Gorilla Mindset: Summary & Review

gorilla mindset

Gorilla Mindset is a self-development book trying to go from A to Z, spanning from mindsets to nutrition to posture and with the final goal of helping the readers lead an empowered life.

Bullet Summary

  • Think of what you want in life and prioritize based on who and what moves you towards your goals
  • Lift weights, eat lots of vegetables
  • Don’t buy for status: shift your mindset from consumer to producer

Full Summary

Cernovic introduces to the readers what he calls “Gorilla Mindsets”, which are empowering ways of thinking, behaving, and seeing the world.

I will structure this summary around those key aspects.

1. Develop a Growth Mindset

Cernovich begins Gorilla Mindset with an overview of Carol Dweck’s research on growth and fixed mindset.

People with a growth mindset look for ways to grow while fixed mindset people believe their traits are fixed so they shy away from challenges.

Read more here:

2. Develop an Abundance Mindset

There are two types of mindsets around abundance.

Think of them as two polar opposites on a continuum:

  • Scarcity mindset: people with a scarcity mindset believe that everything around them is limited, and that leads to a limiting life
  • Abundance mindset: people with an abundance mindset instead focus on opportunities and they are more likely to take those opportunities

Says Cernovic:

The world is either scarce beyond measure or abundant beyond measure

3. Change the Conversation You Have With Yourself

Self-talk, says Cernovic, is a key component of our lives.

Yet most of us talk to ourselves in a terrible fashion, making sweeping negative generalizations. Like  “why am I so stupid” or “I’m such an idiot”.

The author proposes four ways to improve self-talk:

  1. Talk to yourself in the mirror
  2. Record your self-talk without censoring, then play it a few days later and see how silly it sounds
  3. Ask yourself questions instead of negative statements
  4. Use affirmations and mantras (ie.: “I’m unstoppable”, or “even if I don’t win I grow stronger”)

Ask yourself why you are making those affirmations to make them more powerful

4. Choose How You Frame Life

Depending on how you see things, they can be positive or negative.

If you choose to view drawbacks as motivation to make you grow and push forward even harder, chances are you will indeed push forward, grow stronger, and reach your goals.

If you see it as the end of the world and the bane of your life, then chances are it will indeed be the end of your attempts.

Learn more about the basics of frames and frame control:

5. Be Present to Be Mindful

The author says that being mindful means being present and being engaged -“checked in”, he calls it-.

You don’t need to meditate, he says -with which I didn’t fully agree- you simply need to be present in the now, feel your own body and your own emotions.

When you walk, walk with a purpose and be conscious of your movement and your posture.

When you talk to someone, be fully present, don’t check your phone and use self-talk if you need a reminder. You can tell yourself something like “there is no other place I would rather be”.

6. How to Change Your State

The author uses NLP but does it a bit differently than the current gurus such as Tony Robbins recommend.

Here’s how he does it:

  1. Go into a room by yourself
  2. Get mindful and answer the question “how do you feel right now”
  3. Create a sphere of emotional space (use movement to get into a different state, feel invulnerable and imagine a force around you to protect you)
  4. Reinforce the emotional state

7. Think What You Want & Prioritize

The author advises the readers to reflect on what they really want and then focus on that.

Here are four questions to realize what you really want:

  • What you want more of
  • What you want less of
  • Is the person or activity you’re engaging in bringing more of what you want?
  • Is the person or activity you’re engaging in bringing less of what you want?

Zero in on what will move towards what you want and say no to things and friends who are sidetracking you.

Books focused on prioritization include:

And to learn to say no:

8. Take Care of Your Body

The author stresses that the mind and body are connected and dedicates a whole section to body and training and proper nutrition.

In a nutshell:

  • Sleep as much as you need
  • Lift weights
  • Do cardio as well, but lifting is priority
  • Establish an empowering morning routing
  • Do something physical every day
  • Do use or end with cold water during showers
  • Eat enough fibers
  • Eat lots of vegetables
  • People bash fruits, but not true: eat less of them than vegetables but fruits are OK
  • If you can’t take enough vegetables per day, do vegetable smoothies
  • Throw away all junk food (out of sight, out of mind)


No matter how you feel before the gym, you’ll feel better afterward

9. Money Talks

Money is not bad or evil. People with money are also free to make a lot of good in the world.

