I have been wanting to review Maye Musk’s book, A Woman Makes A Plan for some time now. I actually planned to buy it but it came to me as a gift. This sat as a draft in my blog for a good minute. I think a part of the reason why was that I hope that I can write a review worthy enough of this book–a review that will encourage you to not just buy the book, but to fully accept yourself as well.
In this review, I share aspects of things that have happened to me because reading this book brought back some memories. They reminded me of parts of my own life that I survived even though Maye and I have had very different life experiences. Her words are proof that you can survive if you choose to.
I can’t write this without addressing the topic of her son, Elon Musk. Elon is a product of his environment and I mean this in a positive sense–Maye Musk raised her children to be good people who care about others. Elon Musk cared enough about a total stranger on Twitter that he encouraged her when she was down. That stranger was me back in 2018.
A short version of that story is that I was literally going through my own hell. My marriage ended and my husband kicked me out with one suitcase filled with a mix of clothing, my mineral collection, and jewelry making supplies.
I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for the support of my friends and Elon Musk, who had shared the open letter I’d written to him. It was linked to my old website (my ex took it down as a way to hurt me) and the jewelry sales that came in from his followers discovering me kept me fed and helped me survive.
This later led me to my work with CleanTechnica and I’ve been supported by not only Elon but Maye and even Kimbal–all three have shared articles that I’ve written. This really warms my heart to think about–and fills me with love and gratitude. I hope that by reviewing her book, that you are able to see a glimpse of just how strong, kind, and graceful Maye Musk truly is. And I hope that you buy her book.
And when you read Maye’s book, you will understand why it was so easy for some random woman on Twitter to interact with one of the most famous, yet kindest people on the planet. Elon Musk’s whole demeanor was shaped by Maye Musk whose kindness and grace endured despite her struggles.
And she has struggled. Many think that Elon Musk is just some out of touch billionaire who has never had to struggle like the everyday poor American–someone like me who had to endure a few Louisiana summers without air conditioning because we couldn’t afford electricity.
This misconception is fueled by a mixture of hatred for someone’s success and his boldness when it comes to his work with both Tesla and SpaceX.
Following Elon Musk on Twitter has led me to his mother.
#tbt Part 1:— Maye Musk (@mayemusk) June 25, 2020
As children, my parents wanted me and my twin-sister, Kaye, to be prepared for anything in life, as they had been through the Great Canadian Depression and their families had lost everything. How they survived is in my book.#AWomanMakesAPlan 📖#ItsGreatToBe72 pic.twitter.com/qZb4lK1irz
I’ve had to wade through some of the harshest and meanest comments that are aimed at his whole family by some of the critics who simply hate Elon Musk for no real reason other than pure jealousy. These critics haven’t read Maye’s book and in my opinion, they should.
A Few Takeaways From Maye’s Book.
I am not going to give away the whole book, but I will share some of my thoughts on topics Maye has shared.
Elon Musk’s Mentality On Failure.
Elon Musk is well-known for his thoughts on failure. These thoughts helped me to really see myself in a new light when I first came across Elon Musk as a topic rather than a person.
In her book, Maye addresses failure as well. She writes about how things have gone wrong too often in life and that you had to make a plan. Sometimes these plans don’t work, but you can’t give up. You have to keep planning. When one plan fails, try again. It sounds complicated and hard, but Maye makes it easier to fight that mentality by pointing out that you just have to plan that first step.
Too often, we are held back by our fears and many don’t take the first step. I think that Maye’s pushing toward that first step no matter what happens is where Elon Musk got his drive to never give up from.
Maye struggled, and when I say struggled I mean that she literally had it bad. There were quite a few times where she had to start over and doing this while caring for three young children is really hard.
There were times where she didn’t have money for clothing. There were times where she had to accept the kindness and help from strangers. She also had to learn to ask for what she wanted–something I think that society, in general, teaches us not to do for fear of being or seeming selfish.
When you read her book and see just how badly she struggled yet managed to come out on top and with a smile on her face, it will inspire you. I can relate to her struggles. I’ve gone hungry before. I’ve had to run after buses (not in the snow, though) and I’ve even caught one to work during a Category 3 hurricane in 2005 (Hurricane Rita).
Maye shared some aspects of the abuse she endured while married. To be honest, after reading what he did to her, I really wanted to slap him. I was married to an abusive husband, also, but one who used his mind and my own emotions to wound me.
