My full notes: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani

When I read the paper copy last summer I made detailed notes in Evernote so I that could refer to them easily. Since my move to Kindle, I do this with far fewer books so enjoy! You can also read my book review of this book here.

Question the Brules 

  • Often our religion or politics are not what we would choose but come from being born into a particular family
  • How many of the religious / cultural norms transmitted to me are rational?
  • The core of a religion may be beautiful spiritual ideas, but wrapped around them are usually centuries of outdated Brules that few bother to question
  • Your spirituality should be discovered, not inherited
  • Don’t answer your kids’ questions with ‘that’s just the way it is’
  • Authority has proven to have an astonishing and potentially dangerous hold over us
  • Some people experience a sense of freedom after their parents die, because they finally feel able to follow their own desires / goals and beliefs free of parental expectations and the pressure to conform to rules their parents approved of
  • Ask myself if I’m following a rule because it was installed in my childhood?
  • We follow a large no of dangerously unhealthy rules cos of social conditioning
  • Sometimes we follow beliefs that don’t serve our happiness but that feel as if they reflect an accepted and inescapable way of life
  • Steve Jobs – don’t be trapped by dogma (living with the results of other people’s thinking). Don’t let others’ opinions drown out your own voice
  • The heart has to be selfish for its own preservation. So don’t let people tell you you’re selfish / wrong to follow your own heart
  • People who resent you choosing your own life are merely saying they have bigger chains than you
  • What if all the rules don’t really exist at all …
  • Alpha waves put you in touch with your intuition / creativity / problem solving. It’s key to listen to your inner voice
  • Vishen listened to his intuition while meditating and visualised himself closing deals with ease
  • Before a call he’d tell himself he’d connect with the client and have empathy for his needs and know if this was the right product for the client
  • Our models of reality are our hardware. No matter what these models are, they become true cos we act and think in accordance with them
  • it’s essential to replace outdated models of reality. They seem to influence the reality of the world that we experience every single day, to an astonishing extent
  • by switching out a bad or outdated one for a healthier one we can gain incredible power to shift our world
  • REMEMBER CULTURE IS ALL MAN-MADE
  • Think of yourself as a highly tuned operating system ready to install new hardware (models of reality) or new apps (systems for living) when needed
  • Elon Musk – hang all new learning on well-established big branches of fundamental principles
  • The 2 big branches are models of reality + systems for living – all new knowledge can be applied to these
  • Once you internalise consciousness engineering, every book / bio / podcast can bring a new model of reality to upgrade to / systems to adopt
  • Jon Butcher – Twelve Areas of Balance. Life is 12 categories – each needs Beliefs + Vision + Strategy + Purpose à Because an extraordinary life is balanced on all levels

  Practice consciousness engineering 

  • Alpha waves put you in touch with your intuition / creativity / problem solving. It’s key to listen to your inner voice
  • Vishen listened to his intuition while meditating and visualised himself closing deals with ease
  • Before a call he’d tell himself he’d connect with the client and have empathy for his needs and know if this was the right product for the client
  • Our models of reality are our hardware. No matter what these models are, they become true cos we act and think in accordance with them
  • it’s essential to replace outdated models of reality. They seem to influence the reality of the world that we experience every single day, to an astonishing extent
  • by switching out a bad or outdated one for a healthier one we can gain incredible power to shift our world
  • REMEMBER CULTURE IS ALL MAN-MADE
  • Think of yourself as a highly tuned operating system ready to install new hardware (models of reality) or new apps (systems for living) when needed
  • Elon Musk – hang all new learning on well-established big branches of fundamental principles
  • The 2 big branches are models of reality + systems for living – all new knowledge can be applied to these
  • Once you internalise consciousness engineering, every book / bio / podcast can bring a new model of reality to upgrade to / systems to adopt
  • Jon Butcher – Twelve Areas of Balance. Life is 12 categories – each needs Beliefs + Vision + Strategy + Purpose à Because an extraordinary life is balanced on all levels

