He opens up the book by describing 4 levels of development. And within them, there are 10 laws for an extraordinary life.
Living in the Culturescape – the world around you
The Awakening – the world you choose
Recoding Yourself – the world inside you
Becoming Extraordinary – the world you can change
This is not a personal growth book. It’s a personal disruption book, as Vishen himself put it. You’re forced to rethink the aspects of your life that have been running on autopilot for years and find yourself rescripting your own reality.
Living in the Culturescape
The world we live in is filled with conflicting beliefs, ideas and laws about how we’re supposed to eat, how to work and how to love. However, these rules are all past their expiration date.
This is called the ‘culturescape’ – the society into which you were born in and that has programmed you to have certain values and doctrines. This is where 80% of the world is in without ever questioning what they’re doing. They’re simply following certain age-old traditions that don’t have any reasoning in the modern world.
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 and ignore. Therefore, they tend to take the path less traveled and innovate on the idea of what it means to truly live.
The rules of society aren’t absolute truths but more like constructs and “shoulds,” which were, as Steve Jobs put it: “made up of people no smarter than you.”
Realize that: you are not your culture and that you don’t have to follow what you’ve been conditioned to believe in because the world is not the same place it was even just a decade ago.
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.
Which brings us to a new word that Vishen Lakhiani invented, or consciously engineered.
BRULE: noun – a bulls#%t rule that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world.
I just love this word because it’s disruptive and something we can use it to identify the bottlenecks of culture and society.
It’s time you start questioning everything that you call life and start bending reality according to your own will.
Once you can see the culturescape as something external, you will begin to see things differently. Instead of following the status quo, you’ll create your own rules.
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.
This is what Vishen calls ‘consciousness engineering’, which is an operating system for the human mind – your mental programming.
It boils down to two things:
Your Models of Reality – your beliefs that literally shape the world you think you live in. For instance, in the 20th century, it was BELIEVED that man was physically incapable of running a mile under 4 minutes until Roger Bannister overcome this limiting belief. Now, even college kids do it routinely.
Your Systems for Living – your habits. The key is to recognize the outdated ways of exercising, loving, parenting and working and replacing them with optimal ones.
The problem is that our models of reality lie beneath the surface and we tend to be unaware of them. That’s why it’s so important to develop meta-awareness so that you could see the culturescape and your own beliefs.
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.
There are two questions you can use to rewrite your models of reality
Is my model of reality absolute or relative truth?
Does this really mean what I think it means?
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.
This means constantly evaluating your own behavior, habits and activities while making optimal changes and new adaptations.
Once you attain freedom from the Brules that are holding you down, your growth will accelerate exponentially.
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.
Bending reality is about operating in a state where you feel that everything in life is bending in the direction of your choosing – everything just seems to ‘click’.
But, a wise man once said: “With great power comes great responsibility…”
You have a bold vision and a massive goal for the future.
Yet…you’re happy in the NOW.
Here’s something to think about: “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?” (Vishen)
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.
Which brings us to yet another awesome word. ‘Blissipline’: the discipline of daily bliss.
Vishen points out 3 distinct types of happiness
Happiness from Special and Unique Experiences
Happiness from Growth and Awakening
Happiness from Meaning
The Path to Blissipline: Three Systems for Advancing Your Happiness Levels
The Power of Gratitude. There are many scientifically proven benefits to gratitude: more energy, less depression, better sleep, more connection etc. You should spend some time over the things you’re grateful for in your personal and work life.
Forgive to the people who bid you wrong in the past. Be greater than your brules.
The Practice of Giving. The Dalai Lama once said: “To be happy, make others happy.” And Vishen said: “Be merciless with your kindness.” Just ruthless…
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.
You need to distinguish ‘means goals’ from ‘ends goals’.
Means goals usually have a “SO” in them. Get a good GPA, SO you could get a good job, a nice house etc.
Means goals are often about meeting or conforming to brules. Is it yet another thing you “SHOULD” accomplish?
End goals are about following your heart. Pursuing them gives you more joy and energy instead of drains you from them.
End goals are often feelings. They make you feel happy and in love as you’re pursuing them.
The Three Most Important Questions
What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime? – Relationships, friendships, adventures, environment.
How do you want to grow? – Health and fitness, intellectual life, skills, spiritual life.
How do you want to contribute? – Career, creative life, family, community.
This is the place where you can change the world with your magnificence because you’re just extraordinary.
4 Layers of Development
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.
I mean, Vishen is a computer engineer but he just keeps coming up with these amazing words and phrases. That’s some fine examples of bending reality.
Unfuckwithable: When you’re truly at peace and in touch with yourself. Nothing anyone says or does bothers you and no negativity can touch you.
There are three components to becoming unfuckwithable.
Self-fueled goals: they’re end goals you have absolute control over. They’re not based on any object or person. For example: I’m always surrounded by love. I will always have the most amazing and beautiful human experiences. I will always be learning and growing.
Realizing you are enough: you have to become immune to both praise and criticism. Don’t let the words of others disempower you.
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.
What the most extraordinary people have in common is: The most extraordinary people in the world do not have careers. What they have is a calling.
Elon Musk doesn’t want to make mankind an interplanetary species just to get richer. That’s not why Peter Diamandis or Arianna Huffington do what they do either. They do what they do because it’s important for their life and gives them meaning.
Extraordinary people prophesize the Godicle Theory
Extraordinary people feel a unique connectedness and kinship to all life.
Extraordinary people are open to intuitive insights they attain through this connection.
Extraordinary people allow their intuition to lead them to a vision that pulls them forward.
As extraordinary people serve this calling, the universe blesses them with luck.
There are even some brules about discovering your quest.
Brule One – You Have to Be an Entrepreneur
Brule Two – You Have to Follow a Career
Questions to Discover Your Quest
Recall a time when you experienced Heaven on Earth. What was happening?
Imagine you have a magic wand and with it you can create Heaven on Earth. What is Heaven on Earth for you?
What simple, easy, concrete step(s) you take in the next twenty-four hours to make Heaven on Earth real?
Because at the end of the day, it’s all about having a higher purpose and taking action towards it while still being happy in the present.
In its core, your quest requires you to stay consistent and persistent. You won’t just quit because there’s a grander vision pulling you towards it.
Realize that it won’t happen overnight and it’s about living an extraordinary life in your every moment. Failures and setbacks are not durable – just feedback. Peter Diamandis said “If I had one superpower, it would be persistence.” And Elon Musk said: “I have a high tolerance for pain.”
So, wherever you are, strip yourself free from the brules that are bottlenecking your success, so that you could start consciously engineering your models of reality and bend reality to follow your quest.
Shout out to siimland.com for doing this written summary
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