There Need to Be Things That Inspire You

In her recent blog post, Ali Montag, Elon Musk Explains His Motivation to Succeed: “There Needs to Be Things That Inspire You”, writes about Elon Musk and the mindset that inspires and fuels his success. As founder of SpaceX,  Musk’s current endeavor is to bring life to Mars. In a South by Southwest Conference in 2013, he humorously said: “I’ve said I want to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

To provide a framework  for her discussion, Montag introduces the article with the story of Ernest Shackleton, the famed Antarctic explorer: “When famed explorer Ernest Shackleton was recruiting men to come along on his 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the story goes that he published this ad for the job: ‘Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small Wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.’” The search for these early explorers, Musk says, will be much the same: “difficult, dangerous, good chance you’ll die, excitement for those who survive.” So are the challenges for great leaders on their journeys.

Montag captures Musk’s exciting, adventurous and success-focused mindset in the words: “focusing on optimism and rejecting limitations”. Musk has said: “You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great…. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past.” It is about “finding  purposeful work and focusing on the positive changes you can effect.” It is this inspirational  spirit of daring, risk-taking and ceaseless – of never, ever giving up – that drives the achievement of their life’s purpose..

Musk may be going to Mars as one stop on his journey. But he and other great leaders have their eyes on something greater… the stars and beyond. May this be the spirit that fills every morning wake-up in your life – to think and believe “the future is going to be great.” And it will be, because you will choose it to be.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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1 Response to There Need to Be Things That Inspire You

  1. Jack Beach says:

    Great leaders such as Ernest Shackleton and Henry V on St. Crispin’s Day in 1415, understand that you inspire not only by identifying the gains a mission offers but the challenge it requires. The Peace Corps’ slogan, “The toughest job you’ll ever love,” and an old Army recruiting advertisement, “We do more before 9:00 A.M. than most people do all day,” are more than catchphrases; these pronouncement challenge the target audience to dig deep inside themselves to see whether they “have what it takes.” These slogans motivate not through the promise of extrinsic rewards but by the challenge of the work itself. Such challenges offer something that cannot be coerced and that money cannot buy–the chance to see whether we “measure up.” Great leaders reach in and grab hold of that indomitable spirit—the desire to stand tall—that resides in each of us, and they do not let go.

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