Rewrite your models of reality  

  • we all have models of reality embedded so deep that we’re mostly unaware of 
  • Vishen’s belief that he by himself was not enough, has caused great pain despite driving him on. Without this belief he could be even more successful without paying such a high personal price
  • Much of growing wiser and moving towards the extraordinary is really about becoming aware of the models of reality you carry with you without realising it
  • Many disempowering models of reality were inherited as far back as childhood
  • Marisa Peer – the biggest ailment afflicting humans is the idea of ‘I am not enough’. 
  • One of Vishen’s was ‘Don’t ask for too much because someone will get hurt if you do’
  • When his beliefs were removed, massive changes occurred in his life. They had been holding him back but also his business and everyone working for him
  • When you replace disempowering models with empowering ones, massive changes can occur at a very rapid pace
  • WE have a meaning-making machine inside our heads that kicks in and creates Brules about every experience we have
  • We add meanings to all situations and carry these around as simplistic / dangerous models of reality and then act as if these are laws
  • 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 us and our children

  • Kids are v malleable and take on a huge no of beliefs as they grow up – they’re particularly susceptible under the age of 9 to making false meanings and clinging to them as disempowering models of reality
  • Shelly Lefkoe – always ask yourself – what beliefs will my child take away from this encounter? Will they think ‘i just made a mistake and learnt something great’ or ‘i’m insignificant’?
  • Ask kids ‘what happened’ not ‘why did you do that’ – what q’s get to the root of the problem
  • Ask your kids at bedtime to 
    • think of one thing they were grateful for that day
    • think of one thing they loved about themselves that day (act of kindness, intelligence)
  • More secure kids will be a lot more resistant to Brules

Vishen’s new models of reality

  • WE all possess human intuition – use it daily when creating and selling
  • There is power in mind-body healing – use creative visualisation (mind can’t tell the diff between real and imagined)
  • Happiness at work is the new productivity
  • it is possible to be spiritual but not religious – ‘God’ can be the universe 
  • New kind of religion – be a creator instead of a follower. Appreciate many routes to spiritual richness

P.84 – Ideas for new models of reality in the 12 areas of balance

2 tools to re-write your models of reality

  • Bad models can evaporate through sudden realisations and sometimes just sitting in a room wondering where you came up with a particular world view

1) Is my model of reality absolute or relative truth?     The power to choose what we want to believe / disbelieve is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves

  1. Does this really mean what I think it means? We can manufacture so many meanings with our ‘meaning making machine’ but as we learn to ask ourselves am I 100% sure that this is really what’s going on?’ we start to reduce those meanings – then we’ll stop adding meaning to events, then will become less reactive to stress / others

** “I believe the best thing we can do with outdated models of reality is to let them go gracefully. Turn them into history. Lets celebrate our extraordinary ability to evolve emotionally, mentally, spiritually throughout life

Upgrade your systems for living
Elon Musk – key to have a feedback loop and constantly think about what you could be doing better
Richard Branson – it’s all about hiring people smarter than you and getting out of their way – but you must make them see their work as a mission. This is his system for scaling. Continuously think of a vision & ensure a mission is driving the co.
Bill Jensen – biggest problem is that today’s systems and structures still live on way past their expiration date and holding back human capacity
Extraordinary people have extraordinarily effective systems
Vishen upgrades one system every week to re-energise himself – its v easy to swap in a new system like downloading a new app. The keys are

  • discovery process –
    • ideas from books / podcasts etc
    • Get out of the office once a month or more and ask yourself big, tough questions – don’t get so busy doing that you don’t have time to question why your’e doing or how you could improve
  • refresh rate
    • See pg.99 for Book ideas to upgrade each of the 12 areas of balance
  • set points – level of performance / weight etc that you can’t fall below / above! You need goals + set points
  • Pg.102 for an idea of how to set set points for your 12 areas of balance
  • Arianna’s systems – the 3rd metric of success which has 4 pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder & giving

RE-CODING YOURSELF
As you gain a new sense of power and freedom from Brules that no longer hold you back, your growth starts to accelerate
Bending reality

