I’ve learned a lot from Mike Cernovich.
He’s a polymath. He knows lots of things about a lot of things. Psychology, sociology, politics, media, marketing, writing, law, history, health, fitness you name it. His talent stack reaches high.
He’s a unique and interesting character and he has changed the way I think about many things. But there are six things I learned from Mike Cernovich that have completely changed my way of thinking.
1. Mindset is everything
For years I’ve been interested in how to keep the brain healthy using neuroscience. But it was Cernovich that got me switched on to how important mindset is to living a good life.
How it’s possible to reframe most situations from positive to negative. How not to be ruled by emotions. Choosing a lifestyle based on what you want, not what is expected of you. How chasing status is a form of slavery (see below) and how shame and guilt are used against us.
To live a good life starts with mindset. Without it you have nothing. Even with a failing body you can live a good life with the right mindset. It doesn’t work the other way round.
Everyone should work on their mindset regardless of age. It should be taught at an early age in schools. If you’re an adult it likely requires deep introspective work and peeling back of years of indoctrination, self-deception and social conditioning.
Cernovich taught me that it all starts with mindset. He wrote the book on it. Literally. When I write and discuss mindset I give all credit to him.
2. Social media can be done a different way
I first came across Cernovich on Twitter and I initially thought he was a dick. He was bragging about himself about something and trolling some people with pithy tweets. I disregarded him as a troll.
A day or so later I saw some of his tweets being retweeted. A little intrigued I clicked on his Twitter profile and then the link dangerandplay.com in his bio.
I noticed a stark difference in his blog to his Twitter. I found long-form articles on how to be a better man. First-hand advice on fitness, nutrition and supplementation. Online marketing. Timeless wisdom from the philosophers of old. Podcasts and videos. Article upon article on mindset and a link to buy a book on the same topic.
All of it without any bullshit or sugar coating you often see in social media and especially among bloggers. I was growing tired of how people project a false perfect image of themselves in social media so his approach resonated straight away.
“OK, there’s clearly more to this guy than meets the eye” I thought.
I was right. I heard him say in a podcast he partly uses Twitter to hook people in to the deeper content. If they can’t get past the Twitter trolling then he doesn’t want them absorbing his other content.
Smart and audacious social media marketing move using psychology and NLP. In all my years working in social media I’ve never seen it done like this before.
3. You need audacity
Cernovich is one of the most polarising figures in the world at the moment. Like him or loathe him the impact he had on the US presidential elections in undeniable. As is the audacity he has to put himself out there for criticism and ridicule.
He predicted Trump winning the US presidential elections way before anyone else. He wrote and published a book on Trump’s mindset before he became president. Both audacious moves.
It all starts with audacity. If you read the Danger & Play archives from the beginning until present you’ll see there’s a growing confidence in Cernovich. His mindset, thoughts, writing skills and social media content have all improved over the years.
With growing confidence comes the will to be more audacious. He’s smashed through his fears with audacity.
Politics is full of nepotism yet Cernovich has managed to penetrate the political echelons on his own. That’s audacity for ya and I look forward to the book he’s writing on this very subject.
4. Status is slavery
This is part of mindset but is something that has stuck with me since I read his article on how to free yourself from status slavery and the accompanying video.
Most people are slaves to status. Whether that’s the career they have, house they live in or car they drive.
Having status is fine as long as you’re aware of it. You can play the status game to advance you in life. Most people aren’t aware of it though and mindlessly buy items to fill some kind of void. I have done this in the past and I know a lot of people that still do.
Cernovich taught me when you free yourself from status slavery you’re on your way to living life on your own terms.
5. Live your life, share your story
We should hold ourselves accountable to live as rich a life as possible. It doesn’t have to be a life full of hedonism of partying and girls. Nor should it be a life full of self-restraint and pain and regret. We should live with both danger and play.
We should aim to experience the human condition in all of its forms. Life, health, emotions, fun, pain, mortality and so on. We should document our experiences and share them for others to learn.
Cernovich has a mantra which states ‘live your life, share your story‘. He embraced his strengths and flaws equally and shared them on his blog. He documents his experiences, philosophy of life and growth of character through embracing the human condition.
Living your life and sharing your story is about presenting yourself in a real way with no spin or deceit. It’s about making yourself accountable to living a life as rich as possible.
6. You can be different tomorrow from who you are today
Cernovich started writing about picking up and having sex with women. When he started Danger & Play he was recently out of a failed marriage so, like most men, spent some time being a cad. He then moved on to writing about lifestyle topics, then fitness, then mindset and now politics and free speech.
He’s always been a smart dude and was/is a lawyer for years. He sacrificed his law career when he publicly became known for writing Danger & Play which takes balls.
He burned the boats exemplifying a mantra of his, “you are what you do”.
Mike Cernovich is one the most genuine people writing on the internet. Long may it and he continue.