How Elon Musk Deals With Stress (According To His Ex Wife)

How Elon Musk Deals With Stress (According To His Ex Wife)

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In response to a Quora question, “How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson?” Justin Musk, Elon Musk’s ex wife shared her thoughts.

“Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things,” she explained. While you don’t “have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle,” you do have to be extreme. Not only extreme, but obsessed. “Be obsessed. Be obsessed. Be obsessed.” she urged.

Don’t forget to play your ace cards too. Lean in to what makes you, you. That’s what extreme people do, and it works. “They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths,” she explained, speaking of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Richard Branson. “They transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage,” she said. They “seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.”

Justine Musk’s advice to founders on how to deal with stress

Where stress is concerned, she had some more advice, presumably learned from eight years of being married to Elon Musk. “Learn to handle a level of stress that would break most people.”

For Elon Musk, it’s not about avoiding stress. Not trying to reduce it. Just being able to handle more. Expanding your comfort zone and reframing what counts as stressful.

How do you do that? It starts with purpose. “Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge; a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying,” she explained. Play the long game, because “it might take years to find that problem.” You have to “explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.”

Extreme people get extreme results. Face stress head on, and don’t let failure hold you back. Successful billionaires reframe it all. “They do not fear failure — or they do, but they move ahead anyway,” added Musk, who said that these people will experience spectacular and often very public failure, but “find a way to reframe until it isn’t failure at all.” This unique experience means they “learn things that other people don’t and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.” Pressure cracks eggs but makes diamonds. You get to decide what it does to you.

Follow Elon Musk’s example: How should founders frame stress?

Learn how to handle a level of stress that would break most people, because you’re not most people. Reframe what you see as stressful, expand your comfort zone, and strive for achievement and excellence, not drama and turmoil. Accept that problems and challenges will continue to come your way when you build your business, grow your audience, and push the boundaries of your potential.

Stress doesn’t have to break you. No adverse news, macroeconomic shocks or trolls on the internet should cause you worry or make you lose sleep. Anger, fear and anxiety don’t belong in the world of a founder looking to make a difference. Whether you love or hate Elon Musk, give his method a try. The growth you seek is outside your comfort zone.

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