THE CODE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY MIND
Welcome to this “The code of the extraordinary mind” summary. The ideas and techniques you’ll learn in this book are based on the best models and systems the author found for performance, growth, and success from years of working with experts in personal development and human transformation.
PART I: LIVING IN THE CULTURESCAPE: HOW YOU WERE SHAPED BY THE WORLD AROUND YOU
The culturescape sets up rules on how to love, how to eat, how to marry, how to get a job.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 1: TRANSCEND THE CULTURESCAPE Where We Learn to Question the Rules of the World We Live In
Welcome to the culturescape
We are living in two worlds:
There’s the physical world of absolute truth. This world contains things we’re all likely to agree on: This is the riverbank; rocks are hard; water is wet; fire is hot; tigers have big teeth and it hurts when they bite you. No arguments there.
But there’s also the world of relative truth. It’s the mental world of ideas, constructs, concepts, models, myths, patterns, and rules that we’ve developed and passed from generation to generation—sometimes for thousands of years. This is where concepts such as marriage, money, religion, and laws reside. This is relative truth because these ideas are true only for a particular culture or tribe.
They are simply not true for ALL human beings.
Vishen calls this world of relative truth the culturescape.
The world of absolute truth is fact-based. The world of the culturescape is opinion-based and agreement-based. Yet even though it exists solely in our heads, it is very, very real.
Stepping out of the culturescape
Realizing that the world you’re living in exists inside your head puts you in the driver’s seat. You can use your own mind to deconstruct the beliefs, systems, and rules you’ve been living with. The rules are very real in the sense that they actually govern how people and societies act, but very real does not mean very right.
The common thread between every extraordinary individual we’ll talk about in this book is that they all questioned their culturescape. They questioned the meaning of careers, degrees, religions, ways of living, and other “be safe” rules.
Transcend the culturescape. Extraordinary minds are good at seeing the culturescape and are able to selectively choose the rules and conditions to follow versus those to question or ignore. Therefore, they tend to take the path less traveled and innovate on the idea of what it means to truly live.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 2: QUESTION THE BRULES Where We Learn That Much of How the World Runs Is Based on Bulls**t Rules Passed Down from Generation to Generation
Brule: a definition
Brule: A Definition A Brule is a bulls**t rule that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world.
Brules are handed down by our tribe—often our family, culture, and educational system. When we aren’t sure what to do, we follow the example of those who came before us. When we look at them closely, we often find that Brules were imposed on us for convenience. To question and dissect these Brules is to take a step into the extraordinary.
Common brules worth challenging
1. The college Brule: college degrees aren’t as important as they once were.
2. The loyalty to our culture Brule
3. The religion Brule: “Spiritual But Not Religious.”
4. The hard work Brule
Five ways we take on brules
How did these brules get installed in the first place? They might come from
Childhood indoctrination, authority figures, the need to belong, social proof or our internal insecurities.
Question the Brules. Extraordinary minds question the Brules when they feel those Brules are out of alignment with their dreams and desires. They recognize that much of the way the world works is due to people blindly following Brules that have long passed their expiration date.
PART II: THE AWAKENING THE POWER TO CHOOSE YOUR VERSION OF THE WORLD
While level I was of a life within the culturescape. Level II is where you learn to create your own version of the world within the culturescape. At this higher level, your tool for influencing the world and creating your own growth is a practice Vishen calls consciousness engineering.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 3: PRACTICE CONSCIOUSNESS ENGINEERING: Where We Learn How to Accelerate Our Growth by Consciously Choosing What to Accept or Reject from the Culturescape
The author presents models and systems for how we can best understand ourselves and reach levels of potential we’ve only dreamed about. It’s within this context that he developed a model: conscious engineering. Consciousness engineering is an operating system for the human mind.
1- Your models of reality (your hardware)
Your models of reality are your beliefs about the world. Our beliefs truly do shape our world in a very real sense. But while your beliefs make you, your beliefs are NOT you. You can use consciousness engineering to swap out old beliefs, swap in new ones, and take on new understandings of the world that might serve you better.
When an old belief no longer serves you, you have every right to swap it out. Yet we don’t.
The single most effective model of reality you can adopt right now is the idea that your models of reality are swappable.
2- Your systems for living (your software)
Your habits, or systems for living, are how you put your models of reality into practice. If models of reality are the hardware of the human “machine,” systems for living are the software. They’re your activities and daily habits.
Practice consciousness engineering. Extraordinary minds understand that their growth depends on two things: their models of reality and their systems for living. They carefully curate the most empowering models and systems and frequently update themselves.
