Code of the Extraordinary Mind
Book Reviews

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind Book Cover
The Code of the Extraordinary Mind Improvement Simon & Schuster Audio Audiobook, Kindle 9h Audible, Amazon & Mindvalley

What if everything we think we know about how the world works – our ideas of love, education, spirituality, work, happiness, and love – are based on Brules (bullsh*t rules) that get passed from generation to generation and are long past their expiration date? This book teaches you to think like some of the greatest non-conformist minds of our era, to question, challenge, hack, and create new rules for your life so you can define success on your own terms. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is a blueprint of laws to break us free from the shackles of ordinary life. It makes a case that everything we know about the world is mostly decided not by rational choice but instead by conditioning and habit. And thus most people live their lives based on limiting rules and outdated beliefs about pretty much everything – love, work, money, parenting, sex, health, and more – that they inherit and pass on from generation to generation. But what if you could remove these outdated ideas and start anew? What would your life look like if you could forget the rules of the past and redefine what happiness, purpose, and success mean for you?


I first read The Code of the Extraordinary Mind when it was released in 2016 and have both the Kindle and Audible versions. One for reading on the go, and the other for more detailed study. After reading The Buddha and the Badass, I thought it was time to revisit the work and get to grips with the concepts in a more internalised way.

One of the excellent ideas behind this book is the inclusion of an online experience which is much greater than your traditional book bonuses which many books now provide links to. Vishen and his Mindvalley team created an online set of materials at Mindvalley that support the work and provide much more depth to each of the chapters in the book.

Four Stages of Competence (related to The Code of the Extraordinary Mind)

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is layered into 4 worlds, starting from the one we are all immersed in (and often blind to) – The Culturescape – and then expanding out through the other 3. This reminded me of the book Third Circle Theory which I read (and you can read a précis of the book in my post Why Self-Help Books Don’t Work). The levels also reminded me of the four stages of competence model (shown at right) which takes us from unconscious incompetence (aka unconscious knowing) at the bottom or entry point through to unconscious competence (aka unconscious knowing) at the pinnacle.

The four levels in The Code of the Extraordinary Mind are as follows:

  1. Living in the Culturescape
  2. The Awakening
  3. Recoding Yourself
  4. Becoming Extraordinary

There are 10 chapters in the book, with 2 extra sections available in the online experience being the 6-phase meditation method (which you can also access for free in the Omvana app), and “More from Vishen.” I outline the bonus materials below so you get a better feel for what you actually get when you buy the book and embark on your own personal journey with it.

As you can see from other posts on this site, I have been influenced by The Code of the Extraordinary Mind since reading it and have applied the questions of Culturescape and Brules to my own life to decide what to keep and what keeps me limited. I have also mentioned that another book called The Four Agreements offers another way to look at the Culturescape and Brules and recommend this as follow-up reading in this area.

Key insights for me included:

  • The Culturescape is a “Red Ocean” of automatically accepted things, but you can choose to live in a “Blue Ocean” of possibilities with these unwritten laws. Red & Blue Ocean are not terms Vishen uses, but I drew this conclusion from reading Blue Ocean Shift.
  • There are 12 areas of life you need to seek balance in which are as follows. There also is a program called Lifebook (which Mindvalley now offers) which maps out a plan for you from where you are now to where you want to be, but this book also outlines a basic method to measure where you are and how to get where you want to be.
    1. Love, [Experience]
    2. Friendships, [Experience]
    3. Adventure, [Experience]
    4. Environment, [Experience]
    5. Health & Fitness, [Growth]
    6. Intellectual Life, [Growth]
    7. Skills, [Growth]
    8. Spiritual, [Growth]
    9. Career, [Contribution]
    10. Creative, [Contribution]
    11. Family, [Contribution] and
    12. Community. [Contribution]
  • Knowledge is the enemy of learning.
  • Verbs > Nouns.
  • Awareness ➺ Knowledge ➺ Practice ➺ Mastery
  • There are 8 scales that determine where you are in the happiness/vision quadrant.
    1. I love my current job to the point where it does not feel like work.
    2. My work is meaningful to me.
    3. There are often moments at work that make me so happy the time just flies by.
    4. When things go wrong, I don’t worry at all. I just know something good is on the horizon.
    5. I feel excited about my future, knowing even better things are always on their way.
    6. Stress and anxiety don’t seem to phase me much. I trust in my ability to attain my goals.
    7. I look forward to the future because I have unique and bold goals on the horizon.
    8. I spend a good amount of time thinking excitedly about my visions for the future.
  • The practice of forgiveness and how it affects your ability to maintain an alpha brainwave state; this is important for meditation and relaxation in general.
  • The 3 Most Important Questions, how they relate to the 12 areas of life and the importance of end-goals vs means-goals.
  • And a lot more book recommendations in each of the 12 areas of life above!

