Vishen Lakhiani is an Entrepreneur, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Motivational Speaker and CEO of Mindvalley, an award-winning education movement with millions of students worldwide and growing fast. Vishen’s latest book Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work, shares guiding, often disruptive principles for mastering your work and life. In this exclusive interview we’ll talk spirituality and success, plus what it means to combine the principles of the Buddha and the Badass.
The Making Of Mindvalley
Vishen Lakhiani was a computer engineer and senior leader at a rapidly growing Silicon Valley startup, he faced extreme stress and was burnt out. Vishen turned to meditation and it completely changed his life. He quit his job to study meditation, teach around the world and dive deep into the mastery of human development. As a result of this journey of discovery, Mindvalley was born.
Today, Vishen Lakhiani is on a quest to remake how the world works when it comes to business, politics, education and spirituality. Mindvalley is the world’s leading personal growth platform with a mission to teach wisdom and transformational ideas from some of the leading thinkers, healers and teachers of our time. Their mission is to teach people how to become the greatest version of themselves while doing good for the planet.
Vishen Lakhiani’s Daily Spiritual Practice
Q. What are 3 practical daily habits that you adopt to stay in-line with your own spirituality?
I adapt my daily habits depending on what’s going on in my life. Right now, I made a move from Malaysia to Estonia due to the Coronavirus and my education for my children—and so I will share with you my current daily routine which includes incorporating tools we have just introduced at Mindvalley. I am a product of my company and really believe in all our programs and content, so I’m excited to share some of these new habits with you:
When I wake up, I always listen to meditations. Right now, I am really into Paul McKenna’s 3D Hypnotic Trance Meditation. If you listen to this multiple times throughout the week and month, it will retrain your brain’s stress tolerance. This is really great right now because the Coronavirus is causing a lot of stress for many people.
Next habit is my fitness…It’s important that I get my fitness on every day. One of our author’s and my friend Ben Greenfield has a great program with us called The Longevity Blueprint. Ben is one of the top biohackers and fitness trainers out there and the cool thing is that his program doesn’t just teach you fitness—it teaches you fitness psychology and the science of fitness so you don’t just randomly do exercises with no explanations. You really learn how the body works and get inspired and motivated. I also like our yoga programs as well.
Speaking is also a huge part of my life. Beyond being a thought leader online, I travel around the world speaking—right now virtually speaking—and so I use Lisa Nicol’s program Speak and Inspire. Her techniques are awesome and continue to help me shape my speaking style and confidence.
Lastly, sleep has been a bit of a struggle for me lately due to the move and stresses going on. My friend Dr. Michael Breus has a great sleep program on our platform called The Science of Better Sleep. I watch the videos every night to better understand my brain and sleep patterns. The videos are so short so it’s easy…and I never want to get hooked on sleeping pills, etc.
And from a social aspect, especially since I’m not traveling and doing live events and meet-ups right now, I love using our new Mindvalley Connection App. I browse through the app every day and love making new friends and reading all the inspirational stories. To me this is a much healthier social habit and beats browsing social media reading all about politics and negativity. Plus, these are fellow students I can connect with and reach out to. I can check out the various Zoom calls and can organize my own events. I use this the way I’d use a university campus to engage in activities and meet people.
The Buddha And The Badass Principle
Q. When did you first think up The Buddha and the Badass principle?
I wrote this book because I believe so many people get the wrong idea about spirituality and about meditation and also work / life balance and how to find your true passion and align with people just like you. We think it’s about going within and calming our mind. That it’s about attaining these senses of bliss and connectedness with all life. All of that is great, but life is not just about going within for endless introspection. Life is about using those insights and introspections to go forward and change the world. And boy does the world need changing right now.
We look at two different archetypes – the Buddha and the Badass: The Buddha is the archetype of the spiritual master. The person who can live in this world but also move with an ease, grace, and flow that comes from inner awareness and alignment. The Badass is the archetype of the changemaker. This is the person who is out there creating change, building, coding, writing, inventing, leading. The badass represents the benevolent disruptor–the person challenging the norms so we can be better as a species.
