Meet Vishen Lakhiani, the fouder of Mindvalley, an award-winning education movement with over millions of students worldwide and growing fast.The New York Times Bestselling Authorof The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, now translated into 25+ languages. The Founder of A-Fest and Mindvalley University two major event experiences in the field of personal transformation. The Creator of Mindvalley Quests a new kind of online learning platform that produces 800% better completion rates than the industry average. A Speaker and Activist working to evolve the core systems that shape our lives - including education, work culture, politics, and wellbeing.
Sharp Middle East sat with Vishan, and this is the answers to our quastions
What drew you to the personal growth and wellness space and why do you believe there’s a global shift happening in that direction?
I was drawn to the personal development space when I was working as a VP of Sales for a technology company in Silicon Valley. The constant stress and the pressure of my job broke me. I was in bad health, I was near depression and I felt that life was just miserable. To alleviate this I took a class on Meditation and I was surprised at how rapidly my life changed; in the next three months, I was promoted four times. My career took off like a rocket ship and I was asked to lead the company’s New York division. Eighteen months in, I realized that I wanted to do more with my life and I felt that what I had learned was so valuable that I needed to teach it to others, so I decided to quit being a VP of this company and instead, become a meditation instructor. I used my Engineering knowledge to build Mindvalley as a platform and that’s how the company was born.
“ How would you describe your self-coined term ‘Brules’? And how do you think they affect the way we navigate the world?”
A Brule is a Bullshit Rule; it is a rule that human beings blindly follow through a social contagion to help make sense of a complex world. The problem is because of the way in which the world is changing, so many of the ways in which we live today actually hold us back from our true potential. At worst, harm our society and harms ourselves. The concept of Brule is one of critical reflection: it’s understanding who you are in relation to the complex world, to the societies, cultures, religions and beliefs around you and being able to pick and choose those that help you to create a life where you are best served and you can best serve others without blindly following things passed on from generation to generation. It is a practice of critical thought and autonomy.
“How can someone start supercharging their personal growth today?”
One of the first things I would recommend people do is to set aside twenty minutes, thirty minutes or if you can, an hour every day to invest in personal growth. This means I spend an hour every day and everyone who joins Mindvalley does the same. Twenty minutes of meditation, twenty minutes of exercise, twenty minutes listening to personal growth products. Personal growth should be the number one thing in your life, ahead of everything else. Almost every great man or woman, every incredible teacher suggests the same. For example, professor Sikumar Rao, he is one of the former MVA professors in the world, said that personal growth should be the core of your life. A business, he said, should not be about your business; even your businesses as an entrepreneur should be about your rate of personal growth
“ What advice would you give someone struggling to find the motivation to change their lives?
Understand that the first thing you need to do is to have a vision for your life. I don’t believe in motivation. Motivation is necessary when you’re moving towards a goal that isn’t connected to you. However, when you have your own vision, that vision pulls you. Michael Beckwith, one of our teachers, says: when you have a vision that pulls you, you do not need motivation. Motivation is only needed if you’re trying to force yourself towards an outcome that truly doesn't stick to your soul. So one of the first things you have to do is to get clarity on your vision. A great way to do it is through Lifebook. Lifebook is one of our Mindvalley programs and it’s the best program for creating a life vision out there. You can take a free version of Lifebook assessment on life.mindvalley.com.
“ You have an audacious 20-year plan to upgrade humanity. Why do you believe it’s important and how do you plan on executing it?
I believe it’s important because the way the human being is operating right now is unsustainable. We elect national politicians, we wreck the planet, too many of the world’s smartest minds spend far too much time focus on not healing the world or curing illnesses but figuring out new algorithms to help us buy more crap we don’t need. If we don’t do something about this distortion in terms of how humanity has evolved culturally and socially, I’m not sure that my kids are gonna have a planet better of that what I have right now. That is what keeps me up at night. The problem you see is consciousness: too many people operate blindly following the status quo without truly thinking about how to create a great life and to create a great life for future generations. Mindvalley is about injecting consciousness into how we operate as species, not just in terms of personal growth but how we work, how we educate our young, how we forge families and relationships, how we connect with our spirituality and how we see ourselves as citizens of a unified planet.
“ You’ve had an extraordinary physical transformation, can you briefly describe some of the steps that helped you achieve it?
Firstly, my physical transformation is part of my belief that the mind influences reality. If I was a personal growth teacher who was in bad shape and who had a life that was less than stellar then I probably wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. I have to be my own best example. So in Mindvalley, I decided to go into health and wellness. I investigated remarkable programs around the world, such as Super Slow Strength Training and Wildfit and in many cases, I brought these programs into Mindvalley. Wildfit was the source of my great physical transformation because it changed my relationship with food. Later, Mindvalley did a three-year study on super slow strength training and we brought that into our curriculum. That has completely transformed my athletic-ability, my musculature. Now we are looking at programs to help people reverse aging and diabetes and live to a 100+ without some of the common elements that affect you if you are unconscious about your health. Our job is to create happy, healthy humans in the most efficient way possible.