An Interview With Mike Cernovich - Part 1 - Russell Newquist

An Interview With Mike Cernovich – Part 1

"Gorilla Mindset" by Mike Cernovich

“Gorilla Mindset” by Mike Cernovich

A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up my review of Gorilla Mindset, I reached out to Mike Cernovich for a blog interview. He graciously agreed.

Mr. Cernovich is the author of the aforementioned Gorilla Mindset as well as Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity and Juice Power!: How to Juice for Healing, Fat Loss, and Lifelong Health. He’s also the producer of the upcoming documentary Silenced! about the decline of free speech in the modern west.Today’s Part 1 focuses on his bestselling book, Gorilla Mindset. Tomorrow, Part 2 will focus on writing, publishing, and business. Finally, Friday’s Part 3 will focus on Mr. Cernovich himself and his upcoming projects. As always, this interview is presented unedited exactly as he gave it to me with the small exception of a slightly corrected book title.



What made you decide to write a book on mindset?

I got tired of reading books full of anecdotes and theories on happiness and mindset. Those books left you feeling that mindset existed and could be trained, but there was never a mindset training manual.

Imagine reading a book about lifting weights. The author tells you the life-changing power of going to the gym while sharing stories of people who improved their lives by going to the gym. Then imagine this book doesn’t contain a single workout program or explanation of what it means to “go to the gym.”


[Editor’s note: I don’t have to imagine it. I’ve read it.]

Well that’s what the mindset genre was like. There were no training programs. Gorilla Mindset isn’t a theory book. It’s a training manual for your mind.


Which works and authors would you say influenced the book?

Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is the category leader, and that book helped me when I was 19 and trying to figure life out. I always wanted to write a book on that level.


What was your favorite part of the book to write?

Probably the health and fitness section. We all know that going to the gym confers aesthetic benefits. I hadn’t seen anyone tie in going to the gym with mindset and lifelong cognitive health.


What was the hardest part of the book for you to write?

The whole book was brutal to write, and that’s why I finished it a few months later than scheduled.

Writing blog posts is easy. I can do those all day. Writing a comprehensive theory on mindset where every section ties together….that was a real challenge!


How did you go about researching the book?

When I was in a bad mood, I’d ask myself why. Then I’d deconstruct that mood. I’d share these thoughts with others, get their feedback, and create systems and methods to eliminate bad moods.

In other words I didn’t spend much time reading other books! Gorilla Mindset is a practical book based on real-life experience of myself and my many readers, friends, and podcast listeners across the world.


A lot of the book is clearly written from personal experience. Did the changes in your own life come about gradually or was it kind of all at once?

Gradually. There was never a single “a-ha!” moment where everything came together all at once.

That’s why Gorilla Mindset has different chapters and sections, which while forming a cohesive mental model of the world, are also separate.

Learning to control my self-talk was especially helpful to me as an introvert. For others, self-talk isn’t as much of problem. Those people are more anxious and full of worry, and thus the Gorilla Mindfulness sections are a game changer for them.


You have several interviews with subject matter experts in the book. Did you find it easy to get them to agree to interviews, or did you have to approach multiple people in each field to get enough for the book?

It was easy because I’ve been online for years. By virtue of being around for a long time, awesome people come into my life.


Can you share one or two of the most inspiring success stories from those who have read your book?

Several people have told me they were suicidal before finding my writing. That means more to me than learning that someone is meeting a lot of girls or whatever – even though Gorilla Mindset does give people more confidence to be outgoing, take more chances, and meet more people.

It’s also common for people to start making a lot more money after reading Gorilla Mindset.



That’s it for Part 1. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Part 2, where Mr. Cernovich shares his insights on writing, publishing and business.



Russell Newquist

My name is Russell Newquist. I am a software engineer, a martial artist, an author, an editor, a businessman and a blogger. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, but I'm technically a high school dropout. I also think that everything in this paragraph is pretty close to meaningless. I work for a really great small company in Huntsville, Alabama building really cool software. I'm the owner and head instructor of Madison Martial Arts Academy, which I opened in 2013 less to make money and more because I just really enjoy a good martial arts workout with friends. I'm the editor in chief of Silver Empire and also one of the published authors there. And, of course, there is this blog - and all of its predecessors. There's no particular reason you should trust anything I say any more than any other source. So read it, read other stuff, and think for your damn self - if our society hasn't yet over-educated you to the point that you've forgotten how.

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