The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

"Realizing that the world you’re living in exists inside your head puts you in the driver’s seat. You can use your own mind to deconstruct the beliefs, systems and rules you’ve been living with. The rules are very real in the sense that they actually govern how people and societies act, but very real does not mean very right."

- The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, page 12

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is a revolutionary book that will make you question your current beliefs, behaviours and systems for living. Becoming the best version of yourself is a lifelong pursuit and Vishen Lakhiani teaches you how to hack conventional ways of thinking and reprogram your brain. With a background in engineering, he is skilled at noticing patterns and connecting the dots. He applies this idea to human development and creates a framework for understanding and enhancing yourself to achieve astronomical growth. Vishen breaks down “the code” into four separate levels:

  1. Living in the Culturescape – the world around you
  2. The Awakening – the world you choose
  3. Recoding Yourself – the world inside you
  4. Becoming Extraordinary – the world you can change

He believes that in order to reach your full potential you must first understand your current world and how you have been shaped by it. After you have “hacked” this you are then able to proceed to the next level.

The journey of self-discovery is always challenging and forces you to peel back the layers of your past. This book teaches you techniques that will help you to confront and overcome your past and catapult you into creating a life which is extraordinary – one you never thought was possible.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Craft your life through consciousness engineering

"Every few years, we upgrade our operating systems on our machines to make our computers run faster, better and take on increasingly complex tasks with ease. But how many of us even think about doing the same for ourselves."
- The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, page 50

Vishen has created a methodology called consciousness engineering which allows you to optimize your learning and hacking of the culturescape.

Consciousness engineering has two components:

  1. Models of reality – our hardware
  2. Systems for living – our software

When we look at our models of reality we realize that the majority of the beliefs we currently hold have actually been programed from our past, upbringing and interactions with our environment. These are the very beliefs that create feelings around an event or our life as a whole and influence the reality of the world that we experience today. Once you realize that what you chose to believe is under your control, you can swap out the old beliefs for new empowering ones. Through acceptance of these new models of reality you are able to “gain incredible power to shift your world.”

Your systems for living are how you put the models into action. These refer to your day-to-day habits and activities. Vishen compares them to apps on your phone – where you’re able to download and update them until you find the right one. When applying this hack to humans, it’s important to do self-checks in order to quickly identify the systems that are working and those that require an upgrade.

The current models have three limitations:

  1. They are programmed by the world we grew up in.
  2. Our models of reality (good or bad) determine our systems for living, meaning bad beliefs follow bad habits.
  3. Our modern models and systems are lacking in conscious practices.

These models limit our perspective and thus restrict our thinking and our actions. They cause us to unknowingly accept the status quo.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Rewrite your models of reality

"The power to choose what we want to believe and what we want to disbelieve is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves."
- The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, page 88

In order to rewrite your current beliefs you first have to become aware of them. Everyone has limiting beliefs that have been holding them back and no longer serve them.

They could have come about through a teacher, bully, a parent or anyone we sought attention from (or lacked attention from) when we were growing up. It is when we accept these beliefs as truths that they become true. We assign meaning to our experiences, then carry that latticework of meaning around as models of reality about our world.

When we look out into the real world, we end up looking through the limiting belief lens, the only one we have known and therefore the only one installed.

Vishen believes an effective way to rewire your beliefs is by journaling on the following two questions every night.

  1. What are you grateful for?
  2. What did you love about yourself today?

Through personal reflection you are able to accurately assess and strengthen yourself, resulting in a positive shift in mindset.

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Upgrade your systems for living

"When you swap outdated models of reality for empowering ones and pair them with new systems for applying your new models day to day, your life will improve exponentially – and fast."
- The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, page 93

A system in its simplest form is an optimized pattern for getting things done that can be repeated. Many of us are using outdated systems but operate on autopilot and therefore fail to notice them. When you upgrade your system for living you unknowingly and automatically update your life.

What sets extraordinary people apart is that they are always trying to improve and optimize their systems for living every chance they get. Vishen suggests a three step system to upgrade your systems:

  1. The Discovery Process
    • Always look out for new systems – they can be found in books, conferences, online programs, etc.
    • Implement the new system for a couple weeks, track it and decide if it has made a difference or not.
  1. Your Refresh Rate
    • This is how often you upgrade a system for living.
    • Forming a habit to keep discovering new systems is what will help you keep growing.
  1. Set Points and Measurements
    • Once you have fresh systems for living, the challenge is to maintain them.
    • Create set points, levels of performance that you do not let yourself slip below.

Through insight and awakening we’re able to recognize the current models we’ve installed, hack them and create new models which allow us to reach our true potential. The combination of your new systems and a mindset receptive to change and grow, enables you to install a new operating system.

Vishen offers a unique way of exploring the human mind, body and soul. I believe his comparison of the human operating system to a machine enables the readers to understand the potential that they have available to them at any time. It’s as easy as installing new software and clicking update.

What current beliefs are you holding onto now that are not serving you?

What new systems of living can you start to incorporate to ultimately catapult you into a limitless realm of growth?

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Lutfiyya Dhalla

ABOUT Lutfiyya Dhalla

Lutfiyya is a social connector and loves meeting new people and hearing about their journey. She works on the Product team of an innovative education start-up in Sydney, Australia...
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