Quick Summary: MJ DeMarco reveals in Unscripted (2017) how we’ve been culturally constructed for slavery since we were old enough to sit patiently in a classroom, inadvertently enslaved into a system where harmful traditions go unquestioned and lifelong goals go unmet. We can reclaim what is rightfully ours and create a revolutionary repossession of life and liberty by pursuing entrepreneurship. It is not necessary to shift paradigms; rather, the entire paradigm must be discarded.
You can take control of your life rather than allowing life to control you by unscripting today.
You do not have to read the entire book if you don’t have time. This book summary provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.
Let’s get started without further ado.
Unscripted Book Summary
Living a Scripted Life
You were not born to live an SCRIPTED existence, working from 9 to 5, paying bills, and then dying. What song will your spirit sing when your life is over? What’s the distinction between regret and remorse? Do you prefer peace and happiness?
Elderly people nearing the end of their lives frequently wish they could go back in time and talk to their younger selves. If your future projection appears bleak and uninspired, you have the opportunity to change it right now. Slavery is still practiced today, in case you didn’t know. Except today’s enslavement is referred to as the SCRIPT—an implied social contract in which a gilded cage is exchanged for voluntary indebtedness and lifetime labor.
UNSCRIPTED is your guide to a life of riches, freedom, and happiness that only a few people have known. If you want creative freedom and the freedom to pursue meaningful work, UNSCRIPTED is for you. It’s for you if you’re young and would rather travel, drive great cars, and have free time than wait until you’re old and rich. It’s for you if you’re willing to take a risk on yourself. Everyone wishes for things to change, but few are willing to change their ways. UNSCRIPTED isn’t something you try; it’s a way of life.
If you’re following your SCRIPT, you’ll probably notice that something isn’t quite right in your daily life. Sunday night and Monday morning can feel like a game of hide-and-seek with the grim reaper. Or perhaps the whisper is a mix of rage and guilt: you despise your job, your boss, and your company, but that paycheck is instant gratification.
If you’re older, the whispers are probably a source of frustration: you did everything right in life, as recommended and ordered by authority, but you still can’t seem to get ahead, no matter how hard you work, save, or scrimp. Then there’s the most haunting of all whispers: regret. You wanted to do something with your life and be wealthy.
But now, standing in front of a stack of bills, atop a mediocre life, it’s all a dead dream. In reality, every minor annoyance in your daily routine points to a major deception, a sudden realization that only requires a confession: you’re alive, but you’re not living.
The Scripted Operating System
The SCRIPT is not an instruction manual for elementary school or a map stapled to your college diploma. It can’t be seen or touched, but it’s there. It’s everywhere, just like the air we breathe. The SCRIPT is in charge of the show, and it has an impact on how you think, work, play, vote, save, invest, retire, and die.
You get a job so you can join the elite ranks of a time prostitute, exchanging large blocks of your life’s time bank five days a week or seven days a week in exchange for small pieces of paper known as money. Herds are economically structured for slaughter, shearing, and milking. If you follow the crowd, you will get predictable results that are tailored to the crowd.
The SCRIPT’s most effective weapon is the implied social contract inked by conventional wisdom provided by conventional individuals living conventional lives. And you sign the contract every time you obey social norms. However, conventional wisdom is the path to a conventional life. Why would you take common sense advice from common people and expect extraordinary results? The wealthy become wealthier because they are the ones who benefit from the SCRIPT and are not constrained by it.
A compromised party is someone who uses SCRIPT as their operating system. Friends, family members, coworkers, and authority figures such as teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors can all be vulnerable. The compromised party was taught X, Y, and Z as a child, and as an adult, they will be taught the same beliefs because it is the only reality they are familiar with. The 9-to-5, paycheck-to-paycheck, weekend-only lifestyle is theirs, and it will be yours as well.
SCRIPTED doctrine is spread by a prejudiced or compromised party. A prejudiced party, on the other hand, benefits from SCRIPTSpeak, whereas a compromised party repeats clichés simply because they believe it is best for you.
The SCRIPTED Operating System ensures that everyone follows a SCRIPT. It includes seeders, hyperrealities, temporal prostitution, life routes, distraction, and M.O.D.E.L. citizenship. To begin, seeders create and enforce SCRIPTED ideology, similar to a torrent stored on a computer system. They are tainted or prejudiced parties. Second, because your brain perceives reality incorrectly, a chain reaction of false inferences and misguided ideas known as hyperrealities occurs.
Misguided thoughts lead to erroneous actions, which leads to unfavorable outcomes, which leads to dissatisfaction. By deception, distortion, and diversion, the hyperrealities foster your loyalty and captivity. Third, seeders and their hyperrealities strike a criminal bargain in exchange for your most valuable asset: your time, resulting in temporal prostitution. Fourth, you are given the illusion of free will and the choice of your life path: Door A, the Sidewalk, or Door B, the Slowlane.
