Naija Book Club

Our Bookful Thoughts

gorilla mindset

Yesterday, I finished Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset: How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions, Improve Your Health and Fitness, Make More Money, and Live Life on Your Terms. The book was published in 2016.

In the course of a week, I finish the print version twice, finished the audiobook once, and listened to chapters 7 and 9 a few times.

The book is a small 177-page self-improvement book that seeks to highlight how to improve your life. The promise of the book is that applying Gorilla Mindset to your life will improve your health and fitness, lead to more money and career advancement, and help you have deeper, more meaningful relationships.

This book has a cheesy title I complained to someone about. In fact, save for the audiobook I got alongside the book, I would not have read it. “Gorilla mindset” sounds like an ooo-uhru new-agey Rhonda Byrne kinda book. Getting into the book, I realized that it’s not quite so. What sets this apart from a lot of other garbage is that Mike gives you exercises to practice what he preaches. While what Mike talks about revolves about mindset — mindset techniques — there is a ton about actionable steps.

There are chapters on routine, self-talk, frame, focus, state/mood, mindfulness, and body language. Each chapter contains techniques, mindset shifts, and habits that can be applied to your life.

This book is a book of common sense, but the way it is presented hits you.

For instance, criticism and self-hate are not based on open inquiry, they are based on value judgments. Most often, those value judgments were someone else’s. The attacks in your head are other people’s voices that you’ve heard and internalized over the years. That means that you are attacking yourself based on someone else’s standards.

Another is that when we force ourselves to hold a smile, we become happier. He then links it up with having powerful body language which helps to create positive emotions and an assertive mindset.

One of the mindset pieces of advice I enjoyed is framing. He mentioned a study that makes me stand back:

Would you rather win a silver medal in the Olympics or a bronze medal?

That’s not a trick question. Would you rather finish in second or third place?

The answer may seem obvious to you yet research shows our intuitive answer is incorrect. We would actually be happier in the long run by finishing in third place!

In their study, “When Less is More: Counterfactual Thinking and Satisfaction among Olympic Medalists”, Victoria Medvec and her colleagues examined the reactions and post-game statements of Olympic silver and bronze medalists from the 1992 Olympic games, and interviewed over one hundred and fifty silver and bronze medalists from the 1994 Empire State Games, to assess their state of mind.

In both cases, the bronze medal winners both appeared happier and more satisfied during post-game interviews than the silver medal winners. How could you not be happier with a silver medal than with a bronze medal?

The answer lies in our focus. What do Olympic winners focus on? “I might have won a gold medal and been on a Wheaties box,” says the silver medalist.

“I might have not been on the podium at all,” says the bronze medalist.

How you frame problems matters.

And of course, framing ties into how you talk to yourself because when you talk to yourself you are ultimately sending signals to yourself to control how you think and feel.

I most enjoyed what he wrote about exercises and approaches to financing. In between, he talked about food. What is the 20 food your diet should be based around? Read the book.

As someone looking to develop excellent walking and sitting posture, the step-by-step guide he provided in the chapter about exercises is handy. This takes being self-aware and I hope I can continue to take these lessons to heart. I like that he encourages that progress may not be noticeable in weeks or months of practice but they will ultimately come if we stay at them.

#DoYouKnow The human heart pumps out approximately two thousand gallons of blood each day — enough to fill a home swimming pool.

That’s why exercising is so important. You can’t make the most of your body and mind if you don’t have blood pumping to your brain. Research has shown the best way to improve your mind is to improve your heart. Exercise improves blood flow and heart function, leading to more efficient blood flow to the brain.

If you are not exercising, you are hastening your ill health.

There are mainly two types of exercises. There is cardio which involves a lot of movement like running, walking, and cycling, and there is strength training (lift) like lifting weights and planking. If you only have time to do cardio or lift on a particular day, what should you do? Read the book.

According to the author, what is the single best habit you can add to your life to improve your health? Read the book

I like the reiteration on managing finances. I also liked the term he gave to people who in a bid to perpetually self-indulge ask, what’s the point of earning money if they can’t spend it? He calls it self-medicating. A dangerous mindset.

The language used throughout the book seems a bit gimmicky, but this guy’s advice works.

There is also not a lot of original thought in there. I can’t say you won’t be able to get much of what is written there on a Google search, but you’d probably prefer buying this book to curate the free information available on Google yourself.

He keeps mentioning Tony Robbins and it can feel like reading a book by Tony will make me go to the source of the information in the book. Why should I read your book when I can take Tony’s book?

This book would make an ideal gift for a man in his late teens or early twenties. I would even go a step further to say it is a book written with men in mind. In his defense, there is a dearth of resources catering to men these days.

I really enjoyed the narration of Mike in the audiobook. I feel like the audiobook is the big deal. It reads less than a book narration and more of a podcast. He didn’t completely follow the book print in the audiobook. I liked the audiobook so much that it was the impetus to reading the book print a second time. The force and energy in it were palpable.

Gorilla Mindset? I’d change that title if I’m republishing.

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