Elon Musk has been considered one of the brightest minds of the 21st century.
He was born in South African but he is now an American entrepreneur as well as a successful businessman. He founded X.com which is now PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
In 2016, Elon Musk purchased SolarCity and later took on the role of an advisor in the early days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Elon Musk has as at now completely changed transportation and energy forever. His biggest vision is to take man to Mars.
If you live in Elon Musk’s world of endless possibilities and thus believe something with all of your heart, anything can be possible.
Elon Musk is someone whose views on emerging technologies can inform us today on what to do in education.
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Following are 31 quotes from Elon Musk and some thoughts on how they can apply to education:
- Education is about changed.
“In college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world. Now I am.”
Have you ever wondered what real education is before? It is about drawing out or helping one to achieve his or her potentials.
Education is also about teaching students how to search for information to solve their own problems.
You have a responsibility to make your nation a better nation in which to live, you have a responsibility to make life better for everybody.
Therefore you need to strife for change by being educated. With proper education you can bring in the change you want to see in the world.
- Learn even when you don’t feel like.
“If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial.”
If you are or has ever been a student before, you’ll agree with me that on some days taking a book to learn is never easy.
Most of the time, students are taught several subjects in school. Mathematics, English, science, art, etc. and one must study all these before exams. As you study though you might think you’re not going to use all of these in life, but the mere learning of these subjects opens your mind more and prepare you for the future that’s awaiting you.
- Question and Research.
“I would just question things… It would infuriate my parents… That I wouldn’t just believe them when they said something ’cause I’d ask them why. And then I’d consider whether that response made sense given everything else I knew.”
Most teachers discourage students from asking questions in fear that they might be disgraced. Likewise some parents also dictate to their kids and so do not allow free conversations at all. For kids to be able to grow up well and face the realities of life, they’ll need to be taught how to ask questions freely and to make research on subjects relevant to the topic.
- Set good example.
“I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using other people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself.”
Parent and teachers must set good example to young ones. Do you want your child to improve his reading skills, why not schedule your time and be reading to him every night? As he sees you reading and pronouncing words correctly he will then begin to appreciate the importance of reading and will start to pick up.
Teachers must also know that students are modelling their behaviours whether good or bad. Try to always report on time, communicate well, support and motivate your students.
As you do this you are providing a good model for your students to follow.
- Study hard.
“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
Elon mask said “work like hell”, I say “study like hell”. How does your daily school life looks like? Going for lessons, break, extra curricula activities and home? That to me is a normal routine. To be a successful student, depends on what you do before and after your normal routines.
For example, do you bring homework’s, projects and assignments home from school? Why not spend your evenings working on those projects and have a revision the next morning before school.
- Aim high.
“I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it, and you’re like, ‘Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?’”
Parents should always help their kids to aim high in school. Think he can do better in maths? Why not encourage him to aim for B instead of C. by so doing your child would realize that there is no limit to what he can achieve and that would boost his or her confidence in life.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said if you set out to do a job, do that job so well that nobody can do it any better. If it falls on your lab to be a street sweeper, Sweep Street like Michael Angelo painted pictures, Sweep Street like Shakespeare wrote poetry, Sweep Street like beltoven compose music, Sweep Street so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pulse and say here lives the great street sweeper who swept his job well.
Kids need support and encouragement to aim high in school and in life.
- Be positive.
“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.”
You are what you think about most of the time. So if you want to change your outer world, then you’ll need to change your inner world first by working on your thought.
It is what you think about that you’ll act on. And is what you act on whether good or bad that will bring you the result you want.
Therefore only concentrate on that which you want to manifest in your life. As you start your day, think through how you want your day to go.
What lessons do you have? How do you plan of having these lessons? As a teacher what questions do you intend asking your students? What learning environment do you want to experience today? As you go through your day in your mind you will become more positive and be looking forward to a better day.
- Find your learning style.
“People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”
Everybody learns in a slightly different way. Some learn by listening, others learn by watching and few by doing. It is a well-known fact that most schools teach by listening. Teachers must therefore identify their students learning style and tune their lessons to meet the child’s need.
Kids learn best when they are taught in a way that meet their learning style.
Sometimes it may even do away with labels such as ADHD, dyslexia or other learning disabilities.
- It is not going to be easy.
“Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death.”
Don’t think that you can lie in bed, watch TV all day and still expect our grades to improve automatically.
Nope. It doesn’t work that way. Does it?
