How a "Hi Level" Mindset Helps You Realize Your Potential | Cordae | TED | Summary and Q&A

June 13, 2022
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How a "Hi Level" Mindset Helps You Realize Your Potential | Cordae | TED


Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Cordae discusses the Hi Level mindset, which emphasizes remaining positive, being intentional with desires, practicing discipline, and removing negative people from your life in order to achieve success and leave a legacy.

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Key Insights

  • 🎉 Cordae, a Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist, shares his "Hi Level mindset" philosophy during his TED Talk.
  • 🏙️ Cordae grew up in challenging environments, but his mother's resilience and determination influenced his positive outlook on life.
  • 📚 The Hi Level mindset emphasizes remaining positive, especially during challenging times, as it shapes a person's destiny.
  • ✍️ Cordae encourages setting clear goals and intentions, reinforcing them through visualization and affirmations.
  • 🎯 Discipline is a crucial ingredient for success, as it helps overcome obstacles and maintain focus.
  • 🚫 Surrounding oneself with positive, supportive individuals while distancing from negativity is vital for personal growth.
  • 💔 Cordae reflects on the disappointment of not meeting expectations with his latest album but emphasizes the importance of long-term vision.
  • 🌟 The Hi Level mindset is a commitment to honoring one's potential and leaving a lasting legacy.


How's everybody doing today? (Applause) So for those of you who may not know who I am, which is probably the vast majority of you all. (Laughter) My name is Cordae. I'm 24 years old. I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. but was raised majority in Suitland, Maryland, which made me who I am today. I'm a hip-hop artist. More specifically, a Grammy-n... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Cordae develop the Hi Level mindset?

Cordae developed the Hi Level mindset by observing his mom's ability to overcome obstacles and negativity, which inspired him to remain positive and strive for success.

Q: What are the three steps of the Hi Level mindset?

The three steps of the Hi Level mindset are: always remain positive, no matter what; be intentional with your desires and know exactly what you want; and practice discipline, which is key to achieving success.

Q: How does Cordae suggest removing negativity from one's life?

Cordae suggests removing negative people from one's life by cutting off those who are doubtful, naysaying, or sarcastic about one's dreams and goals. Surrounding oneself with positive, Hi Level individuals is crucial for success.

Q: How did Cordae handle the mixed reviews of his sophomore album?

Cordae initially broke down and became unmotivated when his sophomore album did not meet his expectations. However, he learned from a Yiddish proverb that the Hi Level mindset is not about perfection but about honoring one's potential and not letting small failures overshadow the bigger picture. He chose to stay committed to his craft and leave a legacy.


In this TED Talk, hip-hop artist Cordae, also known as "Cordae," talks about his journey and the mindset that has helped him overcome obstacles and achieve success. He shares his personal experiences and offers insights on how to live a Hi Level life, emphasizing the importance of remaining positive, being intentional with your desires, practicing discipline, and surrounding yourself with positive influences.

Questions & Answers

Q: Who is Cordae and what is his background?

Cordae is a 24-year-old Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist. He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but raised mostly in Suitland, Maryland. Despite facing challenging circumstances and obstacles, Cordae's mother played a significant role in shaping his mindset and inspiring him to strive for greatness.

Q: What is the Hi Level mindset?

The Hi Level mindset is a philosophy or way of thinking that Cordae adopted from observing his mother's resilience. It involves remaining positive, particularly in difficult times, and viewing challenges as opportunities for personal growth.

Q: How did Cordae maintain positivity in the face of adversity?

Cordae faced numerous setbacks, including legal issues, academic struggles, and disappointing reception to his mixtape. However, he used these misfortunes as fuel for motivation, believing that they would contribute to a more triumphant and inspiring story in the end.

Q: How does being intentional with your desires contribute to living a Hi Level life?

Cordae highlights the importance of knowing exactly what you want and setting clear goals. By creating a vision board and regularly reminding himself of his aspirations, he harnessed positive energy and developed unwavering faith in his ability to achieve them.

Q: What role does discipline play in the Hi Level mindset?

Cordae acknowledges that while discipline may initially seem unappealing, it is essential for success. He stresses that countless accomplished individuals possess discipline and that mastering it can lead to transformative changes in one's life.

Q: Can you provide an example of the power of discipline?

Cordae shares a personal story about a friend, who turned out to be himself, and their experience with discipline. By stopping vices such as drugs, alcohol, and casual sex for six months, Cordae's life drastically improved. This example demonstrates the positive impact that embracing discipline can have.

Q: How does one manage their environment to stay disciplined?

Cordae suggests that priming the environment for success is crucial to maintaining discipline. He emphasizes the influence of one's surroundings, particularly the people in their lives, urging individuals to remove negative influences and surround themselves with positive, Hi Level individuals.

Q: How does Cordae handle setbacks despite his Hi Level mindset?

Cordae reflects on a recent situation where his sophomore album didn't meet his expectations or receive the positive response he had hoped for. Despite feeling broken and unmotivated, Cordae reminds himself that the Hi Level mindset is not about seeking perfection but about honoring individual potential and long-term goals.

Q: What advice does Cordae offer for maximizing one's time on Earth?

Cordae encourages individuals to strive for a Hi Level life and leave a lasting legacy. He prompts his audience to consider how they want their story to end and underscores the importance of doing everything one is capable of at the highest level possible.

Q: What is the main takeaway from Cordae's talk?

The main takeaway is the power of the Hi Level mindset in navigating life's challenges and achieving personal and professional success. Cordae illustrates that, despite setbacks or failures, maintaining a positive outlook, remaining intentional with goals, practicing discipline, and surrounding oneself with the right influences can lead to a fulfilling and impactful life journey.


Cordae's TED Talk offers valuable insights into the Hi Level mindset that has guided his journey as a hip-hop artist. He reminds us that remaining positive, being intentional with our desires, embracing discipline, and surrounding ourselves with positive influences are key to overcoming obstacles and achieving our goals. He also emphasizes the importance of viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth and leaving a lasting legacy by doing everything we are capable of at the highest level. Cordae's story serves as a powerful reminder that with the right mindset, we can navigate life's challenges and make a significant impact in our own unique way.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Cordae shares how his mom, despite facing adversity as a single teenage mom, inspired him with her Hi Level mindset of overcoming obstacles and negativity.

  • The Hi Level mindset is a philosophy that encourages remaining positive, being intentional with desires, practicing discipline, and surrounding oneself with positive influences.

  • Cordae emphasizes that small failures should not overshadow the bigger picture and encourages listeners to strive for success and leave a legacy.

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