Elon Musk is one of the boldest entrepreneurs in the world. With PayPal he revolutionized the concept of online payments. Today, he runs three premier companies:
SpaceX: Space Exploration and Tourism
Tesla Motors: Electric cars
Solar City: Solar energy
But the secret of his brilliance lies in the way he perceives the world around him. He revealed the secret of how he learns faster and better than anyone else in the video below.
Basically, he adopted a way of thinking initially taught by Aristotelians and Kantians.
For most people, our thought process generally works on the basis of our ideas, experiences and then a comparison of both. However, this is not how Elon Musk’s thinking and perception pattern works. He believes that one should not use analogies but first principles to reason and think.
If we use the analogy for reasoning we are only following routine. In other words, you never really change the ‘core’ behind the analogy, you are just reshaping the same thing.
First Principles Thinking forces you to dive into the core, to understand how things work and why they work like that. Once you capture their essential principals you are looking at their true form, beyond the illusion. You understand them enough to create your own analogies. You are free to manipulate and change them, to make them work.
“I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [With analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there.”