Both of these paths will lead you to the slaughterhouse, and neither will make you your own boss. While debt and consumption bind and gagged the Sidewalker, deprivation and hope bind and gagged the Slowlaner. Finally, if you are distracted, the SCRIPT remains hidden. And you unintentionally acquire M.O.D.E.L. citizenship. You deteriorate into someone who is mediocre, obedient, dependent, entertained, and lifeless. As a result, you become a seeder and begin replicating the SCRIPTED Operating System taught to you. And so the cycle goes on.
UNSCRIPTED is about what you don’t have versus what you do have; it’s about self-actualization through exclusion and excommunication. Overall, UNSCRIPTED can be summed up in one word: “fuck you.”
The UNSCRIPTED mindset entails simply saying no to the SCRIPT. Is your mortgage making you bankrupt? You’re a jerk. I’m ready to pay in cash. Do you have to work the next weekend, missing your child’s playoff game? You’re a jerk. I quit. Is the stock market crashing, threatening your retirement plans? You’re a jerk. The stock market will not fund my retirement. You can’t go on vacation until you get permission from someone? You’re a jerk. I’ll be leaving the following day. As the phrase “fuck you” suggests, UNSCRIPTED is about pure, unadulterated life and liberty. Life is all about owning your time and ideas while curating your existence. It’s not just about being there, but also about becoming there.
Freedom from work, scarcity and fiscal restraint, hyperrealistic influence, hope and dependence, and the ordinary and routine are the five basic “fuck you” liberties. Before you can start shouting “fuck you,” you usually have to go through a “fuck this” incident. The “fuck this” incident was traumatic, epiphanic, and terrifying. It’s a watershed moment that goes something like this: “No more!” “I’ve had enough!” or “I can’t live like this!”
When the pain of the status quo outweighs the expected pain of its departure — the point of no return where nothing else matters — the “fuck this” event smacks you in the face. Nothing can stop a genuine “fuck this” moment. When you have a “fuck this” epiphany, you realize that the world does not come to a halt when you lose your job.
If you’re hesitant to commit, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Will it bring an end to your world if it does? Is it a potentially fatal situation? Will you lose a limb or lose your sight? No. A remarkable life necessitates a remarkable narrative. When you face difficulties, failures, or struggles, you are simply drafting the story, so don’t be afraid to go all in.
The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework
The UNSCRIPTED Entrepreneurial Framework, or TUNEF, is a master plan that provides entrepreneurs with a significant advantage in life, liberty, and entrepreneurship. After spending many years in the SCRIPTED world, only a few people dream of having an awe-inspiring existence. TUNEF is a five-phase thought and action development process that comes together in a series of macro and micro processes.
The UNSCRIPTED framework can assist you in discovering your true purpose by giving you the freedom, choice, and funds to do so. TUNEF starts with a “fuck this” event and grows into a slew of variables that intersect and represent a step in the UNSCRIPTED process: 3B, MP, FE, KE, and 4D.
3B stands for beliefs, biases, and nonsense. They represent your thought patterns and microprocesses. It is how you perceive, think about, and feel about your surroundings. In other words, 3Bs are the mind maps that propel — or stymie — your personal change.
Simply put, beliefs are things you believe to be true but aren’t; biases are mental shortcuts and default assumptions that either reaffirm or maintain your beliefs; and bullshit is your internalized story about why things are the way they are, or simply the crap you sell yourself. Many of us go through life believing that we are creating our own destiny and that we are living beautifully and purposefully. However, this is not the case. Behind the scenes, our brains recycle impulsive and reactive responses based on our preprogrammed 3B.
These prejudices, biases, and nonsense serve to support the SCRIPTED OS, which instructs us on what to think, say, and do. Many false beliefs are ingrained in us since childhood and are actually scams. The shortcut scam, for example, is the belief that extraordinary results can be obtained by revealing a secret miracle weapon that can bypass the actual hard labor that produces extraordinary results.
Another harmful belief is the special scam, a two-edged belief that our innate talents are insufficient to achieve our goals — OR that our innate talents are immovable, fixed characteristics that cannot be improved. Other examples of such scams include consumerism, the belief that the wealthy cause poverty, the belief that money is based on chance, and the belief that you must live a poor life in order to become wealthy at the end of life.
There are seven major biases that we face. The first is aversion to change or unwillingness to adapt. Despite the fact that you are surrounded by change, your brain prefers comfort and the status quo. This is referred to as change adversity. The status quo bias, or our brain’s preference for predictability over instability, is at the heart of change resistance.