The limitations of today’s models of reality and systems for living
Our current models and systems have three limitations:
1. Our models of reality are programmed by the world we grew up in.
2. Our models of reality (good or bad) determine our systems for living. In short, bad beliefs create bad habits.
3. Our modern models and systems are lacking in conscious practices— we’re only just beginning to realize the power of our minds.
Leveling up our inner game
Changing a model of reality is a form of growth that often comes from epiphany or insight. It’s a sudden awakening or revelation that shifts a belief. Once you adopt a new model of reality that is superior to an older model, you can’t go back.
Changing a system for living, on the other hand, is a process change. It’s a step-by-step upgrade of a given process—as when you learn to go from riding a bicycle to driving a car as a means for mobility.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 4: REWRITE YOUR MODELS OF REALITY: Where We Learn to Choose and Upgrade Our Beliefs
When a model of reality changes, the way you operate in the world changes, too.
As he mentioned a few anecdotes, Vishen realizes different lessons:
LESSON 1: Our models of reality lie below the surface. Often we do not realize we have them until some intervention or contemplative
LESSON 2: We often carry disempowering models of reality that we inherited as far back as childhood.
LESSON 3: When you replace disempowering models of reality with empowering ones, tremendous changes can occur in your life at a very rapid pace.
Rewrite your models of reality. Extraordinary minds have models of reality that empower them to feel good about themselves and powerful in shifting the world to match the visions in their minds.
Healthier models for ourselves
Each disempowering model of reality we have is really nothing more than a Brule we’ve set up for ourselves—and, like any Brule, it should be questioned.
Vishen suggests a few exercises. At night, right before bed, think of one thing you were grateful for the day. Second, ask yourself: “What did I love about myself today”.
There is another exercise: the “What I love about myself” exercise: Think about what it is about you as a human being that you can love.
External models of reality
Your external models of reality are the beliefs you have about the world around you. The author recommends four new models as he went through life.
1. We all possess human intuition.
2. There is power in mind-body healing.
3. Happiness at work is the new productivity.
4. It is possible to be spiritual but not religious.
Examining your models of reality in the twelve areas of balance
These areas are: your love relationship, friendships, adventures, environment, your health and fitness, your intellectual life, your skills, your spiritual life, your career, your creative life, your family life, your community life.
Two tools to rewrite your models of reality
Question 1: Is my model of reality absolute or relative truth?
Question 2: Does this really mean what I think it means?
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 5: UPGRADE YOUR SYSTEMS FOR LIVING: Where We Discover How to Get Better at Life by Constantly Updating Our Daily Systems
Extraordinary people discover extraordinarily effective systems
Extraordinary people don’t just have extraordinary models of reality. They strive to ensure that their systems for living—that is, DOING what they do in the world—are well defined, structured, and continuously optimized.
There’s a three-step method for effectively upgrading your systems for living:
The discovery process: discover new systems from books, conferences or online courses.
Your refresh rate: Your refresh rate is how often you upgrade your systems for living.
Set points and measurement: How effective are your systems for living? Is your new system for living really better than a previous one? We’ll look at ways to measure and maintain the effectiveness of your systems for living as you discover and refresh them.
Exercise: your non-negotiable set points
A set point is simply a bare-minimum threshold you establish for yourself that you promise you will not go below. A set point differs from a goal. Goals pull you forward, while set points help you maintain what you have. You need both.
You can establish set points for anything important to you. And here’s a secret: You can use set points not only to prevent or reverse slipping but also to improve over time.
Step 1: Identify the areas of your life where you want to create set points.
Step 2: Determine your set points. Create set point targets for each of the twelve areas mentioned above.
Step 3: Test your set points and correct if you miss
Step 4: Turn up the heat—in a good way: When you slip off your set point, set a goal to get back to the set point plus a little bit more.
Upgrade your systems for living. Extraordinary minds consistently spend time discovering, upgrading, and measuring new systems for living applied to life, work, heart, and soul. They are in a perpetual state of growth and self-innovation.
As an example, the author takes Arianna Huffington. Her systems for living involve meditation, movement, gratitude, and setting an intention for the day.
PART III: RECODING YOURSELF: TRANSFORMING YOUR INNER WORLD
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 6: BEND REALITY: Where We Identify the Ultimate State of Human Existence
When you’re happy in the present moment and pulled forward by a vision for the future, your inner and outer worlds mesh seamlessly.
The author recalls a big epiphany he encountered in life: Stop postponing your happiness. Be happy now. Your thoughts and beliefs do create your reality, but only when your present state is joyful. He realized he was running on empty and the fuel he desperately needed was happiness. He did have much to be happy about, but he was so obsessed and stressed out about meeting their revenue goals that his dominant thoughts were fear and anxiety.