This is an excellent book and online experience, filled with actionable exercises (both within the book and within some of the online materials) which help you dispense with the conditioning you may have been handed and allow you to find what matters most to you in all areas of life. And, hopefully, find the courage to chase after it.

Buy on Amazon.

Code of the Extraordinary Mind Bonus Materials

Here is an outline of the bonus materials you will find online after you buy the book in any format. These are very interesting and thought-provoking and allows us to dive deeper into the concepts discussed in the book. Most of the content is video-based and often only loosely stick to the titles below. I have also annotated the level (1-4) that each chapter relates to in the book (see list above).

There is also an Extraordinary by Design course online, which I think was included as a bonus when you buy the book. This course goes further into the 12 areas of life you should aim to balance and improve with one module dedicated to each: Love, Friendships, Adventure, Environment, Health & Fitness, Intellectual Life, Skills, Spiritual, Career, Creative, Family, and Community.

Transcend the Culturescape (1)

  • How To Defy Convention And Become Truly Limitless (30m)
  • Tom Chi – 5 Mental Debugs For Success & Global Prosperity (30m)
  • Vishen And Tom Chi Discuss The Culturescape’s Definition of “God” (30m)
  • Events Of Chapter One (Photo Gallery)

Question the Brules (1)

  • How to Break Free From The Rules That Hold You Back (11m)
  • An Alternative Model To Success (30m)
  • Events Of Chapter Two (Photo Gallery)

Practice Consciousness Engineering (2)

  • Peter Diamandis – The Mindset Of World Changers (2h)
  • Ken Wilber – How To Create A New Education Model For Mankind (1h)
  • Ken Wilber – The World We Live In (50m)
  • Consciousness Engineering: Join The Movement (8m)
  • Events Of Chapter Three (Photo Gallery)

Rewrite Your Models of Reality (2)

  • Creative Visualization (16m)
  • Bringing Happiness To Work (2h)
  • Morty Lefkoe – The Lefkoe Belief System (1h)
  • Events Of Chapter Four (Photo Gallery)

Upgrade Your Systems For Living (2)

  • Improve Your Life By Using Set Points (6m)
  • How Arianna Huffington Rules Her Mind (33m)
  • Events Of Chapter Five (Photo Gallery)

Bend Reality (3)

  • Being In Flow (53m)

Live in Blissipline (3)

  • Love Week at Mindvalley (10m)

Create a Vision for Your Future (3)

  • The Three Most Important Questions (14m)
  • The Hacker’s Guide To Building World Class Start Up Culture (1h)

Be Unfuckwithable (4)

  • Kamal Ravikant – Love And Entrepreneurship (21m)
  • Marisa Peer – The Biggest Disease Affecting Humanity: “I’m Not Enough” (44m)
  • Sonia Choquette – A Simple Technique To Instantly Remove Stress and Anxiety (12m)
  • A-Fest: Experience Transformation With The Tribe

Embrace Your Quest (4)

  • Emily Fletcher – Meditation For Better Performance (2h)
  • Emily Fletcher – How To Truly Listen To Your Inner Voice (9m)
  • Michael Beckwith – The Friendly Universe (2h)
  • Martin Rutte – Heaven On Earth (18m)

The 6 Phase Method (+)

  • Phase 1: Compassion (18m)
  • Phase 2: Gratitude (17m)
  • Phase 3: Forgiveness (18m)
  • Phase 4: Envisioning The Future (21m)
  • Phase 5: Perfect Day (21m)
  • Phase 6: Blessing (20m)
  • The Complete Method (16m)
  • Case Studies

More from Vishen (+)

  • Consciousness Engineering: Join The Movement (8m)
  • Becoming Limitless: The Advanced Program
  • A-Fest: Experience Transformation With The Tribe

Would I recommend The Code of the Extraordinary Mind? Definitely.

Buy on Amazon.

We live in one of three states as Brendon Burchard says - caged, comfortable or charged - often one of the first two. But we aspire to a better life, a more charged life, one where we don’t feel trapped or stuck in a rut (yet comfortable), one where we don’t compromise and live a charged life. My purpose is to help you find your charge. I post updates about my own journey here and if you have any questions or would like any support, feel free to contact me or connect with me on any of the social networks.

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