You will need to wake up at odd times, study materials and subjects you don’t like and sometimes even distance yourself from friends and relatives if the need be to get what you want.
It is not always easy but you can make it.
- Conquer fear.
“I wouldn’t say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I’d like my fear emotion to be less because it’s very distracting and fries my nervous system.”
Every successful person has experienced fear at one time or the other. The question is not whether or not you are afraid but whether you allow the fear to conquer you.
The most terrified period especially is when you have exams to take. For Some fear affect their grades and makes them perform poorly. Some also get sick and sometimes are even admitted all because of fear. The only way to conquer fear is to confront it.
Get yourself ready, study hard and always prepare ahead of time for an exams. Confront your fears and in no time you’ll overcome fear.
- Be balance.
“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”
Usually when something goes on wrong in school and students performance drop drastically, all fingers are pointed to the teacher. Ask a teacher and he/she will also point back to the parent.
Who is to be blame?
This is without a question a balance game.
Parents must understand that they are their child first teacher from home. And as such they have a role to play in their childe education.
Teachers must also understand that at school they act as parents to their student. Hence they must not think that their job is only to provide academic help but rather they are also to love, support and motivate their student.
Also as a teacher, you stand in a position of becoming a role model to your students. Knowing this should help teachers to set good example for their students.
- Learn from experience.
“I think most of the important stuff on the Internet has been built. There will be continued innovation, for sure, but the great problems of the Internet have essentially been solved.”
It is interesting to note that, most problems that you will encounter in school being it behavioural or issues related with your studies as a student has been dealt with already in the past. It becomes your job then to find out how and where to find this information and then apply it appropriately to your situation.
Take for instance that you have an exams to write, instead of going through all text books, syllabus, notes, study guides and probably difficult hangouts, why not take a look at some past questions related to that specific paper?
As you check through, you will notice that some specific questions for the past years have been repeated over and over again. These questions being likely examinational questions may have similar pattern.
Study these questions carefully, understand them and notice how their answers have been presented to meet the examiner’s standards.
This turns to make your exam preparation easier, simpler and stress free.
- Be focus.
“When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.”
Success in education does not always come as easy as you may think. Sometimes you will win but on other times you’ll fail.
Sometime people will praise you but on other times you will be criticized. People you respect, family and friends may even discourage you without even knowing.
But in spite of all these you must stay focus.
If you can’t fly, run.
If you can’t run, walk.
If you can’t walk, craw,
But by all means keep moving.
- Don’t follow crowd.
“You shouldn’t do things differently just because they’re different. They need to be… better.”
As a student, you must have as a basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your field of study. As you grow, you are going to be deciding on what to do or what your life work will be.
When you reach that cross road, never follow the crowd.
Once you discover what you are going to be, just don’t do it but do it well.
In this digital age, doors of opportunities are opening to young ones everywhere. Opportunities that were not available to their mothers and fathers and the great challenge facing you today is to be able to enter these doors as they open.
Study hard. Decide on what to do and do it well.
- You need a mentor.
“You have to say, ‘Well, why did it succeed where others did not?’”
Most of the time, the easiest way to succeed is to find somebody who has already done what you want to do and copy their formula. That is what we call mentorship.
The person you are copying becomes your mentor.
For example you can get a mentor in speech delivery, a mentor in calculation, a mentor in physical exercise and on and on. Most importantly the person must be willing to take your hand and guides you from wherever you’re to the place you want to be.
Why reinvent the wheel when it has been done already. Just find someone who has already done what you want to do and model them.
As simple as that.
- Learn to work with people.
“It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable.”
One thing that you’ll miss out in school once you’re out is friends you had and your association with them.
School is a great place to socialize, meet new friends and develop connections.
Have you realize that most people marry their school mates, others go into business with colleagues and even some are offered job opportunities on the spot, all because they’ve been mates or had attended the same school.
Never underestimate the power of socialization, connections and working with people.
Don’t isolate yourself.
Join a study group, club, and forums, and participate. Become an active member. As you do so you’ll surely begin to see the impact it will have on you and on the people around you.
You need me and I need you. Nobody is an island.
- Follow the rules.
“We have a strict ‘no-assholes policy’ at SpaceX.”
Every organization or institution has rules. In school yours may be to adhere to instructions given to you by your teacher, class master or the principal.
Instead of complain, follow the rules. If you have concerns, address it in a way that would not be offensive but in a form that will add value to the school.
Rules make you discipline.
- Test your answers.
