Book Review: Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich

My testimonial to the success of Gorilla Mindset:

I study law. I commute to Sydney to attend law school, sometimes by train but usually by car. There is parking in a nearby shopping complex, and also some parking on the road near campus. Occasionally I park on campus, but the meters only take cards and coins, and I don’t usually carry coins, and I don’t like putting my card into any machine I don’t have to.

After missing another good spot because I didn’t have the coins for a ticket, rather than scold myself, I used self-talk to calm myself and decide on a solution. Once at home, I was mindful enough to place a pouch in the car with a few coins in it.

A few months later it was exam time. I drove up to Sydney with about 1 1/2 hours to spare. I planned to go over my notes in the library. I made sure to deposit funds into my debit card. I got to the shopping centre and began looking for a spot. I kept looking. I kept looking. The displays indicated vacant spots on various floors, but I was one of many people driving aimlessly, looking for these phantom spots. I drove around the car-park for 45 minutes, with my anxiety gradually rising. I went out the front and back in again, checking the signs that said there were available spaces. After more panicked driving I gave up, and exited into the street with only 30 minutes until my exam.

I luckily found one spot at the roadside. Relived, I went to buy my ticket. Insufficient funds. My deposit had not cleared. This is the point my pre-Gorilla Mindset self would have had no choice but just park somewhere and face the consequences, but thankfully those coins in the car were just enough for my ticket, I made it to my exam with minutes to spare and pulled out a solid mark for the course.

Without Gorilla Mindset  I could have at worst, missed or failed my exam, or at best, had a huge parking fine to pay. Mike’s lessons in mindfulness and positive habit forming have had a tremendous effect on my in life, and academically.

I remember somewhere Mike saying he would be curious about putting Gorilla Mindset to the academic test. I have tested the effectiveness of Gorilla Mindset at the highest level of education. I am competing with kids 10 years younger than me, who have more free time to study and use nootropics. Through techniques like mental warm-ups, contrast showers and mental energy stimulation and conservation, this has been by far my strongest year at law school. My year end average mark was a full 10 marks higher and I owe it to Gorilla Mindset.


Gorilla Mindset is both  life affirming and life changing. What separates this book from other modern masculinity self-help books like David Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man or any of the books critiqued in Jack Donovan’s No Man’s Land is the pragmatism, for example the ‘worksheets’. Writing about ideas is a valuable, internalising experience, far superior to passive reading. I did every exercise as I read, except those that required solitude, which I did at the first opportunity.

I have also read much of the Danger and Play blog and listened tothe Mike Cernovich Podcast, and gradually the full program comes together, and life will only improve because of all these exercises and lessons.

I love the education I get from FreeDomain Radio. It was there I was introduced to Vox Day and Cernovich. Concepts such as framing and self-talk felt familiar, but never used them in a conscious, systemised way. Connections between the abundance/scarcity mindset and other esoteric theories, such as r/K selection theory are compelling.

It is always nice to encounter an approach to the gym and exercise from an intellectual perspective rather than bro culture. I enjoy the Youtube videos by Alan Thrall of Untamed Strength for the same reason. The approach to lifting and training is part of the process of self-actualisation. My approach to lifting is very stoic and meditative. I felt like I related to Mike’s approach to health and fitness lacking in most other intellectual and philosophical approach, using the physical to enhance the mental.

The social response to my utilisation of Mike’s techniques and exercises has been very positive. I have worked to become a better conversationalist by learning to be more present. I have greatly improved my ability to ration and maximise my social energy, which I learned is limited as a natural introvert. I also have the Gorilla  mindset, which allows me to stay mindful and in control of my emotions. This is vital when balancing work and study.

The benefits have been countless. I feel superior in my approach to studies. I feel better all the time, due to improved walking and posture, supplements to improve sleep, contrast showers and mental exercises. I train better at the gym after listening to Mike’s podcast with Markus Reinhart,  and I do it with a more positive game-plan, like like Kai Green, who Mike mentions.

I will read Mike’s book again, and again. I will continue to reinforce my Gorilla mindset, because I have already felt the benefits. When threatened with eviction, which was someone’s attempt to create a scarcity mindset and keep me weak by threatening my career and family. I knew I had enough to deal with the situation thanks to Gorilla Mindset. 

I’ve carried a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald for years:

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. 

Literature is not the only medium for this feeling of connection and empathy anymore.


Coincidences are moments of synchronicity between the conscious and the unconscious,  the victim to all the doubts and sabotage of self doubt placed there by culture,  and the collective unconscious, unbound by time and identity, unimaginably wise and curious. I never saw the film, but that moment of coincidence let me know that I was on the path, and I plan to utilise Gorilla mindset techniques in my study and career.


The first night after starting Gorilla Mindset I was at the gym. I was listening to Above and Beyond, recommended at Danger and Play. Between sets, as my gaze drifted across the gym, I found myself staring straight into the eyes of an enraged gorilla. In sync with the music, the gorilla rose and then sprinted toward a man, who sprintied toward the gorilla. They leapt towards each other in slow motion…it was a trailer for The Legend of Tarzan. I never saw the movie, but it was a cool moment of sychronicity. 

Mike Cernovich on synchronicity:

The universe is giving off a vibration.
You may even be controlling your own reality.

Some would say that on any given day, nothing happens. When nothing happens, we don’t notice it. When something happens, we reason backwards, assigning more meaning to a coincidence than it deserves.

(I know all of the arguments in favor of “skepticism.” I also know that I manifest my reality daily in ways that I’d never make public, lest someone try locking me up.)

You can imagine that nothing you do matters. Everything is predetermined. There is no magic or beauty in the world.

Or you can imagine your own reality.

The Review:

Does Gorilla Mindset creatively achieve what the author intended it to creatively achieve? Yes, absolutely. This book as changed lives, it changed mine and will continue to do so.


Did Gorilla Mindset fulfil my expectations as a consumer? I had few expectations going in. I expected a motivational book similar to Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man. What I got was a streamlined, pragmatic and modern take on the concept. I had listened to a few podcasts and read a few articles, but this in no way prepared me for a book that would vastly exceed my expectations and make Mike Cernovich one of my biggest influences.


A life-changing 10/10


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