Life's Inspiration

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Interview of Elon Musk at Code Conference 2016


When I wrote my post about my New Year Resolution, I mentioned that I had just listened to the audiobook of Elon Musk's biography.  Before reading the biography, I was vaguely familiar with this CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, but didn't really know very much outside of that.  But having read the book, Musk has become my inspiration.  What he's doing for humanity is certainly no footnote...in fact, I would argue he has made a bigger impact in transitioning humanity from burning fossil fuels to using sustainable energy than any other one person.  However, that is not really why he inspires me so much.

How he truly inspires me is how he approaches life.  In the interview above (if you have the time, watch the whole thing!), about 13 minutes into it, he says, "Life can't be just about solving problems; there have to be things that are inspiring and exciting that make you glad to be alive."  I believe I'm the first person on the web to point out this quote specifically and hopefully, it'll be more widely circulated, because I think it's great.  Although I would have to say life is actually even more than just having inspiring and exciting things, I don't think it's too shabby from a secular perspective.  It's really about finding passion in the things that you do.

Ask yourself this, "In my work, am I just solving problems?  Or does my job inspire and excite me, and makes me glad to be alive?"  If the answer is "just solving problems", then maybe it's time to re-evaluate your career choices.  Throughout my not so long/short life, I've flip-flopped between the two ends of the spectrum.  On one end, work and career is really just a means to making a living; life is much more than that.  On the other end, work and career is a big part of my life and I should be doing what I'm passionate about.  I think I'm closer to the latter right now in my life.  It is true that without my faith, family, friends, etc., it wouldn't matter much what I'm doing, but at the same time, if I were stuck in a job I hated, that would be a fairly bad way to spend a quarter of my life.

Perhaps as I age and as my kids are starting to understand things of the world, I want them to be able to learn from me the value of hard work, to not be satisfied with status quo, and to know that they can do great things.  I'm still finding my way there and I pray that God grants me this wish.  I end with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI, "The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness."


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