  • Mindvalley wasn’t started with big goals – just this little game to see how much food he could buy with his profits – he was ‘gamifying’ his life – think of point of impact (Ferriss) not goals
  • Bending reality is a delicate balance between being happy today and having big visions for the future – it’s as if he can make his days perfect and his vision unfolds at spectacular speed
  • his lightbulb moment was:
    • Stop postponing your happiness. Be happy now. Your thoughts and beliefs do create your reality, but only when your present state is joyful.
  • Compare it to looking backwards at what you’ve achieved – he was grateful for every small win back then.
  • Keep the big goals – just don’t tie your happiness to your goals. Be happy now
  • Make fun and happiness a key part of your day

DELICATE BALANCE —>                  Have a bold vision for the future pulling you forward                 Be happy in the NOW

  • In the present moment you’re in the field of possibility. How you engage with the present moment will affect your life
  • But your future is continuously pulling you forward but it doesn’t feel like work – it feels like a game you love to play
  • You’re happy & elated right now in the moment
  • You’re happy as you pursue your vision, not just when you attain it – thus you’re grounded in the present
  • Bending Reality is about the journey as well as the destination
  • It often feels like the universe has your back – the right opportunities, ideas and people seem to gravitate towards you
  1. Be happy NOW
  • happiness comes from gratitude for what you already have + pursuit of your vision
  • don’t fall into the trap of the if/then model of happiness
  • enjoy the journey as well as the destination – and the feeling of growth & enjoyment it brings
  1. Develop an exciting vision for your future
  • conventional spiritual growth advocates being ‘present’ – he believes you need bold dreams pulling you fwd too. Extraordinary people tend to leave a mark on the world
  • your vision should be an end goal that speaks to your soul
  • Time frame is key. We overestimate what we can do in 1yr and underestimate what’s possible in 3

How bending reality feels

  • things click, intuition / insights come easily – prob cos you’re focused on your vision that your mind is alert to any help, and you’re creatively open through being in a happy joyous state
  • “If you can choose any model of reality you want and accept it as true, why not choose a model that suggests you can literally bend reality to your wishes?”
  • The trick is staying in this ultimate state for longer and longer periods

LIVE IN BLISSIPLINE

  • our brains are hard-wired to perform at their best when we’re happy
  • Meaning is a key part of happiness – we get it from having a healthy vision for the future. Meaning explains the ‘parenting paradox’
  • The path to Blissipline
    • Gratitude. Compare what you have now to where you have come from not where you want to go – shows your progress. When listing gratitude focus on the feelings
    • Forgiveness. Holding onto grudges & anger is the single biggest factor suppressing alpha waves. Forgive everyone who wronged you even in the slightest way. Ask yourself what you learnt from this situation / how it improved your life. ‘Everyone who has entered our lives, even those who have hurt us, are nothing more than messengers to teach us an important lesson’. Forgive into Love. 
    • Be UNFUCKWITHABLE. When you’re truly at peace with yourself no one can bother you / negativity can’t touch you
    • Giving – MindValley’s Love Week was an eg of culture hacking – applying conscious engineering within a group. Be merciless with your kindness.
  • Dalai Lama – you can’t help people if you’re unhappy – the discipline of bliss allows you to spread more bliss in the world

CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE

  • Goal setting is dangerous and often Brule-based
  • End goals are the beautiful, exciting rewards of being human on this planet. they are about experiencing love, travel, contributing to the planet and learning a new skill for the pure joy. They should speak to your soul
  • A good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot
  • End goals are often feelings – to be happy / feel joyous etc
  • End goals have happiness baked into the pursuit
  • they allow us to experience all the world has to offer – experiences make us happy NOW
  • We need to feel that daily life holds wonder and excitement to sustain our happiness

Q.1 – What experiences do I want to have?

  • “If time and money were no object and I did not have to seek anyone’s permission, what kinds of experiences would my soul crave?”
    • Love
    • Friendships – ideal friends / conversations / activities
    • Adventures – what would make my soul sing?
    • Environment – what would my perfect home / car / workspace look like? Restaurants / hotels?

Q.2 – How do I want to grow?

