During my university days, I often read through articles, listen to podcasts about self-development, and try to find new ways on how to improve my life for the betterment. I go through various YouTube channels like Improvement Pill, FightMediocrity, Jay Shetty, Impact Theory, all these channels taught me on how to be a better person in life and how to view life from various perspectives. I got to know about Mindvalley when I stumbled upon an interview between Tom Bilyeu (Host of Impact Theory) and Vishen (Founder of Mindvalley) in Impact Theory. During that interview, I was drawn to how Vishen speaks and got interested to know more about Mindvalley and Vishen. That is when I get to know about the book “Code of the Extraordinary Mind” and decided to read it.

the interview between Vishen Lakhiani and Tom Bilyeu

Below are a few key takeaways that I personally get from the book and I wish I had known this earlier.

TL;DR

  1. Brules - rules that are past down from generation to generation without the real understanding of why.
  2. Set end goals and not mean goals.
  3. Constantly have a reality check.
  4. Start to bend reality.

Identify the Brules and start questing them.

Born in an Indian middle-class family, I had gone through a lot of restrictions and rules during my younger days. I was limited to have the ambition of being a doctor and always have to perform great in my class. During that time, I was stuck with the idea that only good grades will reward me with an amazing and great life. Little that I know, I was stuck on something called the Bullshit Rules (Brule's). Vishen explains the Brule's as that society adopts to simplify its understanding of the world. It is basically outdated rules that we have been following for generations. ‌

For example, a taboo rule that my family follows are, you should not cut your nails at night. Such an act will bring bad luck to you. You see, back then our grandparents don’t have the flexibility of having electricity. When it is night, they light up candles. I personally believe that cutting nails in the dark will harm you but cutting nails in a bright room at night doesn’t and that is a Brule's. When you start questioning the bullshit rules you are surrounded with, you will get a much clearer picture on the idea of what it means to truly live. It's worth remembering these words from Steve Job — Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. ‌

Set end goals and not mean goals.

Setting up goals in life. When I first joined the work life, I was always challenged to have SMART goals in life. I often imagine that by completing the goals I set in life, it will make me feel more successful and happier. But every time I complete a goal, I don’t feel the excitement that I imagine and this results in me losing motivation to set more goals in life. Vishen identifies this as mean goals and in his book, he explains why we should have end goals and not mean goals. Mean goals”- goals that are a means to an end and usually about meeting or conforming to society’s Brule's. ‌

In contrast, “end goals” follow our heart, excite and inspire us, and put our ultimate target in our sights. The three important questions you can ask yourself to create an end goal are ‘What Experiences Do You Want to Have?’, ‘How Do You Want to Grow?’, and ‘How Do You Want to Contribute Back?’. These questions will indirectly help you in creating a meaningful system on how you want to live your life. “A good end goal is something you have absolute control over. No object or person can take it away from you” ‌

Constantly have a reality check

Rewrite your models of reality and constantly update it. When we start to question the Brule's, it opens up to more clarity about life and what we consider as reality. When I realize that good grades don’t result in an amazing life, I start exploring other things in life. I experiment and try out new things to figure out what fits in my life. More than I know, I was gamifying my life. It feels like the adventure game that we are playing with multiple main and side quests in it. I get more excited to do things and eventually embrace the quest of life. This indirectly makes me start appreciating the good thing that I have in life. Vishen explains this concept in twelve areas of life such as love, friendship, health, career and I would really recommend reading about it in his book. ‌

The three lessons that I learned in this book have shaped a better version of how I view my life. I feel like I am in the driver seat and I can make more conscious decisions of how I want my life to be. We are all living in a world where we are surrounded with fix and set rules and oftentimes we are afraid to break out from it but let me remind you, sometimes you have to destroy a part of your life to let the next big thing enter.