Elon Musk—CEO of SpaceX and Tesla—was asked on a recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit how he manages to learn so quickly, especially since he is innovating in different industries and is successful in all of them. He replies:
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.
Let’s repeat this:
- You can do a lot more than you think you can.
- You need a good foundation in the area you’re trying to master. I’ve already touched upon the topic last year.
The whole AMA is also interesting to read if you have time.