I am currently reading a book that is really opening my eyes to some awesome things and I would like to share a bit with you.

The book is by Vishen Lakhiani who is the founder of Mindvalley and a true entrepreneur in his own rights. Fascinating guy, really.

The book he wrote is called Code of the Extraordinary Mind. I just finished Part 1.  Part 1 talks about living in what he calls the Culturescape.

I have touched on a lot of the information he has in his book already. It essentially is about how we are shaped by the people around us: our parents, teachers, idols, etc. The series of shoulds in our lives that we adhere to.

I am talking about how we do what we do. How we eat, how we dress, how we play, how we work, how we make love.

Some of the should we think are pretty harmless, some not so much.

The reason I bring that up is that is what the culturescape is.

questions OYL

There are two worlds, you could say.

There is the physical, fact based world with things like rain and water are wet, trees are wood, rocks are hard, cars pollute our environment, so on and so forth.

Then there is the culturescape. The culturescape is opinion and agreement based. The intangibles that rule over us. Examples are:

  • Calories-we cannot see or touch it but we know what they will affect our waistline.
  • God-although we may not agree on who or what He is and does, He has a profound impact on billions of lives. And billions of humans have died because of religious beliefs.
  • Corporations and companies-They don’t actually exist except on paper, if you think about it. But when you fill out that piece of paper claiming you are now a company, there is a list of laws and contracts that say you can come together and make something.
  • Laws-They are nothing but a list of rules we come up with and agree on so that nations, cities, communities can live in relative peace.
  • Borders-as far as I know there are no actual lines drawn on the Earth, yet we all live with them in mind.

maps with borders OYL

Crazy, ain’t it?

I am not saying they are bad or good, I am just subjectively bringing up the fact that they are not real except in our heads. They are made up by humans as part of ways of interacting with each other.

The funny thing is that a lot of what is in the culturescape has been around for generations and we just accept them. Much of what you think is true is only in your head. Only because the last generation thought the same thing.

But as Steve Jobs once said, the culturescape “was made up by people no smarter than you”.

So once you can figure out what is absolute and what is abstract, you are thinking outside the box and can push back a bit at the stifling rules that run you.

Why do you think Steve Jobs was who he was? Or Henry Ford? Or Karl Benz? Or the Wright Brothers? Or Thomas Edison? Or Elon Musk?

The list goes on and on!

Steve Jobs Stay hungry stay foolish

These humans are and were the ones who run into brules and break them if they do not fit with their vision.

Life should not be lived in safety all the time. You have to take risks like the people I mentioned above did. You have to question the brules!!

No that is not a typo. I typed ‘brules’ for a reason.

Vishen coined the term and it is short for ‘bullshit rules’. The rules that have been passed down from generation to generation that just don’t apply anymore.

So how do we pick up these ‘brules’? Several ways, actually.

  • Childhood conditioning-Our brains and belief systems are pretty darn malleable until the age of 9 or 10, so whatever we pick up usually stays with us until we die unless a certain ‘brule’ is challenged by us or dissolved by an actual fact of the contrary.So with that in mind, every time your parents say “Because I said so” or “Because that’s the rules” when you ask why, you get the idea that whatever is just what it is and you don’t argue.
  • Your fearless leaders– A good amount of times, our leaders are ones we look up to and depend on. We do not question them as we don’t know any better or are scared to.
  • The Need to Belong-in some points in our lives, we just accept to fit in and pay a price with our individuality. Accepted by a tribe a team, a religion. It could be anything.
  • Social proof– “Everybody’s doing it!” We may want to just believe someone out of laziness of not wanting to go on the search for the truth ourselves. Or like the advertising that is used to day for clothes and cars and food.

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I am sure you have been ‘tainted’ by one or most likely many of these  ways.  If you don’t then you are one step ahead and don’t need to even be reading this.


So this book is just getting good and I just wanted to relay what I have learned so far as it helps me to learn , too.  Your real vs. your abstract. Why do we think the way we do? Vishen gives us a good idea how to do that.

So now you can ask yourself, What are the ‘brules’ that rule your life? Now that you are aware of this concept, you can figure it out.

And be thankful for it.

Let me know what you think your brules are below. I would love to hear and talk about them. And you can share this post as this concept is a novel way to realize it is time for a change.

Alos, if I have already piqued your interest in this book, you can go to my Optimizing Books page and get it from my affiliate page. It is at the top. by itself. Where it should be.