Elon Musk reveals experiencing thoughts of suicide during his childhood and contemplating the meaning of life.


In a recent interview at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York, Elon Musk opened up about a profound personal experience from his childhood, shedding light on the difficulties he encountered during that time.

Elon Musk has frequently discussed his challenging childhood. In May of this year, he shared a detailed tweet recounting his unhappy upbringing, disclosing that he resided in a one-bedroom flat in 1989. Recently, at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York, the tech mogul delved into a deeply personal childhood experience, emphasizing the difficulties he confronted as a child.

During the summit, Musk articulated grappling with what he termed an “existential crisis” in his early years, characterized by profound self-reflection and existential questioning. He revealed pondering questions such as, “What’s the meaning of life? Isn’t it all pointless? Why not just commit suicide? Why exist?”

The interview showcased Musk not merely as a business magnate but as a person navigating profound existential questions despite his towering success.

Musk’s childhood struggles are also detailed in his biography, released in September and authored by Walter Isaacson, the same writer behind Steve Jobs’ biography. Isaacson touched upon Musk’s school experience in South Africa, where he endured bullying. The book described a particularly harrowing incident at school where Musk was kicked, pushed down stairs, and beaten by fellow students.

Growing up in South Africa taught Musk how to endure pain, much of which seemed to stem from troubles at home. His parents, Errol and Maye, had a tumultuous marriage, often fighting in front of their children.

The biography also recounted Musk’s experience at a survival camp at the age of 12, known as veldskool. Participants were encouraged to fight over meager portions of food and water, leading to Musk being beaten and losing weight.

Isaacson portrayed Musk as ’emotionally awkward’ and smaller than other kids at the camp, highlighting Musk’s resilience in the face of adversity during his formative years.

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