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12 Books That Influenced Elon Musk

12 Books That Influenced Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever seen. A widely successful man who was smart enough to get into a Physics PhD program at Stanford University and then dropped out because it didn’t seem that relevant to him. He is not only one of the smartest alive but also a persistent hard working man.

When asked about how he has learnt to build rockets. He has a simple answer: “I read books”.

In Elon Musk’s Bookshelf there are 12 books that shaped his character and make him wildly successful today. Surprisingly, science fiction and fantasy novels make up much of Tesla and Space X CEO’s reading list. Following are some of the books that influenced Elon Musk, inspiring him as a child and giving him heroes as a young adult.

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

During his upbringing in South Africa, Musk reported that he experienced tremendous looniness that he aimed to overcome by reading science fiction and fantasy novels. The books he read shaped his vision to save the world through the influence of the heroes portrayed on them.

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The lord of the rings

    2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

    Musk reported in an interview that he suffered a major existential crisis between the ages of 12 and 15. However, he could not overcome it until he stumble upon The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, which taught him that the hardest part was to properly phrase the question but that once this was done the answer was easy.

    Guide to the galazy

      3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson

      Musk was deeply inspired by Benjamin Franklin, a man who started from nothing and who was a runaway kid. Elon experienced a pretty similar story, growing up in South Africa, going to school in Canada and then transferring to UPEN to finally use an invitation to Stanford’s PhD program to land his feet in Silicon Valley.

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        4. Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson

        Musk learned a lot from Einstein’s biography. A struggling father who couldn’t get a job or doctorate became the man who explained the universe as we know it today. Through his reading, Elon was definitely inspired by a genius who transformed the world through his intelligence and ambition the same way he is doing.

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          5. Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down, by J.E. Gordon

          Musk is an entrepreneur, and as all successful people on the business of entrepreneurship he is a proactive man with an autodidact mindset. The following book helped him get started when he was launching Space X to form the basics he needed to learn about rocket science.

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            6. Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, by John D. Clark

            Ignition! is another book about rocket science that has the right mix of technical details, descriptions of experiments with spectacular results, background info about the why and how, and about the politics involved. It is a very engaging and uplifting book because Clark captured a lot of the enthusiasm he had for rockets.

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               7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, by Nick Bostrom

              Nick Bostrom explains his view on what would happen if computational intelligence surpassed human intelligence. Musk is a man of great curiosity who runs three extremely successful companies and who once tweeted “We need to be careful with  artificial intelligence”
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                8. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel

                “Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how” Musk once said in an interview. From the man he shared his first major breakthrough with when PayPal went public. Peter Thiel is one of the most successful man in the Valley and his book on How to build the future is just great.

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                  9. Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness, by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

                  A biography of the eccentric filmmaker and aviation tycoon who famously got a little nutty at the end of his life. But it’s easy to see why Musk would be attracted to Hughes, who worked in multiple industries and pushed the boundaries of flying.

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                    10. Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Orestes and Erik M. Conway

                    Musk recommend Merchants of Doubt in a conference back in 2013 when he also summarized the book as “Same who tried to deny smoking deaths r denying climate change.”

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                      11. The Foundation trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

                      Musk interest in space exploration roots from his early days reading science fiction. This is what he says the book taught him “The lessons of history would suggest that civilizations move in cycles. You can track that back quite far — the Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China. We’re obviously in a very upward cycle right now and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series of events that cause that technology level to decline. Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.”

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                        12. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

                        This award-winning science-fiction novel, originally published in 1966, paints the picture of a dystopia not too far in the future. It’s exactly the kind of vivid fantasy world that would satisfy an active imagination like Musk’s.

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                          Featured photo credit: Elon Musk via esteve.co

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                          Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                          15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                          15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                          You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                          Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                          A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                          Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                          So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                          1. Purge Your Office

                          De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                          Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                          Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                          2. Gather and Redistribute

                          Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                          3. Establish Work “Zones”

                          Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                          Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                          4. Close Proximity

                          Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                          5. Get a Good Labeler

                          Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                          6. Revise Your Filing System

                          As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                          What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                          Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                          • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                          • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                          • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                          • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                          • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                          • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                          • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                          Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                          7. Clear off Your Desk

                          Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                          If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                          8. Organize your Desktop

                          Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                          Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                          Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                          9. Organize Your Drawers

                          Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                          Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                          10. Separate Inboxes

                          If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                          11. Clear Your Piles

                          Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                          Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                          12. Sort Mails

                          Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                          13. Assign Discard Dates

                          You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                          Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                          14. Filter Your Emails

                          Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                          When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                          Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                          15. Straighten Your Desk

                          At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                          Bottom Line

                          Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                          Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                          Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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