He was bullied so much at school that he was once thrown down a flight of stairs, then beaten until he was unconscious and hospitalized.
But despite the outsider tag he had a passion.
Born in a small town in South Africa and to the son of a dietitian he had a love of reading.
His brother revealed that he read up to two books a day on a wide range of topics. That means he read 60 times the number books that most of us read in a month.
He completed 2 bachelor degrees and was selected to start a PhD at Stanford University. After two days he quit to start his entrepreneurial career.
By his mid 40’s he had started and built four multi-billion dollar companies. These are in four diverse fields of software, energy, transportation and aerospace.
His name? Elon Musk.
College is just the start
University degrees are a discipline and a framework for learning that can be a ticket to that dream job.
The tragedy? That is where most people stop.
They have been seen as the ticket to corporate or academic nirvana. But in a world that is always evolving and changing that is not an option as you need to keep learning and never stop. The other choice is to calcify and become irrelevant. But some of us do have a dinosaur gene or a success death wish.
You need to embrace a success habit that today is the difference between average and awesome.
It’s never been easier
Many people sign up for a degree and then progress to an MBA or even another qualification. Some never leave college. And that is what the typical pathway to business and corporate success has always been. Often it costs big bucks and you need to pre-qualify.
But the game is changing.
Education is now online and everywhere. The formal path is no longer your only option. Today there are no excuses to not be always learning.
What’s continuous learning look like?
Books are the distillation of the lessons of decades of life by the smartest people on the planet. And it is all packed into just a few pages. Between the covers you will discover what has worked and the key elements to their inspiration and success. But they are not the only means for insights and lessons.
We all have different learning modalities and preferences. Some like listening, others prefer watching and many of us love reading. So we all need to select our learning weapon(s) of choice.
Here are a few.
YouTube and video
My son is dyslexic and reading is tough. But when he looks up a video on how to play a guitar or mix music then he can learn. Online video lessons and “how to’s” have been a godsend for those of us who maybe don’t like reading or find it hard.
No longer do you need to get permission to be able to start a course, or achieve a certain grade to qualify. You can sign up for free and paid courses whenever you like.
Theses are the learning media of choice for many commuters, gym junkies and travellers. Want to learn faster? Crank up the pace and play at 2 times normal speed and it’s double the learning in the same amount of time.
Online publishing brings you the latest news and information without waiting for editors and the print copy to be distributed to your bookshop or store. So…….subscribe, read, curate, create and share.
We are transforming from a web world that is transitioning from an Internet of websites to an internet of apps. Some of these include Flipboard and Anders Pink. Technology and education have intersected.
Sometimes we need an information drip fed to our devices to facilitate education. Maybe we need a little inspiration reminder. Subscriptions to educational blog posts and websites can help.
Hanging with the smartest people in your industry for a couple of days can accelerate learning and transformation. These can cost but can tip you from ideas into action.
Some of us are using all of these.
This is where the magic happens
Absorbing the insights, lessons and the learning is one thing but making sense and structure is another. You need to take the fogginess of information and complexity and give it structure and clarity.
This means absorbing the avalanche of information. So…..writing it down and sharing it with the world is the next step. Powerful supercharged learning (and success) comes from creating and acting.
Elon Musk decided that a PhD was a luxury that was stopping him doing and implementing what he had learned.
What are your insights and tactics for continuous learning?