“I think the best way to attract venture capital is to try and come up with a demonstration of whatever product or service it is and ideally take that as far as you can. Just see if you can sell that to real customers and start generating some momentum. The further along you can get with that, the more likely you are to get funding.”
Subjects like maths require one to tests his/her answers before using and such is life. For one to succeed you’ll need to test your decisions and confirm before final execution.
School is therefore the perfect avenue for practice.
- Don’t talk. Take action.
“As much as possible, avoid hiring MBAs. MBA programs don’t teach people how to create companies.”
Most people do less but talk more. Successful people talk less but do more.
Don’t bluffs of the A’s you’ll make in mathematics this year, work hard and let your success do the talking.
- Analyse and act.
“If something has to be designed and invented, and you have to figure out how to ensure that the value of the thing you create is greater than the cost of the inputs, then that is probably my core skill.”
Whenever you are presented with a solution, don’t just accept, analyse and compare issues in relation to what you know already and then come to your own conclusion.
That will make you an independent leaner.
Parents must also be advice not to solve their kid’s homework for them whiles they play. Rather let them work on their own and only step in after they’ve tried all means possible.
- Start with a need.
“I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX… It’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway.”
Teachers must always know their students’ needs before using a particular teaching method. All kids are not the same and everybody learns differently. It is your job to identify your students need bring to the notice of the school and parents to address the issues.
Never underestimate a child under your care. Here read this: Thomas Edison.
- Embrace change.
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
As you move from one class to the other, you will notice a change in the way lessons are taught, change of teachers and sometimes even change in seating positions. Change is unavoidable so instead of being frustrated just embrace it.
- Study all the time.
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”
It is true that sometimes picking a book to learn is never easy and sometimes you’ll feel lazy. But to succeed, you will have to study whether you feel like it or not.
A wise man once said ‘the height that great men reached and kept, were not attend by mere flight, but they, whiles their friends slept, were toiling upwards day and night.’.
So study hard and in no time, the sky would be your limit.
- Be Persistent.
“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
Most parents become discourage, some even suicidal after being told their son or daughter has a learning disability or needs a special education.
Some begins to ask, when will my child ever speak? Will his writing ever improve? When will this boy ever sit and learn.
If you are in this condition accept my sympathy. But understand that it is neither your fault nor your child.
Take the necessary action and wait. Never give up.
- Apply knowledge.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company.”
Don’t just acquire knowledge, apply it.
If you studied engineering, create something. If you studied marketing, find something and sell. If you read law, then find a case and pursue.
It is only by application will you see the benefit of the knowledge acquired.
- Know your goal.
“People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”
Goals make you learn better and smart as well. If your goal is to score A in science, your approach to research will definitely change, if your goal is to improve your speech, your approach to reading will also change. Get a goal and change your life.
- Request for feedback.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
In school your result serves as feedback to let you know how you’re doing.
From that you can begin to ask, how can I even do better in areas that I perform well? In those areas where I perform poorly, what lead to that and how can I improved on it the next time.
It’s only by having feedbacks can you be doing better.
- Affirm to yourself.
“I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”
What you say you are, you are. Therefore always say good things about yourself. If you wish to be successful in school, envision yourself as successful and address yourself now as you would be even when you don’t feel like it.
Such is how you are going to get what you want.
- Don’t pontificate.
“I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”
Don’t try to be good at everything, rather pick one or two and improve on that. It is better to be good in one area than to fail in many.
- Don’t be afraid of failing.
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
Have you notice that in school whenever you get something wrong, you are told to do it again? Yes because failure is an option.
Not always are you going to get things right especially as you’re starting.
It is therefore important for parents and teachers to teach kids how to fail and fail intelligently.
When this is done and done right, life in general becomes easy for the child.
- You must decide.
“What makes innovative thinking happen?… I think it’s really a mindset. You have to decide.”
Have you ever heard the saying ‘as a man thickest so he is’ before.
You are what you think about most of the time.
Think good thoughts and you’ll have good results.
Think bad thoughts and your life will mess up.
Your mind is the most powerful computer you’ll ever have in life, so only put in things you’ll want to manifest in life into your mind and never entertain things you don’t want. Such is the nature of the mind.
Elon Musk has been considered by Forbes magazine as one of the most influential young billionaires on the planet.
His many ideas, which initially were considered almost impossible to carry out, were the same ones that brought him to the big screen.
Feeling like you could save the world, too?
Hope you’ve got a ton of value from these quotes from Elon Musk.
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Know of any quotes from Elon Musk that applies to education?
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