My mother always focused on teaching me to never let anyone touch or hit me and if they did, to “put them down and keep them down.” As a result, when I first got with my ex, I told him that if he ever laid a hand on me I would kill him. When it came to defending myself, I had no problem. I’d even fought off a guy with a gun once. I didn’t find out the reason why my mother drove me to fight back so hard until after she’d died. My birth was the result of her being raped.
Although I have never been in a situation where I feared that the person I was living with would kill me or hurt me, I can empathize. I am not going to say, “I would have done this or that,” because if you have never experienced a situation, you truly don’t know what you will or won’t do until it happens.
Her story of how she married him was also hard for me to digest. However, this had happened during a different time where women usually didn’t stand up for themselves as I was taught to do.
I will also say this about abuse: I used to wonder why a woman would never leave if her husband or significant other was abusing her. This was before I got married. When you are bonded with someone emotionally and mentally, that bond is more binding than the physical bond.
You literally have to break those bonds. In my own case, mine was broken for me when my ex kicked me out of our home and I was left to fend for myself. He claimed he had to go to court in another country. Instead, he was dating several women in two different countries. I was devastated, but in the end, I had to face the fact that I was psychologically abused.
Accepting this fact was one of the hardest things I’ve done–it meant that I had to admit that I allowed this to happen to me. I allowed someone to abuse me, a strong person who would fight until the death if I had to. It was hard and painful.
My case was completely different from Maye’s yet each person’s situation is never truly the same as another’s. In my case, I had to make a plan to survive. I almost didn’t make it–I almost took my life over it. It was a tweet from Elon Musk replying to me at that exact moment that stopped me. The notifications from my phone literally took my attention away from the pills in my hand–pills that I was about to pop.
Maye talks about how you need to plan–it doesn’t have to be a detailed plan that covers a large amount of time. You need to take that first step. My first step in that plan was choosing to live through the pain of being completely broken down.
Maye Musk is a superstar and she didn’t get there by having it easy. She literally had to build herself up. Surviving abuse means healing from the years of programming that has been done to you. When you are told things like “you can’t survive without me,” over and over again, you eventually believe it on a subconscious level.
My ex said that to me a lot. Hers did too–she shared it in her book. Her constant fear was losing her kids. Mine was ending up like my mother–chronically homeless.
My mother was homeless a lot throughout my childhood and even when I took care of her in Atlanta, there were times we slept on the streets because my two jobs weren’t making enough to pay rent. It wasn’t until my boss found out and paid our rent that I was able to get us both stability up until she died from heart disease.
Both of our husbands–mine and Maye’s, used our fears to try to bring us down. Instead, we both excelled in our own ways. However, I feel as if I owe a lot to her son for his encouragement and kindness toward me. And that is extended to her as well–for she is the one who taught him to be the way he is.
Rebuilding yourself is really hard work, but it is so rewarding. It’s one of those things that you literally have to program yourself to do. Our brains are computers, so we need to be mindful of that when we talk to ourselves, wonder about things aloud, or even choose a song to listen to. Words have power on the atomic levels.
Maye’s Choice In Naming The Book.
Maye had a different name for her book at first. It’s a name that conveyed defeat. I think she wanted this because it represented where she came from. It was her story of struggle and survival, after all.
However, she changed the title to A Woman Makes A Plan and I think this was the best move. Words have power and her story is still true regardless of the title of her book. However, when you pick up the book, you know for sure that not only did she survive, but she came out on top. You know this from the title of her book.
Think about it, a best-selling book titled A Woman Makes A Plan is proof that the plan she made worked.
“I am telling you my story because if you are in a dark situation, I want you to know that there is a way out of it,”–Maye Musk
Maye’s words of wisdom come from her endurance, struggles, love, family, success, and entire life. She ends her book by confirming something that I’ve recently just learned. Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a choice–one we must make daily.
People don’t realize this. They think that if they get this car then they will be happy. Or if they get married, have the white fence and the house, then they will be happy. They think you have to do something to be happy when in fact, you can skip over the doing and just be happy.
It sounds so hard, but one thing I’ve learned is to be grateful. Take a few moments to give things for all the good things you have in life right now. You’ll start to feel that warm glow of happiness and security for where you are currently.