Money is important and when you have money, you have more freedom. Plus the strength and power of not compromising on your values.

Basically the author suggests that it’s poor people who wheel and scheme and lie because they have no other choice.

The author quotes The Millionaire Next Door and says that people who look rich often fuel their bragging out of debt and are not really rich.

The real rich don’t buy stuff to show off, and he exhorts the readers to do the same. He invites us to stop buying brands to impress people and instead buy what makes sense and save for the future and for rainy days.

The author says he likes money and wants to make more, but also asks the readers:

Do you need more money, or do you think you need more money to escape your current unhappy situations?

Because chances are you don’t really need to make more money to make yourself happier or improving your current situation.

10. Think More Like a Producer, Less Like a Consumer

What’s the difference?

Here is its:

  • Consumers are all about buying new things and new shiny toys
  • Producers think of what they can develop and sell. They see what others are selling well, and think of the marketing and copywrite that went into it and how they can also use

11. How to Invest

Three ideas to invest:

  • Invest in the stock market as an investor

Mike Cernovich says to be an investor and not a trader (they all lose in the long run)

He recommends investing in ETF every month because the market will eventually always go up (will it?).

  • Invest in yourself

Most of all, though, the author says the corporation you should always invest the biggest in is: the corporation of yourself.

  • Minimize your taxes

Taxes are high, and cost you a huge chunk of your money. Seek to minimize them.

gorilla mindset

Real-Life Applications

Do Vegetables Smoothie

One idea I take away from this book is that if you don’t manage to eat enough vegetables, you can do a vegetables’ smoothie.

I like that idea: saves time and simplifies the cooking process.

Update: it’s best to eat them whole
As I read and learned more, it seems like it’s best to actually have your vegetables whole.


Cover Lots of Topics, Which Is Great, But Spreads Itself Thin

The author ranges from mindsets to how to train to posture to money management and investment.

It’s not a bad idea per se, there is a space and a time for breadth, but the downside is that it necessarily ends up being shallow on many of those topics.

Could Use More Precise Language

Here is an example from a quote:

(…) but keep in mind that if you eat fat and carbs together and there is no proteins in there that’s gonna be a big problem for you (how?).
Another tip is that if you’re going to eat that kind stuff, or if you have a big dinner hour or a family dinner or something like that try to eat some fiber”

The recommendation may be good, but Cernovich should have probably fixed the language to make it more precise and accurate, lest people will think of him as less knowledgeable.

Great for Entry-level, More Advanced Readers Might Find it Too Basic

Gorilla Mindset is an entry-level book on self-development.

More advanced readers might find it a bit basic, at times.

Sometimes The Advice May Lack Depth

Of course, not a strike against the book or author.

It’s just natural when you try to cover all that much ground.

Sometimes it feels Gorilla Mindset took some of the most popular advice on a certain topic and used it, without a deeper analysis.

For example, the idea that “the market will always go up” simply makes no sense (also read: Fooled by Randomness).

Will the market go up if a nuclear world war started?


Perfect Book for Beginners of Self Help

Gorilla Mindsets covers quite a lot of the basics in a very quick and compact format, which makes it a good book for beginners in self-development.

Quick, Compact & Dense of Great Stuff

No time waste, no fillers, great content. I like that. Need more of this 🙂


Gorilla Mindset is a good book for advanced students of self-development to use as a refresher, and a perfect book for beginners to start -and great for intermediate as well-.

It doesn’t seek to present anything groundbreaking, but it provides a great overview.

If you have been in any shape or form into self-development much of the information will not be new.

And it might not add much new information to what you already know.

That being said, it also covers a lot of ground in a very short time, which can serve as a good overview and refresher on many important fundamentals of self-development.

Normally I give up to 3 stars to books with no new information or no in-depth wisdom.

But I make an exception for Gorilla Mindset because, in my opinion, Cernovich picks many of what I consider the very basics of an empowered life.

Check the best books collection or get the book on Amazon

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