2016 has been a Black Swan year.
Cleveland got a couple of champions, the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, Conor McGregor became the first dual champion in UFC history–oh, and an outsider took the White House.
2016 taught me a lot. Assumptions were questioned, belief systems were analyzed and most importantly changes were made.
Mike Cernovich played an important part in this year 2016, both on a national level and a personal level.
A leader in the grassroots movement that propelled Trump to the Presidency, Cernovich is also the author of two books that helped change my perspective–or rather my mindset. For me, the rise of Trump and Cernovich were linked. As I became a more ardent supporter of the candidate, the more I became aware of Cernovich.
I think this is true for a lot of people. The more the establishment media–from the liberal New York Times to the conservative Fox News–failed at doing their job, and failed to understand the appeal of Trump, outside of a weekly Ann Coulter column, many of his supporters started seeking new media alternatives in the form of Infowars, Stefan Molyneux and Mike Cernovich.
During this process, I was at a personal/professional crossroads. I was trying to get my novel published but none of the gatekeepers (agents and publisher) seemed interested. I hardly even got the courtesy of a form rejection letter. Not to bitch, these people are inundated with submissions daily but it’s still frustrating since I worked hard on my novel, knowing I wrote something great.
I constantly asked myself “What am I doing wrong?” Is my query letter bad? My first few pages not catchy enough? Was the book too politically incorrect, too vulgar and too violent for the delicate snowflake sensibilities of New York publishing?
Basically, how could I beg more correctly?
I hated begging. And that’s what the submission process felt like. Begging. Please, please, please read my work! Please represent me! Please publish me! It went against my very being as a man.
I was cucking. And I hated it.
I long considered self-publishing but thought it the realm of losers. Real writers get published by real publishing houses, right? All my favorite authors were legacy published. I’d only bought a handful of independently published work (all non-fiction, covering topics–like MMA or pro-wrestling–that just did not have a large enough audience to warrant a large print run). Hell, even the most successful indy authors were legacy published first (this will be addressed in a future post).
But for whatever reason, and I know it wasn’t because my work sucked, traditional publishing wasn’t happening for me.
Then, one day, in the throes of checking election news, I saw this on Twitter:
— Supreme Dark Lord🐸 (@voxday) September 16, 2016
Yes, my moment of satori was a Tweet. The Lord moves in mysterious ways…
I realized all MY news sources were mostly independent. They didn’t need “mainstream” approval. They had the trust of their listeners, who deemed them valuable.
One name that kept popping up in all this was Mike Cernovich (as the above tweet demonstrates).
Curious, I listened to one of his podcasts.
Then I heard these words: “Our definitions dictate our mindset.”
Another satori moment: I finally understood I didn’t need anyone to “approve” of my writing to be labelled a novelist. I am a novelist. Even better, I realized I didn’t need to beg for a place at the table. I didn’t need to cuck. I wrote a great novel and could publish it myself.
Listening to an audio version of Gorilla Mindset confirmed this even more.
It’s not like I haven’t thought or felt these things before. Over the years, I’ve listened to several audio books, seminars and read material by the likes of Wayne Dyer and Joel Osteen.
You do worse than listening or reading those guys but for whatever reason Gorilla Mindset brought everything together for me.
I’d heard a lot of what Mike said before listening to this book. So why the breakthrough? I chalk it up to the concise masculine simplicity of how he delivers his message. There are no New Age platitudes or Prosperity Gospel proverbs; just compact tips on creating a mindset to maximize your potential, your health and your life as a whole.
The key takeaway from Gorilla Mindset is if you change your thoughts, your attitude, the way you look at your circumstances, then you can accomplish more. Pretty simple, right? It’s probably the simplicity of this advice that made it so impactful.
For example, with my work schedule, I found it hard to balance my writing, exercise and job with the incessant need to “relax” or really just be lazy watching TV and sleeping late.
So I unleashed MY Gorilla Mindset.
After lunch, when I have time to write, instead of sitting on the couch to watch TV, I thought, “This is the perfect time to write. If I write, I take one more step towards where I want to to be.” Struggling to wake up in the morning for a workout, I thought, “This will make you healthier and make you feel better throughout the day.”
Once again, pretty simple. But if I hadn’t listened to Gorilla Mindset, if I hadn’t listened to Mike’s podcasts, doubtful you’d be reading this because I’m sure I wouldn’t have made the necessary mindful steps to start this website.
So Mike Cernovich’s work has been a game changer for me.
I started visiting Mike’s website and Twitter account on almost a daily basis. When his latest book, MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again, I bought the e-book version instantly.
MAGA Mindset is a great supplement to Gorilla Mindset. It explains how Donald Trump’s mindset (influenced by Osteen’s precursor Norman Vincent Peale) led to his rise and fall as a real estate tycoon and comeback as media darling and reality TV personality. Cernovich uses Trump’s example to discuss how adopting Trump’s abilities to visualize success can help you succeed and ultimately help America succeed as well.
Contrary to what most thought, Trump’s candidacy and ultimate victory was no fluke. No, he had a vision and he acted on it. Mike, an expert on mindset, called Trump’s ascension long before many did.
Reading both books helped give me a vision as well.
A vision without having to beg publisher’s and agents to give my work a look.
A vision to succeed on my own, letting my work speak for itself.
A vision to be bold.
A vision to publish my novel Down to Sheol by myself.
I now have the mindset to move forward. The only thing stopping me is myself.