The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

Posted August 1, 2016 in Decision Making, Self-Insight, What We're Reading

By: Vishen Lakhiani

Review by: Janey Piroli

The Premise: Have you ever found yourself questioning why the world works the way it does? Rules and ideas that have been passed from generation to generation. Some big and some small, but all leave you wondering just exactly who decided that it was supposed to be this way? Vishen Lakhiani calls these Brules (bullsh*t rules) and in his book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind he encourages you to question them all! He states clearly that this is not a book about personal growth and development. It’s a book on personal disruption. Vishen Lakhiani is an entrepreneur, education technology innovator, speaker, investor, and philanthropist. Not so long ago though he was unemployed, broke and struggling. In an effort to turn his life around he studied the leading players who were making it big on the world stage – the movers, the shakers and of course, the big money makers. This included the likes of Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis. All men and women he felt were role models to learn from. Vishen also considers himself a hacker, someone who cuts something apart, breaks it down and then reassembles it to make it better than before. After 200 hours of interviews, Vishen attempted to “codify” the ideas and concepts shared by the very successful cast of characters. This book is divided into four parts and ten chapters. Each part looks at a different level of the code with each chapter describing a law that will help the reader to expand their circle of awareness. Overall, his writing style is easy going, very conversational with many personal stories added throughout and even a few ‘back of the napkin’ (literally) sketches to illustrate his points.

The Bottom-line: In my opinion, the best part of the book was his creative use of language. Vishen recognized that words are powerful and can highly influence how we see the world. In total, he contributed more than 20 new words to the English language. With words like “Brules, Culturescape, Blissipline and Unfuckwithable”, the reader will more easily lock and load key concepts into the memory banks and use the shared language with others to collectively shift perspectives. In his quest to challenge all things, he clearly demonstrated learning innovation with the design of his book. Beyond the traditional learning that occurs at the flip of each page, readers can download an accompanying app to get more specific training, access the video interviews and even share their learning experience and questions with other readers via an online learning community. On the flip side, in the final chapters, Vishen took all the ideas, tools and practices shared in the book and unified them into a 20-minute daily practice called the Six-Phase. Personally, I found it to be overkill. Each of the practices are a practice on their own. That being said, I’ve been meditating for several years now and perhaps I’m taking the marathon route to enlightenment. He did claim to be a hacker and so perhaps for anyone new to these practices, this is a life-changing process to be explored!

Roundtable Rating: A good read for leaders new to the space of personal growth and development. It summarizes the beliefs and practices of many successful leaders and provides a process that might just be the “fast track” to living an extraordinary life.

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