Have big goals—but don’t tie your happiness to your goals. You must be happy before you attain them.
Bending reality is so named because when you’re operating in this state, you tend to have a feeling that everything in life is bending in your direction, that you are effortlessly making things happen—and that anything is possible.
And so it’s a subtle balance:
1. You have a bold vision for the future pulling you forward.
2. Yet . . . you’re happy in the NOW. But here’s the key: BOTH of these stem from the present.
In the present moment, you’re in the field of possibility. How you engage with the present moment will direct your life.
At the same time, your happiness does not seem to be tied to that future vision. You’re feeling elated and happy right now, in this moment. And you’re happy as you pursue your vision, not only when you attain it. You’re thus grounded in the present.
The four states of human living
The two elements of bending reality
1- Be happy in the now
A key ingredient of this state is that your happiness is not tied to attaining your vision. It comes from the pursuit of your vision, combined with a sense of gratitude for what you already have.
Remember this: Your happiness cannot be tied to your goals. You must be happy even before you attain them. Doing so will make life joyous and full of play and bring your goals to you faster than ever.
Conversely, we shouldn’t do things so we can be happy. We should be happy so we can do things.
2- Develop an exciting vision for your future
Extraordinary people intend to leave a mark on the world. You want a vision for the future that speaks to your soul.
Finally, if you can choose any model of reality you want and accept it as true—why not choose a model that suggests that you can literally bend reality to your wishes?
Bend reality. Extraordinary minds are able to bend reality. They have bold and exciting visions for the future, yet their happiness is not tied to these visions. They are happy in the now. This balance allows them to move toward their visions at a much faster rate while having a ton of fun along the way. To outsiders, they seem “lucky.”
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 7: LIVE IN BLISSIPLINE: Where We Learn about the Important Discipline of Maintaining Daily Bliss
There is a simple system for mastering happiness in the now. We’ll discover it in this chapter. It combines spiritual mastery with the real-world desire to meet your goals and make your intentions come true. The author calls it Blissipline: the discipline of daily bliss.
Happiness matters because it can improve performance at your job. Good attitude yield better results.
How happiness happens
Vishen identifies three main sources of happiness:
Happiness from special and unique experiences, happiness from growth and awakening and happiness from meaning (Meaning is what we get from having a healthy vision for the future)
The path to blissipline: three systems for advancing your happiness levels
Blissipline System 1: The Power of Gratitude
Each day, take a few minutes to focus on the reverse gap—what has happened in your life that you’re grateful for?
Think about: Three to five things you’re grateful for in your personal life Three to five things you’re grateful for in your work life
Blissipline System 2: Forgiveness
Learn to forgive into love. While forgiving is difficult, try to learn from the experience. How did the situation make your life better? To Neale Donald Walsch: “[The universe] sent you nothing but angels.” It implies adopting a model of reality that everyone who has ever entered our lives, even those who have hurt us, are nothing more than messengers to teach us an important lesson.
Blissipline System 3: The Practice of Giving
List all the things you could give to others, drill down and get specific, think about where you could give help, follow your intuition, and take action.
Live in Blissipline. Extraordinary minds understand that happiness comes from within. They begin with happiness in the now and use it as a fuel to drive all their other visions and intentions for themselves and the world.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 8: CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE: where we learn how to make sure that the goals we’re chasing will really lead to long-term happiness
Dreams, visions, aspirations, goals—call them what you will—these are essential to an extraordinary life.
The dangers of goal setting
Too many of us pursue goals we think will make us happy—only to wake up one day in our forties, wondering what on earth happened to us as we find ourselves stuck in uninspiring, boring, stagnant lives.
“A good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” Scary and exciting are two beautiful feelings that good end goals often bring out. Scary is a good thing because it means you’re pushing your boundaries—that’s how you take steps toward the extraordinary. Excitement signifies that your goal is genuinely close to your heart—not something you’re doing to please someone else or to conform to society’s Brules.
The important distinction: means goals versus end goals
It’s a simple distinction, really, with four hallmarks to watch for.
How to identify means goals
Means goals usually have a “so” in them. Means goals don’t stand alone but are stepping-stones to something else. They’re part of a sequence.
Means goals are often about meeting or conforming to brules. Is your goal one you think you “should” meet as part of achieving your ultimate goal—for example, thinking that you should get a college degree in order to have a fulfilling job or that you should get married in order to have love in your life?
How to identify end goals
End goals are about following your heart. Time flies when you’re pursuing them. You may work hard toward these goals, but you feel it’s worth it.