When we take both and bring them together, that’s the recipe for a truly remarkable life, and this is what I explore in this book. This is not a spiritual book nor is it a business book. I’ve taken two genres and merged them together into one. This is one of the first business books that actually talks about spirit, soul, manifesting and bending reality within the context of business.
I previously had 3 or 4 companies before Mindvalley that completely failed but I promised myself that once I built a company that was successful, I’d share my knowledge with other people. That way, my lessons, failures, successes and insights could inspire you. As I went through this journey, I tapped into the Badass and Buddha within me and I wanted to create techniques and methodologies that anyone could apply to their job, their career, their entrepreneurship adventure. It’s nine chapters but you don’t need to read it in order. Certain chapters may be more appealing and I know it will make a dent in your life.
The Buddha And The Badass principle At Work…
One of the biggest keys to success is knowing that greatness is best achieved with others and the greatest gift you can give someone is to invite them to share in your dream. This helps make your vision become a reality. A great exercise is to draft a vivid vision to draw the right people to you. Your actions line up with your future. I’ve heard from many experts that the biggest problem with business leaders is their lack of vision, which then reverberates throughout all levels of the company.
One of the biggest keys to success is knowing that greatness is best achieved with others and the greatest gift you can give someone is to invite them to share in your dream.– Mindvalley CEO Vishen Lakhiani
You can also apply this to your life if you don’t own or run a business. Basically forget mission and vision and focus on your core purpose. This practice is at the very core of Mindvalley and is what has made us one of the leading companies to work for today. When crafting this vision, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you see your company, movement, skill, project in the next three years?
- If you don’t exist, what would be missing in the world?
- What problems are you here to solve?
- What milestones will you have accomplished three years out?
- How is the world different because of you?
- Who are your partners?
- How do you want people to feel when they engage with your brand / creation?
- What groups have you impacted?
Try this out and you’ll overcome roadblocks and potentially be able to move forward in your career or personal life once these answers become clear.
Which Inspirational Teachers Guide You?
Dr. Shefali is brilliant. She wrote the incredible book “The Conscious Parent” and has helped me to be a better father and transform my relationships with my own kids. She also teaches you how to heal your inner child and doesn’t just help on your parenting journey but in your personal life too. And did I mention she’s a favorite of Oprah? I was so impressed by her expertise that I brought her on board as a Mindvalley author and she now offers her Conscious Parenting course on our platform.
Dr. Michael Beckwith has been a friend and mentor for many years and his work has influenced me deeply. When you see me speak and write about ideas like Kensho and Satori, The Law of Resonance, The Four Levels of Consciousness and Sadness as a Companion—these ideas came from my deep conversations with Michael and the lessons he taught me. In fact, he’s the single most cited teacher and source in my book, “The Buddha and the Badass”.
Neale Donald Walsch is one of my favorite authors and also on the Mindvalley platform (because I like to bring all of my favorite mentors on board!). He is the author of “Conversations with God” which got me going deep into spirituality. Because of these books (it’s a 9-set series!), I’m able to retain a positive mindset no matter what is happening. PS: his Mindvalley course is called “Awaken the Species”.
So, What Does The Future Hold?
Q. What’s next for you and for Mindvalley, any exciting projects you can share?
I am very excited about our newest app – Connections By Mindvalley. With everything going on in the world, community isn’t just important – it’s a necessity. We created this app because at the core of Mindvalley is our community and we propel each other to move the world and make massive changes. Whether you want to reconnect with friends you met at a Mindvalley event or meet new people with the same passions and interests, this app will help you Instantly connect with your online Mindvalley Tribe out in the real world, join and host local Mindvalley meet-ups and events, discover new friends who inspire you, uplift you, and want to help you grow, meet mentors and collaborators you can co-elevate with and reach your dreams…and, who knows–you might even find love!
Most importantly, In today’s world, the people you surround yourself with make all the difference. So if you want to connect with a loving and supportive community from anywhere at any time we now have the amazing Connections by Mindvalley App.
Special thank you to Vishen for sharing his incredible story and taking the time out to give us an insight into his fascinating world.