I saw Falcon’s Heavy launch. This was the closest thing to a spiritual experience I’ve experienced in a long time. It is the kind of experience that makes you tear up, not out of sadness but because how triumphal it is.
Today I’m looking at Elon Musk as a hero. He is a hero. While I’m happy to say we share some traits, I know I’ll never be as successful as he is. I could be a blown up narcissist and I would still not give myself so much credit. Musk is changing the world. He is for the 21st century what Ford was for the 20th century.
Elon Musk and others like him are my hero. In 300 years from now, when we will have colonies on Mars, people are going to look back at today, where it all started. He will be seen just as important as Columbus, DaVinci or Washington in the history of humankind. For me and for millions of people around the world, he already is.
Yet, if you think about it, more people know who the Kardashians are than who is Musk. Is it fair that he’s building a better world for these people to benefit in? That’s beyond me to say.
What I know is that in 20 years, I want someone to look at my work and feel the same pride and joy about it as I felt today about the SpaceX launch. It doesn’t need to be a million people but if I can get 10.000 people to say that I’ve changed the world in a better place, I’m happy.
This thought is what drives me. Because of this I operate at almost intense levels of focus and productivity. I want to leave a better world behind me. I want to know that I’ve made a difference, not in one life but in tens of thousands or even millions. For this, I know my priorities quite well and I act on them. I don’t believe I have a duty to this world but I do believe that I have a duty to myself to set goals that are bigger than myself and that will take my entire lifetime, or more, to accomplish.
The highest joy I can experience is the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with doing the impossible. It is a form of muted adrenaline, where after giving it your all, you have finally reached your goal. You don’t even care about getting the reward anymore. The money or the fame that comes with success are not that even relevant anymore. Instead, you simply feel satisfied for doing the impossible – like a hiker who finally climbs his Everest.
And while I know I won’t even get close to the impact of the giants of industry, science and business, I take solace in knowing that we have something in common. We set impossible goals, that are unreasonable hard, where the odds are against us and we set to accomplish them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But when I do, there’s no better bliss.