Stefan Knapen

PhD-student – Co-assistent

Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich

I read the book Gorilla Mindset: How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions to Live Life on Your Terms by Mike Cernovich. Here are my notes and thoughts.

Gorilla MindsetGorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich

ISBN: 1514672111
Read: December 2015
Amazon page for more details and reviews. page for Dutch people.


This is a book about how to improve yourself, in all different aspects of your life. Mike digs into mindset, but also health and finances. Interesting read, especially for guys. Mike is a lawyer by trade, but is running a successful podcast about mindset for years. Gorilla Mindset has been one of the most successful book launches in 2015, so probably worth a read.

All these notes are directly from the book, cursive text are my thoughts.

My Notes

To get more out of life you must get more out of yourself. You must take personal responsibility for your thoughts and emotions. You must stop blaming the system. The days of looking outside of yourself for answers are gone.

Now imagine that you believe that the world is massive. The world is one of endless resources and infinite possibilities. What you do matters. Choices matter. You matter. Each day is a new day full of limitless possibilities. How would you act if you knew that anything you wanted to do was possible? Would you live life differently if you believed that you were abundant and full of potential? This could be a good thought exercise to start the day with.

Treat yourself like a treasured and trusted friend.

Am I choosing, in this moment, to be the type of person I want to become? Especially a good question when frustrated, angry of otherwise overblown with emotions.

There is no maybe. There is no I might. There is no that sounds interesting. You are in or you are out. Do or do not, there is no try. – Yoda. This is part of his ‘I will’ essay, his affirmation on life. Don’t let ‘Maybe’ get in the way of what you can become, it is either YES or NO. (Resonates well with Hell Yeah or No by Derek Sivers)

We’ve all heard the expression, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed!” This is a recognition that “it’s going to be one of those days”, where nothings seems to go right. It is recognizing something about your state. But it is also approaching your state with an attitude of pssiveness, of resignation, indeed even of what Thoreau reffered to as “quiet desperation.”

I am going to take an active approach to managing my state. Something to wake up with.

Ask these questions to develop ruthless focus:

  1. What do you want more of?
  2. What do you want less of?
  3. Does [person/activity] bring you more of what you want?
  4. Does [person/activity] bring you less of what you want?

What positive outcome do you desire?

About things he doesn’t want, but somebody may want: (If I wanted those things, I’d change my focus to help me obtain them.)

Conduct an inventory of everyone and everything in your life. Ask yourself: Does [insert the person] increase your [insert positive outcome]? Does [insert the activity] increase you [insert positive outcome]? It may seem cruel 0r, indeed, ruthless. That is what it takes to succeed.

Focus is finite. A simple sentence, but very true.

Avoid negative situations and draining people, instead choose to engage in life-affirming activities with positive, helpful people.

There is nothing cool about “powering through” sleep deprivation.

You are an elite athlete in the game of life who must properly warm up for an intense and inspirational competition. About waking up in the morning and preparing yourself for another hard day of mental work.

The 20 best food to base your diet around are: chicken, salmon, white fish, lean beef, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, rice, eggs, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, arugula, red peppers, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes and oranges. Of course you can eat a wide variety of food. Yet a person who built his diet around those 20 foods would have a high level of health and an aesthetic physique.

Dr. Osborn wrote a book about health and fitness called Get Serious.

Lifting weights is the single best habit you can add to your life to improve your body.

No matter how you feel before going to the gym, you will always feel better afterwards.

When it comes to money, it’s not what you make: it’s what you make and what you keep.

What is the single best way to save more money? Stop attempting to buy status.

Think like a producer rather than a consumer.

Lawyers and doctors can also film themselves answering common questions. If patients ask you a question, file that question in the back of your head. Later on, film yourself answering those questions. In these videos you can differentiate yourself from all other doctors by showcasing your speaking abilities, body language and other ‘bed side manner’ skills.

You may think visualization is difficult. In truth you have already mastered visualization.

My Thoughts

A good book. Especially for readers in their twenties/thirties probably, as it requires a little life experience, but also some years ahead to implement these changes. It is clear the book is written by a blogger. The information is easily comprehensible and not very dense.