In Musk, I Trust

by Maricel

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elon

Elon Musk: the epitome of hard work and indestructible determination. In him, I trust.

 

Elon Musk is everything I ever aspire to become. His passion and dreams for the world is remarkably insane but in ways that advance not his personal interest but the good of many. For us who trust in his belief that we can become a space-bearing civilization or a multi-planetary species in the future, every progress SpaceX has achieved with regards to space exploration awaken in us a sense of affirmation that “our” dream can happen because someone is building it for us. Someone is finally doing something into making it a reality.

It’s been almost 50 years since humanity first took a step beyond our Earth. We have lost many great minds and great ideas had gone to waste after Apollo 11. We have not materialized any concrete plan to advance space exploration after the moon landing and I’d say that made me personally sad.

When people read about my intro here and in some of my social media accounts, most would laugh at the idea that I am aspiring (yes, I still am) to become an astronaut. I applied for Mars simulation programs for next year and in any space program I come across on the web. Got no word yet. I am not giving up. Even Bill Nye did it four times and got rejected everytime.

Well, even before I learned what Physical and Earth Sciences were exactly about, I was already talking to myself (sounds crazy, right?) while I looked up at the sky at night and wonder if we would ever make it to another star or another galaxy beyond ours. I was wondering what those lights are actually made of and if there are some life forms beyond Earth . As I looked at the sky, I would imagine someone from a million light years away watching his sky and thinking of the same thing I was thinking. I was five or six then. And at that young age, I knew I needed to be good at something, if not everything to accomplish what I dreamt. I have always loved Science and I knew it was the field I needed to take if I want to pursue my dream. I knew I needed to be good at it. To be really good at it.

So even without the parents to guide us around and teach us with our assignments and subjects in school, me and my siblings made it a habit to rely solely on ourselves to get things done. I have a brilliant brother which most of my classmates believed is an advantage for me, but what they do not know of is that he seldom helped me with what I need in school. Even if I’d tear up in front of him in an attempt to beg him to tutor me in Integral Calculus,  Strength of Materials and Thermodynamics, he hardly lift a gaze to see if I was serious. Why? Because I knew he wanted us (younger brother and I) to be independent and self-reliant. To live and work on our own means. To exert extra effort into doing what needs to be done and accomplished. We do, most of the times. We worked on our own… I worked on my own. I read a lot. I read just about anything in the hope that what I came across will eventually help me with my growth, in whatever way that can be.

In High school when I became exposed to encyclopedias and all reading materials available in the library, I found an innate love for reading biographies especially of scientists and world leaders, world history and literature and the Sciences (all of it, even if most of the time, I barely understood what the words and the ideas meant).

My memory was well nurtured when I was younger. I would surprisingly remember the exact details of something I read from somewhere even three years earlier. Some classmates would call me the walking encyclopedia back in school because most of them believed, I knew a little of almost everything. I was the silent girl in class and for them to engage me in the conversation, they often would ask something and I would reply based on what I remember. And that’s how the name tagging came into existence.

I cannot say that I have a terrible memory now. Perhaps because of the many things and responsibilities I juggle on a daily basis, my focus is compromised. And I ended up not having the memory as I used to. My countermeasure to overcome the threat of my failing memory (God forbid) is to engage myself in activities that induce and enhance memory retention and cognitive abilities.

1) Took some time off in silence every weekend.

 

I usually would get a lavender room diffuser in full relaxation mode, spray a light perfume on my pillows, grab my book and get lost in it while I’m in bed…with my coffee (yeah I know caffeine is not helping but that is something I cannot give up for now, forgive me). I also had been making progress on shutting down social media on scheduled days. I love my friends and the people I met there and they are important to me but just give me some time off to enjoy my “me” time, alright? I still love you all nonetheless.

2) Pursue a healthier diet.

 

I’ve cut down on meat and high calorie-foods since two years ago. As a result, I’m nearly only skin and bones now.

