When Elon Musk met Charlie Munger

October 6, 2016

Bless those people who take the time, energy, & effort to upload videos of great people to youtube.

There are channels like “Every Steve Jobs Video” and “Every Elon Musk Video” with detailed time stamps of topics discussed. For free! How great is the internet??

In one of those deep video viewing sessions, I heard Elon mention that he once met with Charlie Munger. Being a Mungaholic myself, my ears perked up.

I think all the great industrialists end up meeting at places like Sun Valley and exchange ideas. I’ve heard Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, & Jeff Bezos mention these types of gatherings.

So, Elon Musk met with Charlie Munger, one of the folks he admires, for lunch.
At that time, Charlie discouraged Elon from pursuing his electric car making idea. He said it’s a near impossible task to succeed in. Charlie was so discouraging that Elon felt a little depressed and down.

Fast forward a few years and now Elon musk has done the impossible. Make great, safe, desirable, high demand electric cars that everyone wants. And that’s the least impossible thing he’s doing. Ahem, Mars.

Charlie was recently asked about his conversation with Elon, I think at the Berkshire annual meeting. Charlie’s response was that he did indeed discourage Elon but there’s one thing he did not count on. That Elon is a certifiable genius. Anything is possible when a genius is involved.

This is a good cover by Charlie, but I don’t believe genius, the way he means it, is really a thing.

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are people who are connected with the forces of the universe and ones who aren’t. There are ones who bet it all, like Kipling says, on one turn of pitch and toss, and keep trying til they succeed. And if the mission is meant to happen for the good of the world, forces outside them come to help em succeed.

Calling someone a genius assumes it’s a rare genetic condition and not a cultivatable skill by you and I. “There is genius within you”, like Les Brown says. We just need to “Awaken The Giant Within”, as Tony Robbins says. Elizabeth Gilbert says that we aren’t geniuses, but rather we have geniuses helping us. Everyone has a genius lying dormant within, waiting for us to rub the lamp and set him loose.

I’m not saying this is easy or simple, it’s not, but it’s not impossible. So, even if one of our all time hero discourages us from what our heart sets upon, we should not get discouraged. Continue pursuing your dreams, like Santiago in The Alchemist.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
– Elon Musk