The second characteristic is righteousness, or a preference for being correct over being wealthy. Righteousness is not about being fair; it is about our desire to see and hear only what confirms our prejudices, while dismissing, ignoring, or debating everything else.
The third type of apathy is antithetical apathy, which is defined as not despising money simply because you don’t have any. To achieve financial freedom and liberty, you must align your values with your goals. Otherwise, you’ll either lie to yourself or undermine your efforts, causing stress and worry.
The fourth is semmelwashing, which is the hostility we feel when others discover we aren’t following the SCRIPTED brainwash. When traditional paradigms are questioned or challenged, both the message and the messenger are attacked.
The fifth is hero worship, also known as podium popping. We must stop idolizing mortal humans and instead become our own heroes. Stop trying to tell your story with someone else’s pen and start telling it with your own. Sixth, similar to podium popping, is survival highlighting. It happens when you focus on the survivors of a process because they are highlighted, while overlooking those who aren’t, usually due to a lack of visibility, and thus come to the wrong conclusion.
The final bias is momentum paralysis, which occurs when we let momentum carry us through life rather than making proactive decisions that are clearly better for our future, even if they are difficult or uncomfortable.
There are three kinds of nonsense. Bullshit 1.0 is a pile of excuses and constructed fairy tales that we tell ourselves. These scapegoats are used to justify inaction or to explain failures or circumstances. As long as we believe in these cozy fantasies, adversity and righteousness entice us to buy our victimhood. Bullshit 2.0 is a collection of clichés: ineffective mantras and proverbs presented as gospel, or snappy platitudes that are lovely and soothing, reassuring, and, sadly, invitations to more do-nothingness.
Finally, the focus of Bullshit 3.0 is on cults and their leaders: gurus who will fill your head with whatever you want them to fill it with. Remember that one of the most effective strategies for dealing with nonsense is Socratic questioning. Socratic questioning is a technique for probing your thoughts. By delving into the depths of these trains of thought, we can identify biases, preconceptions, and potential roadblocks to advancement.
MP stands for meaning and purpose. Your sense of meaning and purpose will serve as a spark for you to act, persist, and win as you progress through the UNSCRIPTED framework. While the rewritten 3Bs inspire you to start, your meaning-and-purpose and its motivation cycle inspire you to finish. Great results require a lot of dedication, and commitment ignites the process-principle, which turns habits into a way of life, and a way of life into winning results.
One of the primary reasons entrepreneurs are passionate about their work is that they have a “why,” a compelling reason to work hard and persevere when things get difficult. If something obsessive in your life keeps you awake at night, you have a purpose. That is the distinction between interests and commitment: superficial desires do not necessitate sacrifice, whereas a dedicated goal does.
That is the distinction between interests and commitment: superficial desires do not necessitate sacrifice, whereas a dedicated goal does.
Fastlane entrepreneurship is defined by one governing principle — a productocracy — comprised of five core Commandments: Control, Entry, Need, Time, and Scale. A productocracy directs money to value producers, businesses that grow organically through word-of-mouth and repeat customers who are compelled by a product or service that is not widely available elsewhere. After all, few people buy based on advertisements. Rather, purchasing decisions are influenced by social media, personal recommendations, and peer reviews.
To ensure you’re at the top of the food chain, the Commandment of Control requires that your entire operation, from product development to marketing to distribution to other operational components, be under your sphere of influence.
Next, the Commandment of Entry states that as entry barriers to any business or start-up process diminish or become “easier,” so does the opportunity’s strength or potential. Simply put, the simpler an opportunity, the worse it is, and vice versa. According to the Commandment of Need, if you own a managed and entry-barred firm that provides relative value while meeting needs or wants, you will gain growth, profits, and possibly lifetime passive income. The Time Commandment is divided into two parts.
The first is physicality, which requires that your value exist outside of you in space-time. The second is detachment. To properly free up your time and life while earning passive income, you must eventually separate from your company’s physicality. Finally, in accordance with the four preceding commandments, your project must eventually mature into a legacy system and be replicable, or simply copied into other units, locations, or chains.
KE stands for kinetic execution. Kinetic execution is a short-term and incremental problem-solving strategy that leads to the resolution of a larger issue and, eventually, your business solution. The execution stage is when ideas that have been sketched out on a napkin are turned into reality, and it is the work that no one sees: sourcing, manufacturing, learning to code, making numerous cold calls, or preparing for a trade show.
The four disciplines of a UNSCRIPTED person are referred to as 4D. Once you’ve achieved a scaling productocracy, the four disciplines finalize the difference between lifelong SUBSCRIPTION and temporary success.
The first discipline is comparative immunity, which is the ability to be satisfied with your current pace while avoiding the futile comparison game.
