This is more a reflection on the book Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich and what it’s done to me than a straight review of the book. I’ve applied it, and shown how it’s been applied. How you utilize it will be your story. But this book actually allows for that more than many others,which is why I think it’s valuable to discuss in that way.
I usually hate self-help motivation type of books. I find that the whole concept is trite and a little demeaning. In October of last year, however, I picked up Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset, as I really enjoyed the content that he was providing on periscope and twitter, and wanted to support his independent investigative journalism in the wake of a lockstep fake news media that can’t seem to get its head out of its butt enough to notice anything about corruption in Big News, Big Entertainment, Big Media, or Big Tech.
Gorilla Mindset is a light book, don’t get me wrong here. It’s fast to read, it’s simple, almost deceptively so at first, but what you’ll find is Cernovich has a the right of his whole concept: mindset is reality. Now, 9 months after reading his book, I’ve held a lot of his little lessons with me and applied them whether consciously or subconsciously to get to where I am.
I used to be afraid to speak, afraid of what I’d write, afraid that people would reject or view my writings as something that wasn’t worth their time. You probably have felt this way yourself, and actually that’s part of a social trick that ends up being a form of gatekeeping that starts in your mind. Cernovich starts his book out with “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 yourself for answers are gone.” It’s counterintuitive, because there are so many road blocks set up along the way to make an impossible barrier to entry for anyone in any field, but as cheesy as it sounds, it comes down to believing.
I wrote a post on Facebook the other day about how I used to take this fearful attitude toward guest posts and interviews. I was very cautious, and my answers and writing came across as wooden and stilted as a consequence. This translated to my early fiction works as I worried too much about impressing agents and editors – gatekeepers who can sniff out that lack of confidence in writing as sure as anyone can see it in a job interview. Overcoming that, believing in myself, setting myself up for success and believing I was going to be a success was everything.
Gorilla Mindset helped push me there. I don’t know what it was, I can hardly pinpoint the direct lines that motivated me, but I do know it came from this book, along with some helpful support along the way from some awesome sci-fi and fantasy authors in the field who showed me they cared. It triggered something inside of me that let me say: go out there and just be honest. That will resonate. I had to tell myself that every day in the early days since coming out of the closet as a free speech warrior. Those tricks that Cernovich talks about in his book – talking to yourself in the mirror, tricking your mind into a new psychology, it’s very important, actually. It works 100%.
You do have a choice. You can say I’m aspiring at this or that, and believe you’re not as good as anyone else, believe that you don’t have value, be frustrated with the results. Or you can show up every day and say “hey, I have something valuable to say/do. People will respect that because they’ll respect my results.” There’s no difference in outcomes of events, no difference in what goes on around you, just a difference in what happens internally. Use the tricks Cernovich teaches: never call yourself names, never assume there’s no bouncing back from strife. Minimize your defeats. Maximize your victories. Take pride in little things.
All of this is in the book. I especially appreciate the little morning mental exercises he offers to keep your mind fresh. I do these almost every morning and come at the day from a much sharper perspective than I used to – which is how I generate these blogs in the early morning.
Look, I’m not any more special than I was a year ago. I had books and stories written with very few people reading. This blog used to get 3-5 clicks per day, now it gets over a thousand. My books are selling, I’m doing valuable journalism whistleblowing on bad practices in the entertainment industry, and great outlets like the Hugo-nominated Castalia House blog and The Federalist take my columns. I’m about to release another hit book, For Steam and Country. Heck, Cernovich himself has even linked my work to his hundreds of thousands of followers, many of whom have come to me and told me how much they appreciated it. It all began with mindset, sitting down and saying I’m gonna work and it’s gonna be good.
Be strong like the gorilla, like Harambe before he knew too much.
Gorilla Mindset is a quick read, and it’ll pay off down the line even more than it does immediately. Stick with it, it’ll be worth it for you.