  • In order to have the experiences above, how do I need to grow? What sort of woman do I need to evolve into? 
    • Intellectual – how can I stretch my mind / be more creative / cultured – remember the joy of learning is key – not the end result
    • Skills – including what to learn just for fun
    • Spirituality

Q.3 – How do I want to contribute?

  • Career / contribution of my company
  • Sharing my creative self with the world
  • Being with my family in a way that fills me with happiness
  • What mark do I want to leave on my community?

WRITE A “BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL” WHICH LISTS MY DREAMS AND VISIONS FOR 1. EXPERIENCES 2. GROWTH 3. CONTRIBUTION

  • Talking openly about your dreams makes them a reality
  • The 3 Most Important Questions exercise brings dreams to light for the universe
  • See p.167 follow the exercise to make sure the goals are in alignment with what I actually want

Be Unfuckwithable
Don’t just be present – the most spiritual people today are doing things to push the human race forward – the spiritual aspect of you will move you to create / invent / rattle the world

  1. Have self-fuelled end goals that aren’t dependent on any other person – ie be the best parent I can be. I can control this
    • Vishen’s included I will always have the most beautiful human experiences and I will always learn and grow – doesn’t have to be through reading (don’t put quotas / pressure on yourself) 
    • Replace fear with courage – when you let go of the Brules that lead you to the wrong priorities this can help
    • Getting rid of Brules based goals means you’ve stopped settling for things you think you need from other people
    • His happiness in the now fuels his vision for the future and his vision fuels his happiness cos some of it (having beautiful experiences / learning) is already happening
  2. Realise that you are enough (Marisa Peer)
    • This also means not blaming others / circumstance for what happens in your life
    • Become immune to others’ judgement / criticism. Override our inner desire to prove ourselves or need for love / validation of others
  3. Love yourself like your life depends on it!
  4. Remove fear / anxiety by returning to the present when you feel them coming. Also come from a place of love and gently say ‘it’s ok’
  5. A beautiful paradox – knowing you are enough gives you the courage to do more / better and be bold

Embrace your quest

The levels

  • First life happens TO you
  • then life happens as you CHOOSE
  • then life happens FROM you
  • then life happens THROUGH you

What extraordinary people have in common

  • 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 are inherently positive and pour that positive energy into a mission they’re passionate about
  • The most extraordinary do not have careers – they have a calling
  • Richard Branson: work and life are all the same thing – he calls it LIVING
  • Education = the transmission of knowledge, enrichment and power from one person to another – Vishen finds this particularly beautiful 
  • Arianna Huffington – Live life as though everything is rigged in your favour 
  • The more we create, the more of nature’s support we get … nature is looking for people to bring something into the manifest. But we need to jump on the opportunity
  • The idea that we are the Chosen One for an opportunity is very cool!

The Godicle Theory – a virtuous circle

  1. You feel a connectedness with all life. Most people he meets at Level 4 are humanists
  2. You are tapped into intuition – it becomes v strong – homing beacon to people / opportunities. you often wake up with amazing ideas floating around. The calling isn’t coming from us in this state but through us
  3. You are pulled by a vision / mission to serve the world. Beckwith: ‘It’s a much higher way of living. so you don’t give up goals, you don’t give up tasks … you still have them but they don’t run you … when you are living your purpose, you are pulled by a vision
  4. You feel as if luck is on your side. Roadblocks become kensal moments – failure is just good luck in disguise

Discovering your quest (Martin Rutte)

  1. Recall a time when you experienced Heaven on Earth. What was happening?
  2. Imagine you have a magic wand to create Heaven on Earth. What s heaven on earth for me?
  3. What simple easy concrete steps will i take in the next 24hrs to make Heaven on Earth a reality?

Vishen’s book recommendations

  • Good without God – Greg M Epstein
  • Big Magic: Creative Living beyond fear – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • How to win friends & influence people
  • The Bulletproof diet / The virgin diet
  • Speed learning / memory courses by Jim Kwik
  • Conversations with God – Neal Donald Walsch
  • The mastery of love – Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Originals – Adam Grant

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