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Tom Chi, Inventor & Co-Founder Of Google X, Shares 5 Mental Debugs For Success And Global Prosperity

Back in 2014, A-Fest West took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. During the event, Tom Chi, Inventor and C-Founder of Google X, took to the stage to deliver an incredible talk. 

And the crowd loved him. He was rated one of the best Awesomeness Fest speakers to date.

Tom was the head of innovation at Google X and the creator of the first Google Glass Prototype. In this talk, The Democratization of Genius, Tom highlights 5 mental debugs to redefine how we view the world and how we can unlock human psychology towards global prosperity. 

At Mindvalley, we have so much respect for Tom because of his diverse professional background (from being an astrophysics researcher to a Fortune 500 consultant) and for his innovative ideas on leadership, human development, and entrepreneurship around the globe which has influenced thousands.

Tom Chi Inventor A-Fest 5 Mental Debugs for Success and Global Prosperity

Our Favorite Quotes From Tom Chi On Mental Debugs


Leave us a comment below and let us know which quote from Tom Chi, inventor of Google Glasses, inspires you the most.

1. On the difference between knowledge and knowing

“‘Knowledge’ is a noun, and accumulating knowledge is great. But ‘knowing’ is a verb that we choose to do with our knowledge.”

Storing long-term information is one of the most fantastic abilities our brain has. But ultimately, the information you store can only help you when you use it.

In order to do anything you great, you also need to be able to access and apply that data to solve any problems you might have. Doing so empowers you to produce solutions that might help more people than you may think.

2. On why we need to be life-long learners

“You need to be in a state of learning in order to solve new problems; create new possibilities; to do something that hasn’t been done a million times before.”

The modern world requires us to be life-long learners. And, ultimately, that is a great thing. It ensures we never become complicit, never give up on making the world a better place after we leave it. That’s why this is one of Tom Chi’s important mental debugs for success.

3. On the labels we use

“We apply nouns to human beings… And that’s where the greatest crimes can happen. We call people Muslim, or Republican, or any other noun. And as soon as we say that noun we’re done thinking about them…. Challenge the nouns you come up with. Spend another 5 minutes to think about the verbs to describe a person so that you become more present.”

People — all people — evolve, change, grow. It’s important to understand that people are more than the sum of their labels.

4. On the practice gap

“[The knowledge gap is not the most important thing. It’s about] getting across the practice gap… At the end of the practice, the gap is the beginning of the Mastery Gap. Mastery is the place where human possibility is expanded.”

Many people say that the world changes once we educate people on the problems we all face and the solutions we need. But that’s not quite true…

The world will only change when we apply our knowledge to the real world. We already know that climate change is real. We already know that obesity is an epidemic. But how are we — as individuals and societies — applying that knowledge? How are we practicing change?

5. On creating your masterpiece

“The closer that you can stay in your medium, the more that you have the possibility of creating your masterpiece… Instead of chasing success, the only question to ask is: How to love your medium enough to create your masterpiece?”

So many of us focus on the end result… But the people who do great things usually fall in love with the process. In order to achieve our own masterpiece, perhaps we should follow in their footsteps — find something we love enough to dedicate our lives to.

This talk was filmed at A-Fest, Mindvalley’s transformational event that gathers an extraordinary community of change-makers and visionaries who are driven by epic ideas to impact the world.


What is your favorite Tom Chi quote? Share in the comments below.