3) Get enough sleep everyday.

 

Although this is quite a challenge due to my work schedule, beginning this year, I have tried to get as much sleep as I can— about 7 hours a day compared to last year’s 4-5 hours. I catch up with friends from around the world on weekends or if there’s spare time in between. Kudos to me!

4) Learn a new brain activity
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Like learning a new language. This is one thing I have been pushing myself to do on a daily basis. And so far, I can be understood better than an Italian or a Spanish baby’s babble. Great progress, I must say :).

5) I alot a few minutes everyday for physical exercise.
 
Yes, and what I do actually is do some few yoga poses and that’s it. ( I hope this counts). I also would walk to the highway for like 15 minutes everyday.

6) Stop overworking my arse off.

If I can’t travel either with friends or family or just myself (or in my dreams), I set time for leisure even if it’s just getting my drawing materials into use. It’s good brain exercise. No more stick figures now. 🙂

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7) Foster healthy relationships.
Surround yourself with people who makes you feel good as much as possible. Socialize, interact, call a friend. In a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that people with more active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.
So I set time for social activities with friends, even if it is just unleashing my inner Adele or Mariah carey in a videoke.
It is good to be serious when you need to but never ever forget to have fun. Getting a pet if you can’t find a human companion to interact with (because you live outside our planet) would also help.

8) Choose happiness every day or you decide otherwise.
 

Happiness is a choice. We all have our bad days and most often we allow it to consume us, we allow it to ruin our day, we ruin the opportunity when you could be happy instead. Bad days, bad memories are part of our lives. They are there no matter how hard you avoid it, but you can change your attitude at how you handle these negativities. Either you stress yourself sulking about how bad your day (or life) has been or you embrace it. “It is a bad day so what am I gonna do about it?” You can choose to be happy, to find meaning and lesson even in the midst of tribulation. Be grateful that you have opportunities to grow mentally and emotionally even if these are from the bad experiences.

I realize lately there is no point getting yourself hurt by allowing the negativity to consume you. Life is too short not to be happy and make someone happy. Smile. Flex those face muscles. Laugh at yourself for your mistakes. Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “laughter… seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”
In Elon’s word, “Life is too short for long-term grudges”. 

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But since this is about Elon and his principles and how that makes him the man he is now, some of the points here would contradict his philosophy. He has been vocal about working so hard towards getting your goal, even at the expense of sacrificing sleep. He doesn’t mind getting a call at 3AM on a Sunday and how he don’t want to take a week off from work. To me, these habits are insanely ludicrous and exhausting, making one ineffective. But he proves to me, and the many naysayers, wrong. 

You just gotta love what you do so it won’t feel like it’s work you are exhausting your energy, tears and sweat… and your time on.

My aspiration to become an astronaut continued to grow until High school years. And then something happened that made me reassess myself and my capability to make that dream a reality. I lost my confidence into pursuing Science in college. I digressed from my childhood dream. So instead, I took up an engineering course. And then I almost forgot, I first fell in loved imagining myself in outer space with my space suit looking back at my planet, than designing and calculating work systems and methods confined in an air-conditioned office.

There are people like Musk and others who are venturing into the space travel industry. But what sets him apart from the rest is that, Musk took his vision and launch it into action. He makes the dream real and he is making great progress on that respect with every successful launches SpaceX is making. Furthermore, he never gave up on pursuing his beliefs, ever. His story before he became what he is now is truly remarkable of a hero. He was like being pounded on the anvil for too many times already that quitting to him, is never an option.

I drew my inspiration from him. I am putting my trust in Elon because I saw in him what I cannot do for myself in years—to fight for what I truly love; to take action and move forward; to change the world for the better by trying whatever you can to accomplish that goal. To just try and never give up trying.

I’d often say I am willing to go on a Mars mission in the future and I am not kidding, folks. If I am not able to do that, at least, I would love to see it happening in the course of my lifetime. And I know it will happen because I trust the Iron Man would make it happen.

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