Western civilization is teeming with men who've grown up with weak or, increasingly, absent fathers. Meanwhile, consumerism breeds ever greater atomization, destroying the very concept of friendship.
A serious danger of this deepening isolation is that once-common knowledge and skills are no longer being handed down from one generation to the next. Nor are they shared among peers. The result is at least two generations of men who are helpless against the manipulations of media hucksters, corporate shills, government stooges, and false friends.
The multitude who chase conspicuous consumption instead of spiritual fulfillment, passive entertainment instead of physical and intellectual challenge, and codependent exploitation instead of healthy, mutually beneficial relationships, raises the question of whether it's the endgame of some diabolical plan.
The truth is that most of us--especially those we'd consider the most successful--have succumbed to a vicious mindset imposed by our would-be rulers in the media, the major political parties, and academia. Even worse, the breakdown of generational and peer-based support means that we're pretty much on our own.
Or we were, until Mike Cernovich showed up.
The power of mindset
Mike has won success in fields as far-ranging as law, blogging, podcasting, and now indie publishing. His book Gorilla Mindset was the most successful nonfiction book launch of 2015.
The secret of Mike's success is mindset--the mental filter that governs our engagement with, and understanding of, our environment.
Most people's mindset is dictated by external forces and their own unregulated passions. It's vital to understand this fact. Marketing firms, politicians, professors, and celebrities sure do. They pull our heartstrings to bypass rational scrutiny and easily mold our opinions.
In Gorilla Mindset, Mike offers simple, actionable methods of placing your emotions and mindset under your control. Like the Stoicism of old, his goal is to help others gain freedom from emotional slavery.
What separates Gorilla Mindset from other advice books is the author's refreshing honesty and self-awareness.
Sharp readers might observe that someone so familiar with emotional persuasion techniques could just as easily use them for his own selfish ends. Mike acknowledges this fact and explains his marketing approach with surprising transparency.
Some use the power of persuasion to lock their audiences in mental chains. Mike offers the key to their shackles. Could he make more money by turning to the dark side? Absolutely, but he also knows that betraying his readers to get rich is merely another path to self-enslavement.
Other self-help books claim to set out a comprehensive life plan that readers can't deviate from even one iota. Gorilla Mindset is far more realistic. Mike understands the differences between individuals and dismisses the fantasy of a one size fits all solution. He invites readers to try the techniques he suggests, adopt what works, and discard what doesn't.
Neither does Mike claim that Gorilla Mindset is a magical panacea that works without the reader's agency. Instead, he clearly states that success requires commitment and accountability.
More times than I can count, I've wished that a wise, experienced mentor had taken me aside and explained how the world really works.
Reading Gorilla Mindset is the next best thing. From powerful techniques for improving one's mood, focus, and productivity; to advice on diet, exercise, and personal finance, the information Mike dispenses could help many young men avoid considerable frustration and financial hardship down the road.
It certainly would've spared me a world of hurt. Luckily, it's never too late to learn.
The most dramatic benefit I've gained from reading Gorilla Mindset is the ability to get up and get going at any time I want. Waking up on time may not seem like a big deal, but having lived with insomnia, wildly irregular sleep patterns, and chronic sleep deprivation since adolescence, regaining control of this basic biological function has been highly liberating.
Of course, I've got a couple of gripes with the book. I could hardly call myself a unique individual if I didn't.
First, I'll address the elephant in the room: price. I actually referenced Gorilla Mindset before in my post on eBook pricing. At $9.99, it's priced at the high end of indie books and approaches the paperback-equivalent prices charged by New York publishers.
However, there's a method to Mike's madness. Pricing his book relatively high selects for serious readers and generates demand. His record-setting sales prove that this works.
My only other noteworthy reservation is that the book occasionally flirts with relativism. But this isn't a deal-breaker, since a) instances of "My truth isn't necessarily your truth" clearly just mean "What works for me won't necessarily work for you", and b) Mike is careful to point out that the reader can take or leave any of his opinions. This isn't a philosophy text. It's a practical guide to emotional and bodily fitness.
Overall, I found the book quite helpful.
Gorilla Mindset: How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions to Live Life on Your Terms is available now from Amazon.