To live an amazing life, you must first start off by living an amazing day. -Mike Cernovich
Mike Cernovich is a straight shooter; giving pinpoint, detailed advice, observations, and insight on his successful blog Danger & Play. I’ve read almost every article he has written over the past year and a half, and his generosity and wisdom has directly affected the success and achievement in my life.
Mike’s background in law and his expansive knowledge on fitness, health, business, and money allow him to give quality advice across a range of disciplines. He doesn’t talk in generalities either – everything you read, hear, and see comes directly from Mike’s own experiences. His successes and failures are right there for the world to see (and hopefully learn from). All this information is gold for sure. But it’s only one piece to the puzzle. It’s up to you to take his words and apply to your own life, to actually attempt to enhance and improve your current standing in the world.
Enter Gorilla Mindset.
You might be confused by the meaning of the title. Isn’t a gorilla primitive? How will acting this way help my mindset?
Let Mike explain:
A gorilla is a powerful, dominant animal. We humans are known as “great apes,” or “human primates.”
Rather than view our physical nature as something dirty or evil, I embrace my gorilla nature. This doesn’t mean being a mindless brute. This means recognizing that both mind and body are important to success and happiness. As you will learn in this book, mind and body are deeply connected. You cannot completely succeed in improving one without improving the other.
This book is about embracing your gorilla nature to find dominance and power, but you will see that this primarily means power over yourself, not others. The third eye in the gorilla recognizes we are great apes who seek enlightenment. We want answers. These answers cannot be found only in our bodies, or only in our minds.
With Gorilla Mindset you will recognize the power of unifying your body and mind — of simultaneously embracing and overcoming our primitive natures.
Let’s talk about what Gorilla Mindset isn’t. It’s not like most books that pitch you on a life-hack or habit change but fail to provide with actionable advice on how to specifically apply to your own life.
Gorilla Mindset is practical; it’s a workbook at it’s core. Mike encourages you to print it out and write all over it. Take notes, write your thoughts, fully interact with the book. In fact, he even encourages you to disagree with some of his points.It’s a book for you, the reader, one
Each chapter introduces a “mindset shift,” Mike asks the hard questions but delivery the necessary solutions. He warns, time and again; he is simply giving you the tools you need to cultivate a focused mind. It is up to you to actually apply his advice, and work diligently to incorporate into your every day living.
Without giving away the juice of the book, Mike attacks mindset from all angles. He discusses how to treat yourself well by positive affirmations and mantras. Mike emphasizes that mind and body are one; both need to be strong and both need to positively influence the other. How we frame our lives is also crucial. Do you have a glass half empty approach or an abundance view of the world? Mike also explains how to frame problems as challenges and learning consistency (avoiding bad moods) among other things.
At the end of each chapter (when applicable), Mike includes actually worksheets where he poses questions (and gives example answers) that you should be asking yourself regarding the lesson he just taught. By writing down items specific to your own life, Mike hopes you are better able to internalize and apply towards your own personal growth.
5 Points that Stuck With Me
1) Posture & Walking: In the mindfulness chapter, Mike breaks down how to walk correctly. I was amazed, as it was fairly obvious I wasn’t walking properly. He discusses in vivid detail how must people have terrible posture due to sitting all day. He emphasizes shoulders back, chin up, and focus on each step as you walk.
BONUS: Mike provides detailed instructions and pictures on how to do posture stretching throughout the day.
2) Unplugging: We are addicted to technology. We always have a phone, computer, or tablet around. We get high burying our heads in our devices. Mike recommends unplugging for a certain amount of time every day: “Being plugged in and connected does not signal importance. It shows that you are unimportant and a slave to others.”
3) Contrast Showers: I’ll admit, I find cold showers to be intense. However, when Mike mentioned contrast showers, I was intrigued. The night I finished the book I tried it out, and it was great. Mike describes the benefits, “Contrast showers have been shown to help you recover from hard workouts, as the increase the circulation of lymphatic fluid and improve blood flow. Contrast showers also improve blood circulation and reduce feelings of stress.”
4) Interviews: Gorilla Mindset is backed by a lot of scientific researched cited by Mike. In addition, he has three awesome interviews:
- Dr. Jeremy Nicholson (Social & Personality Psychologist) – Two interviews – one on willpower and one on how posture influences mind-state.
- Dr. Brett Osborn – (Neurosurgeon) – Exercise as preventive medicine.
5) Money & Status: Mike states, “Money is like oxygen. Without it you will die. Money is not something you want. It is something you need. Without money, it is simply impossible to live. Yet somewhere along the way we were taught that money is evil.”
Money is vital but obsession with status can be crippling. Most people have no concept of saving money, and simply spend up – making more and spending more in unison.
Gorilla Mindset is a must-read. I took down the entire book in two sittings. It reads easy and is packed with actionable advice. In addition to what I mentioned above, I got a ton of usefulness from the chapters on visualization, money, and fitness (especially supplements). I recommend the Kindle version so you can maximize Kindle Highlights by capturing the best of what Mike has written.
I know I was busy, as I highlighted 120 different passages to reference in the future.
Stop procrastinating. To get more out of yourself you have to put in the work and be consistent. Learn control. Gorilla Mindset gives you the tools. It’s up to you to make it happen.