The second discipline proposed is saving, which consists of 5 Rs. It entails reframing your perception of money as a means to an end rather than an end in itself, reforming your expenses by eliminating what doesn’t matter, reducing your debt, intelligently reallocating your income surplus, and finally rewarding yourself.
The third discipline is measured elevation, which means increasing your lifestyle in proportion to your income. Measured-elevation is the successful administration of the reward phase in the purposed-saving discipline. Finally, the fourth discipline is consequential thought, which is the ability to predict the consequences of our actions and recognize that our choices are disproportionately negative.
Money Pots for Passive Income
An effective UNSCRIPTED money system employs two pots plus an optional third. Your lifestyle objectives and risk tolerance for each item they represent determine the size of these pots. To begin, the “fuck you” pot consists of idle cash in brokerage and money-market accounts that is typically doing nothing and producing nothing. The point of the “fuck you” pot is not to maximize returns or yields, but to maximize options.
The optional house pot is where you can buy your dream home debt-free. Your home will be your most significant lifetime investment, so saving money on this expense will never be an issue. The other option is to have enough money in your next pot – your paycheck pot – to easily pay your monthly mortgage or rent.
The payday pot is the main attraction, with the others supporting it. This pot is the UNSCRIPTED entrepreneur’s final game — a passive-income system of financial instruments that pays your bills, funds your lifestyle, and provides you with consistent cash. Such financial instruments include bonds, options, equities, bank deposits, investment trusts, and other financial vehicles that provide a published, predictable yield.
There are seven rules to follow when investing $10,000 or $10,000,000,000 to keep your money safe and your income flowing. According to the rent rule, when you hand over control of your cash pot to investments, you should seek metaphorical rent in the form of dividends, interest, or partnership income rather than unqualified guarantees.
According to the snap rule, investments in paycheck pots must be highly liquid or convertible to cash at the touch of a button. According to the apocalypse rule, the only catastrophic threat to your major investment is a worldwide financial apocalypse. If any of your investments, whether stocks or bonds, accumulate unrealized gains greater than or equal to three years in dividends in any three-month period, sell and accept the profits under the “three years in three months” rule. According to the Ackbar rule, if something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is. It distinguishes between income and speculative investments.
The rule is qualitative rather than quantitative: such “investments” belong in the speculative “fuck you” pot, not the paycheck pot. The 1 percent rule states that any fund with a management fee greater than 1%, excluding interest costs, should be avoided when dealing with managed distributions from managed funds. Finally, the ostrich rule contends that you should avoid investing in businesses that are no longer culturally or economically relevant.
An entrepreneurial profession is more than just a job without a boss; it’s a way of life that’s lived every day, not just on weekends and on weekends. Escaping the soul-sucking death cults of peer conformity, media-imposed mediocrity, and SCRIPTED cultural conditioning is required. Most importantly, it implies that you are in control of your own decisions, time, and life.
Going UNSCRIPTED starts with a single thought in your mind. It takes willpower and knowledge to understand that you are not a slave to a car, a television, or the government. If you make that thought a way of life, you will reap the benefits of abundance and pleasure, however, you define it. So, instead of surrendering control of your life to the SCRIPT, claw it back, shred it up, and rewrite your own UNSCRIPTED story.
MJ DeMarco’s writing style is informal and unstructured, with frequent use of expletives and one-sentence or one-word paragraphs. He also capitalizes keywords throughout the book, such as SCRIPTED and UNSCRIPTED, as well as variations such as UNSCRIPTION and SCRIPTSpeak, which is reminiscent of dystopian fiction writing. In this way, the style is more akin to blog writing. The book’s structure can be perplexing at times, but DeMarco attempts to simplify it by including his own graphs and charts that explain the processes he devised.
About The Author
MJ DeMarco is a successful American entrepreneur, investor, and international best-selling author whose work has been translated into over 15 languages. He founded Viperion Publishing Corp., a media company that specializes in online and print content distribution. He is also the founder and administrator of the Fastlane Forum, a popular online discussion forum for start-ups, finance, and entrepreneurial businesses.
“This job is everything. Without it, I’m shitting bricks without a diaper.”
“Channel flipping through alternate realities, I pay homage to the television: I can anonymously watch the lives of those suffering the same doldrums as me or interestingly, those who have been lucky and escaped it.”
“While my story might not resemble your day, many walls can cage a prison.”
“You’re living, but you aren’t alive.”
“What if I told you that our world suffers from the same deception—a deception orchestrated not by artificial intelligence but by conventional intelligence. A deception of unchallenged and outdated wisdom, a dream-killing dogma tyrannized by stale traditions, narrow beliefs, and cultural conformity.”
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