted and judged to nonperformance. Some cognitive actions come natural for us like driving. However, even they needed to be learned the hard way by endless repetition till we reached the point of routinization.
When we were kids, we played with magnifying glasses to focus the sun rays firing the poor ants. Unintentionally we discovered the power of focus. A single sun ray cannot do much harm to the environment, but if the rays become concentrated, the power is extraordinary. Similar technologies based on beam of rays are being developed in solar energy industry.
Fascinating learning is achieved only by cultivating of a focused behavior. And learning is a single characteristics that makes us more productive and valued on the market in 21st century.
Focus may be also the goal to fulfilling life. If we are able to plug out the eternal goings of our internal voice, we may achieve peace and conformity. Beyond the voice in our heads is the consciousness. It is the place where we truly sense the present moment – the timeless space without ego. Only focused aims will bring us to this clarity. And it is possible to do so through constant awareness (daily meditation).
When we speak about Elon Musk we think especially about high performance. I think there are two categories to speak about on how did Elon Musk develop his focus.
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – two categories of focus
Elon Musk is not a machine though. He is an extremely intelligent guy, but he’s made of bones and flesh. He works much harder than average people. But this is purely done based on his decision to follow his passion unconditionally. His passion is to change the world. There is not much more theory to be said. Simple difference between good and fantastic performers is in the level of their conditionality. What and how much there are willing to sacrifice for the cause. I heard it put much nicer tagging Steve Jobs in it. The difference between Steve Jobs and all the other good performing entrepreneurs is that Steve Jobs is dying. He is well – known for, how he made a death his pivotal point of motivation. So, when we are talking about performance, we have to talk about conditionality of our minds toward the main goal. Of course, another topic is happiness, which is a broader topic, but I sense that when we are talking about Elon Musk, we have performance and achievements in mind (not a spiritual, harmonious guy – although that does not exclude Elon Musk from being a happy person).
Focus could be categorized to
- Focus on your main goal
- Day to day discipline or art of focus
First is the category, which we see in Elon Musk’s life and we can easily understand that this is something that gives him power. He changes the world and builds all his skills and capabilities around it. You know like, when you are constantly bound or researching something in particular, your brain is automatically filtering the information connected to it. Say, when you aspire a career in software development, you somehow see the opportunities easier – you are attracted to advertisements, you filter the software development talks with more precision and so on. Someone who has no clue what the code looks like is never bound to such emotions. This is the principle the old law of attraction jazz is built on. Hence, Elon Musk constantly focused on things that helped him to make his passion his reality.
Second is the ability or rather a discipline to stay focused on day to day basis. Very important skill in 21st Century! Probably the most crucial. Here I would like to give some tips, what can help us to stay focused throughout the day (I am sure Elon Musk practices some of these things as well).
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #1 Eliminate distractions
Technology companies propagate us being connected anywhere, every-time. It is sure convenient, but working apps are not the only one we use. There are tons of digital and non – digital distractions that want to steal away our attention. We work in open spaces that are killers of focus. We are constantly looking into our self-phones, emailing, new pop – ups are being created everyday to steal our focus. This is probably no. 1 rule if you want to hone your focus skills. You have to become disciplined enough to turn off and ignore the attention thieves.
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #2 Pauses
You attention capacities need break. Famous, very trendy way how to operate is under pomodoro terms – the pomodoro app. You can eliminate the difficulty of going back to topic after a break by making a mental marker of your activity. There is a great free program for it called Anki.
How to use Anki can be viewed here.
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #3 Meditation and feeling the present moment
Meditation has been a widespread phenomena surrounded by a shaolin – like monks mystery. What it actually is, it’s the focusing of your capacity on the breathing or on the oneness – the single action of your Being. You breathe in, you focus, then you think about double headed rabbits and the next episode of Harry Potter written by artificial intelligence, but you stop thinking about it immediately and you focus on your breathing out again.
What I love to do for being focused on oneness or the sole present moment – no mental rant,
no bullshit is:
I am sure you heard about Wim Hof. I am a huge fan. If you are out there in the cold water, 4 degrees Celsius – you have no time to think about your boss or neglecting, arrogant people. You need to focus on pure breathing and survival. Otherwise you perish. Give it a try!
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #4 Enjoy the time with yourself
This is the time for positive mental practices. Practice positive affirmations. Make sure they are connected to your circumstances, that you can truly relate to them. You have to 100% believe that they are true. Dedicate at least 30 minutes of your day to positive affirmations.
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #5 – Healthy Lifestyle, taking care of your body
I wrote a book for this topic – you can get it here – Decide to have a great body.
How did Elon Musk develop his focus – #6 – Caffeine is good, but sip slowly
There are studies that coffee is good for us and we may have up to 3 per day, but too much at once gives you a high that ends in a focus crash.
A concentrated focus is always the best attention tool for the job when you’re looking for a creative insight. Just think about how Steve Jobs was focused to his task, when he neglected his own daughter in order to fully focus on apple. For innovative thinking it’s best to immerse first yourself in the problem with full focus, but remember to take breaks. For your optimal focus you need to either have a sense of purpose – that is to know the focus of your ultimate goal. And you need to cultivate focus as a discipline necessary for success in 21st century – avoid distractions, returning to yourself (meditation, affirmations), take breaks, and live a healthy lifestyle.