Elon Musk “people often live by analogy”

Oftentimes the key to creating happiness and success has little to do with how hard you work and everything to do with how you think. Creating a set of thought processes is what divides you from those who achieve their goals and those who do not. Let’s discuss how you can utilize first principles thinking in your life and work.


First principles thinking

First principles thinking, is one of the most effective strategies you can employ for breaking down complicated problems and generating original and lasting solutions. It might also be the single best approach to learn how to think for yourself.


First principles thinking forces you to think like a scientist. It is the act of boiling down a process or assumption down to the fundamental parts that you know for a fact are true and building your solution up from there.



“it is important to view knowledge as a sort of semantic tree.

Make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches,

before you get into the leaves/ details or there is nothing for them to hang on to”

– Elon Musk


To efficiently boil down a problem or issue to its fundamental truths, you must first know what those assumptions are. Here are some examples from everyday life:

  • Growing my business will cost a lot of money
  • I must struggle and starve to become a successful artist
  • I just can’t find enough time to work out and reach my weight loss goals

Focus on Function Not Form

Focus on the function of what you want: happiness / success and then relax a little in your approach. A million dollars in the bank won’t guarantee your happiness.

Many individuals focus on the circumstances and the things they think they must acquire and do to become successful. A lot of these assumptions do not even help them on the path to success. Not all businesses cost money to create or improve. Struggling does not necessarily mean you’re going to be a great artist and you are most likely not spending all your waking hours working.

Be strong in your goal but flexible in your approach.


Once you have the fundamental truths of an issue you can then reconstruct. Putting the core pieces back together in a more effective way.

  • Find out how much money you need to grow your business and find a more cost effective way
  • Find a way to make money through another avenue of your art NOW
  • Start with a small amount of exercise you can manage each day (10mins jump rope) and build from there.


“Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations.”

-Elon Musk


Therefore, do not copy. Create.

Deconstruct + Function + Reconstruct = Happiness & Success