I have been reading self-help books for years as I am very interested in the subject. After a while, all books become similar and messages start to repeat, so I switched to business books. However, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is completely different and it brought me back to self-help literature. It reminded me that the most important thing we get to work on in our life is ourselves.
I have been following (this sounds creepy but it’s just social media language 😊) Vishen for years. He is the founder of Mindvalley company. This company is gathering talent from all over the world to work for them in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their mission is to share knowledge, education, and skills that are relevant today and for the future. They say that they are providing education that regular schools forgot. Their seminars and apps are often about important things in life that are not taught in school – lifestyle and productivity, mind and spirit, health and fitness, mental wellbeing and relationships.
If you want to learn about Vishen’s story and how he founded the company, I suggest you watch his short TED talk about Mindvalley. As you learn more about the author and find him more credible, you will accept the book better.
There are three most important takeaways from The Code of the Extraordinary Mind:
Universal and relative truth in life
There are universal laws and truths in life such as: “stones are hard, water is wet, fire is hot, a tiger has big teeth and if he bites you it will hurt. There is no discussion about these things. However, there is the world of relative truth: that is the world of ideas, thoughts, concepts, models, myths that we have built or learned over time from our family, culture, community.”
“The world of absolute truth is made from facts. The world of the social surroundings is made from agreements and beliefs. Even though the thought is just in our heads, it is very real.”Vishen Lakhiani, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind
He talks about how we should question our world of relative truth and check if beliefs we have are helping us grow, prosper and develop or if we have limiting beliefs that we should change.
We don’t have to get married just because people around us expect us to. We don’t have to graduate from college in order to be successful, or be in a certain religion or work a lot in order to earn a little…
There are many “stupid rules” (as he calls them) that we don’t have to obey. We can create our own rules and pick beliefs that will make us happy and help us reach our goals. “Stupid rules” are unconsciously working in our minds and making us uncomfortable when we think about doing something that is opposite to the social norms. It is very important to notice them, realize that they are stupid rules we don’t have to follow and replace them with a different belief that we can benefit from.
12 balance areas
There are 12 important areas in our lives that we should pay attention to. Those are love, friendship, adventure, surroundings, health and fitness, intellect, skills, spiritual life, career, creativity, family, and life in the community. For each of these areas, we should evaluate how satisfied we are with them. Additionally, we should set goals for each area. They contribute to our happiness and if we are successful in a few areas but we neglect others, we can’t be happy and fulfilled.
He says that the three most important questions are: What experiences do you want in this life (love, friendship, adventure, surrounding)? How do you want to develop yourself (fitness and wellness, intellect, skills, spiritual life)? How do you want to contribute to the world (career, creativity, family, life in a community)?
Real goals are connected to our feelings
The third very important takeaway from The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is about goal setting. We have all read so many books on this topic and probably attended seminars about it. However, reading this really made me think about whether I have been setting my goals right. The most common methodology is SMART – goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-framed. Yeah, we all know that…
He doesn’t introduce new methodology but he teaches us to differ goals from means. For example, if your goal is to get a master’s degree – is that because you really want that knowledge and experience? Do you think that you will feel fulfilled and happy when you reach it or is it because you believe that you will have a bigger salary after you get it? If you are doing it because of the salary, there are other ways to earn more money. A master’s degree, in this case, is just one of the means.
He says that when setting our goals, we should listen to our hearts. When we work for the right goal it doesn’t seem like work – we enjoy the process even if it’s hard because we really want the outcome. Real goals are connected to our feelings. Happiness, fulfillment, a life filled with love and joy are true goals – and everything that is bringing you those feelings. Also, it’s very important: “Have big goals—but don’t tie your happiness to your goals. You must be happy before you attain them.”
“We shouldn’t do things so we can be happy. We should be happy so we can do things.”
The book offers additional materials, tools, videos to watch or practices to do while reading and learning about certain concepts. All of that can be found on the website Digital resources to accompany the book. This is not a paid post. It is a book that really made me rethink important aspects of my life and my goals.
Let me know which book changed your life? If you like this post, feel free to share it with friends. Also, sign up for my newsletter 🙂