We are a month into 2021, and I wanted to switch things up a little bit and get away from the technical jargon of Tesla talk and move onto something a little lighter-hearted. Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he was taking a break from Twitter, and it inspired me to write a piece that wasn’t so focused on automotive development or batteries, and instead on something that it reminded me of.
Now, before I begin, I realize Musk holds a lot more responsibilities than I do. He is the CEO of several companies, he has a large platform, he has hecklers and botherers of proportions I cannot (and don’t want to) begin to imagine. The guy is under a microscope with every move, and I think it is perfectly reasonable that he took a break from social media, even if it was only for a few days.
It reminded me of how last Summer, I decided to take a break from social media. The only thing I kept was Twitter, and it was only for work. I deleted Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, and I found it extremely refreshing. I decided that it was time to do a little bit of self-reflection, and instead of finding things through my phone for entertainment, I decided to do a slight dopamine detox and challenge myself to fight “boredom” in my spare time, and I found the effects to be very advantageous for my mental and physical health.
Off Twitter for a while
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2021
As a 26-year-old, I am at the heart of social media. I can remember when MySpace was a thing in my high school years, I can reflect back on opening up my first Facebook account. I even have a few Twitter accounts that still exist from the early days when I was figuring out the platform. Now, I’m a bit older than I was then, but I have slowly found myself finding the toxicity of social media to be more evident than I have in previous years. It is full of hypocrisy, hatred, criticism, and false glamour that many people simply do not have the time for. While it is used by basically everyone on Earth with an internet connection, it doesn’t mean it is great to be on constantly, and I must think that Elon, the guy who probably has more mental strength than most people, even needs to take a break and focus on himself every once in a while.
With that being said, I think there are a plethora of things that really went through my head when he announced his short-lived break. First off, I know I never want to be in the position he is in. I think about the lack of privacy he must have, and also how his critic base is likely as large as his support system. Unfortunately, there are people who find him to be unappealing, which is something I just don’t understand. However, I do know that even as someone in a position with such wealth and power, he has to feel that sometimes, social media is simply too much for even him to handle.
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I tried to take this lesson to heart earlier this week, and I realized that it is important to take a step back from who we are in our professional lives, and simply be human every once in a while. Many of us are lost in the daily grind of our careers. I know that, personally, I find myself up at night wondering how I can be a better writer. How can I break that big story? How can I make Teslarati a better outlet for news than it already is? These are questions I think anyone who gives a damn would ask themselves, with respect to their own careers. It is the kind of mindset my parents instilled in me as a child: Hard work and dedication pays the bills. You can be whoever you want to be if you set your mind to it, and I always told myself that I would be a journalist eventually, I just didn’t know when. Luckily, I got the shot when I was 24, and I’ll never look back.
As we all live in a world full of the latest and greatest technology, many of the readers of this newsletter owning perhaps the greatest piece of technology in our world right now, it is hard to get away from what we all use and love. It is hard, and it is understandable to think about life without it. But when is the last time you took a step back from everything and examined your life and how you are living? Take a step back from your work, your connection to so many others through the internet, and examine your serenity and how you feel without it. It will probably be refreshing.
Many of us are not under the level of stress that a Tesla CEO feels, and many of us will never feel that stress. But it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a break. It doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to set your phone down for a few days and just be by yourself with your own thoughts.
The last few nights, I have been reading “As A Man Thinketh,” by James Allen, a book I read several times a year. A few lines of it really inspired me to write this newsletter, and I want to share those lines with you all. The lines reminded me of Elon’s reflection on the 2017 “production hell” episode of Model 3 manufacturing, and how the critics are still vocal and plentiful. While Elon admits there are times where buying a Tesla vehicle is not favorable to the consumer, he is still doing his best to solve these issues.
“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, ‘How lucky he is!’ Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim, ‘How highly favored he is!’ And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, ‘How chance aids him at every turn!’ They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; they have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it ‘luck.’ They do not see the long and arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it ‘good fortune,’ do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it chance. In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized. The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart–this you will build your life by, this you will become.”
So with this, I want to say, grind while you can, but take breaks when the time is right. You have this one life, so don’t get lost in your work. Enjoy the good times. The work we put in brings us the fruits of life, but make sure that you take the time to enjoy those fruits.
They won’t be ripe forever.
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