End goals are often feelings. To be happy, to be in love, to consistently feel loving, to consistently feel joyous are all very good end goals.
The three most important questions
How to avoid the means goals trap? The author developed an improved goal-setting technique to get you there. He calls it the three most important questions.
The three most important questions
1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime?
2. How do you want to grow?
3. How do you want to contribute?
Create a vision for your future. Extraordinary minds create a vision for their future that is decidedly their own and free from expectations of the culturescape. Their vision is focused on end goals that strike a direct chord with their happiness.
PART IV: BECOMING EXTRAORDINARY: CHANGING THE WORLD
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 9: BE UNFUCKWITHABLE: Where We Learn How to Be Fear-Proof
Unfuckwithable: A Definition When you’re truly at peace and in touch with yourself. Nothing anyone says or does bothers you and no negativity can touch you.
Replacing fear with courage is one of the key components of being unfuckwithable. Remember that we are either motivated by fear or by love.
Realize that you are enough
The model of reality that we are not enough is terribly painful, we live our lives trying to prove that we’re enough. Sometimes this can be an asset; for example, my drive to prove I was enough led me to a certain degree of entrepreneurial success. But it’s not the optimal path, because working to disprove the model of not being enough has a hidden cost. That cost is that you will depend on others for validation.
Be unfuckwithable. Extraordinary minds do not need to seek validation from outside opinion or through the attainment of goals. Instead, they are truly at peace with themselves and the world around them. They live fearlessly—immune to criticism or praise and fueled by their own inner happiness and self-love.
Exercises for becoming unfuckwithable
These three exercises are systems for living that you can apply to truly create deep love for yourself, deep appreciation for who you are, and to center yourself and remove fear or worry.
Exercise 1: The Person in the Mirror (for Creating Self Love)
Look at yourself in the mirror and say the words: “I love you”. Talking to yourself in the mirror is like speaking directly to your own soul—especially when you’re gazing at yourself in the eye.
Exercise 2: Self-Gratitude (for Appreciating Yourself)
Make it a point to do the “What I Love about Myself” exercise. This exercise is a powerful way to shut down the meaning-making machine. It also helps combat negative childhood indoctrination that might have caused you to feel unworthy. Simply think about what it is about you as a human being that you love.
Exercise 3: Becoming Present (to Remove Sudden Fear and Anxiety)
Focus on the rising and falling of your breath for ten seconds whenever you feel tense, rushed, or distracted.
The code of the extraordinary mind CHAPTER 10: EMBRACE YOUR QUEST: Where We Learn How to Put It All Together and Live a Life of Meaning
First Life happens TO you.
Then Life happens as you CHOOSE.
And then Life happens FROM you.
Then Life happens THROUGH you.
At Level 4, life is working through you to cause you to give back to life. You become a servant to a higher calling. This calling is what we call your quest.
If extraordinary people have one thing in common, it would be their drive. They’re driven by a vision so big that they’re operating at a level beyond the conventional rules and limitations of work and life. They pour their positive energy into a mission they’re passionate about.
The most extraordinary people in the world do not have careers. What they have is a calling.
A calling is your contribution to the human race. It’s something that helps us leave the planet better for our children.
Kensho and satori
Sometimes you have to destroy a part of your life to let the next big thing enter. For this, Dr Michael Bernard Beckwith talks about two different paths to life growth: kensho and satori.
Kensho is growth by pain. Satori is growth by awakening. Kensho is a gradual process that often happens through the tribulations of life. A relationship breaks up, but you learn from it and your heart becomes more resilient. Kensho is the universe giving you tough love.
Dr. Beckwith defines satori moments as big insights that happen suddenly and change you forever. They can happen anytime, anywhere
Tony Robbins also says: Life is not against us, it’s for us.
The Godicle theory
1. Extraordinary people feel a unique connectedness and kinship to all life.
2. Extraordinary people are open to intuitive insights they attain through this connection.
3. Extraordinary people allow their intuition to lead them to a vision that pulls them forward.
4. As extraordinary people serve this calling, the universe blesses them with luck.
Vishen calls this model the Godicle theory and the idea is as follows: we are particles of God and he calls these particles Godicles. The idea is that you, and every other human being on this planet are Godicles experiencing creation.
Remember, your true greatness comes when you focus not on building a career but on finding your quest.
Embrace your quest. Extraordinary minds are motivated by a quest or calling—a drive to create some positive change in the world. This drive propels them forward in life and helps them to gain meaning and make a meaningful contribution.
Thank you for reading the summary of “The code of the extraordinary mind”.
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