Elon Musk recently did an AMA on Reddit and here are some gems from what he answered:
Qn: What daily habit do you believe has the largest positive impact on your life?
Elon Musk : Showering
Qn: How do you learn so much so fast? Lots of people read books and talk to other smart people, but you’ve taken it to a whole new level.
It seems you have an extremely proficient understanding of aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, all various subdisciplines (avionics, power electronics, structural engineering, propulsion, energy storage, AI) ETC ETC nearly all things technical.
I know you’ve read a lot of books and you hire a lot of smart people and soak up what they know, but you have to acknowledge you seem to have found a way to pack more knowledge into your head than nearly anyone else alive. Do you have any advice on learning? How are you so good at it.
Elon Musk :
I do kinda feel like my head is full! My context switching penalty is high and my process isolation is not what it used to be.
Frankly, though, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.
One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.
Qn: You seem to have had to deal with a tremendous amount of adversity in a few of your ventures. Do you have any advice for those dealing with seemingly insurmountable adversity?
Elon Musk : There is a great quote by Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
And while SpaceX has delayed the launch, Elon Musk continues to inspire several entrepreneurs/geeks!. Here is wishing them a lot of showers!