The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Termsby Vishen Lakhiani
The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is a unique guide to an extraordinary life and represents the invisible code by which we all function. It reveals the code and ten laws people live by, helping us expand our awareness and make remarkable changes in our lives.
This will teach you how to think like some of the wisest and most extraordinary people who saw the code and bravely chose to live their lives by their own rules. After numerous interviews with wise people, including Ken Wilber, Elon Musk, Michael Beckwith, Richard Branson, Dean Kamen, Arianna Huffington, and other extraordinary minds, you will be able to discover the “recipe” for one extraordinary, fulfilled, and successful life.
Escape from Culturescape Trap
“We’re all swimming in a massive sea of human beliefs, ideas, and practices.”
We live our lives unaware of the rules and norms behind our careers, relationship, diet, and life choices. We live in a culturescape - a tangled web of human beliefs, thoughts, rules, ideas, identification, and meanings that are ultimately made up. This culturescape is designed to keep us safe, but we might become unhappy if we strictly follow the norms not aligned with our values and wishes.
We often follow some rules simply because it is the best we should do according to our society, family, and culture. We make some life decisions because they are practical and useful in the eyes of others. We follow these unwritten rules and live a life we aren’t passionate about. How can we escape from this trap?
It all depends on the rules you choose to follow. There are good rules, and then there are limiting rules you will want to break. You can easily recognize those limiting rules by noticing “shoulds.” For example:
- I should take this job
- I should date/marry this type of person
- I should go to this college
- I should major in this subject
- I should live in this city
- This is how I should look
- This is how I should feel
When we stop following limiting beliefs and other people's rules, our lives become more meaningful - we know what we're doing and why we're doing it. So, we become more motivated to live a life according to our own rules, a life that truly fulfills us.
Actions to take
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.”
Brules is a combination of the words bulls**t and rules. A Brule is a rule we can describe as irrational, unnecessary, limiting, and harmful for our growth, freedom, and personal happiness.
We adopt Brules to simplify our understanding of the world, but they shape our perspective of things, processes, and people. These Brules are often transmitted directly from our family, culture, and educational system to our belief system. So, much of our thoughts, beliefs, and decisions aren’t actually ours but the product of our environment.
Extraordinary people understand this fact and are bold enough to challenge Brules, break the rules not aligned with their values, and live by the rules they genuinely wish to follow.
There are four main Brules:
The college Brule - “We should get a college degree to guarantee our success.”
The loyalty to our culture Brule - “We should marry within our religion or ethnicity.”
The religion Brule - “We should adhere to a single religion.”
The hard work Brule - “We must work hard to succeed.”
Actions to take
Upgrade Your Life
“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.”
To explain how we operate and function, we can compare a human brain with a computer. The human mind's operating system is divided into two components:
Our models of reality (Our Hardware)
These models are our definitions, thoughts, and beliefs about the world, installed into our minds by our ancestors who lived in different times. The problem is that we still use them today. When we notice some old rule or norm that is not useful, we have to replace it. This is the key to living an extraordinary life.
Our living system (Our Software)
Our living system consists of habits that we use to apply our reality models in daily life. The simplest example is our eating choices, which are shaped by the food beliefs instilled in us by our family or culture. Other examples include how we make friends, raise our children, solve problems, and so on.
We should realize which models and systems we use to function in life. When we notice some malware system, we should reinstall it, upgrade, or install our own new operating system of beliefs, ideas, and thoughts. We can do that through detailed work on Twelve Areas of Balance – the main areas that shape our lives. Those 12 areas are:
Health and fitness
Actions to take
Rewrite Your Living Models
“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.”
The majority of our limiting beliefs and reality models are formed during childhood. As a parent, you need to be mindful of your children's reality models and beliefs. To help them establish a good self-image, you can ask your children meaningful questions like “What do you love about yourself?”, “What’s one positive thing you did today?” and “What makes you happy today?” You can use these questions to "reparent" yourself and correct wrong beliefs.
"I am not enough," "I am not capable," and "I don’t deserve love" are some of the limiting beliefs most people carry. These false beliefs cause low self-esteem, a lack of self-love, and limit self-confidence. But there is a way to rewrite and change them.
Actions to take
Change Your 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.”
It is a common misperception that we cannot be happy and productive at the same time. We can keep our significant ambitions in mind, but we don't have to tie our happiness to them. The philosophy of "bending reality" allows us to balance our vision of achievement and our level of happiness. When we adopt that state of mind, it appears as if the universe is on our side, and everything in life is bending toward us. It is as if all the puzzles of life come together for us to fulfill what we have imagined.
Happiness in the present moment and future vision are two ingredients that we can mix together but must be balanced. We can be in one of four different states of mind depending on how we combine them:
The negative spiral: We are neither joyful in the now nor have a vision of our future success.
The current reality trap: We are happy in the now, but we ignore future plans. Long-term happiness emerges from a desire to contribute, grow, and achieve important things.
Stress and anxiety: We may have ambitious goals at this point, but we've linked our happiness to them.
Bending reality: This is the ideal state, where we are content in the now and driven by a vision for the future.
When you bend reality, your vision pushes you forward without feeling like it’s a struggle. It feels like a game that you enjoy playing, and happiness doesn't directly depend on your future goals - you can be happy at the moment.
Actions to take
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.”
Blissipline is a daily bliss discipline. It is a state of mind caused by our determination to take specific actions to keep bliss, happiness, and contentment in our lives.
To attain this, we must follow a three-step process: gratitude, forgiveness, and giving. This means noticing our blessings, forgiving others and releasing toxic emotions, spending quality time with loved ones, and contributing to our community. Once we engage in these practices, our level of happiness rises, and we live in Blissipline.
Actions to take
“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.”
Extraordinary people are “unfuckwithable”. Being unfuckwithable means you're entirely at ease and connected to yourself; nothing anyone says or does upsets you, and you are immune to negativity. It means you love yourself, appreciate your values, don't measure them according to others’ opinions, and live in the present moment rather than succumbing to fear or anxiety.
It means you set self-fueled goals that you are responsible for and solely dependent on you and your determination - no one can affect that goal except you. These goals include keeping a positive mindset even if you’re struggling with something, continuously learning and growing, staying disciplined despite losing motivation, and seeing yourself as worthy despite the limiting belief “I am not enough.”
The praise or criticism of others shouldn't determine our mood; otherwise, we have given others the power to control our emotions and lives. To be immune to criticism, we must realize that people judge us through their own reality models and perspective, which could be biased.
Extraordinary people possess all of these characteristics; they are tough, strong, respectful to their values, and have unfuckwithable mindsets.
Actions to take
Find Your Life 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.”
Extraordinary people do not have jobs; they have a calling, a life mission that comes from their values. Living by our calling is how we contribute to the world, and that provides us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
This calling depends entirely upon you. You could dedicate your life to raising remarkable children, working for a company with a mission to change the world, or doing something to help or inspire others.
Actions to take
“Transcendence is the act of going beyond the physical world to embrace that which cannot be seen.”
The key to living an extraordinary life is to practice a simple 20-min daily practice called "The Six-Phase." It's a collection of science-based meditation tools that don’t require a monk to practice. It's transcendence - a type of meditation that has been modified for daily usage. This practice focuses on six main skills that you can apply daily to boost your happiness and upgrade your future vision.
To practice this, you should spend 20 min daily focusing on compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, visualization, our perfect day plan, and trust in higher universe power that supports us on this life transformation journey.