Vishen Lakhiani is the founder of edutech firm Mindvalley, the global online self-development school that promises a ‘transformational education’ to its millions of users. Its programmes offer a holistic curriculum designed to re-code what it calls established patterns of thinking.
“Traditional schooling prepared us for jobs and to be safe,” reads Mindvalley’s promotional literature. “But it ignores the areas that truly lead to extraordinary, meaningful lives. This is where Mindvalley comes in.”
Programmes are often focused on wellness, spirituality and personal growth, conducted through both large-scale conferences and online courses, enlisting the skills of well-known self-help gurus such as Robin Sharma.
The Malaysian entrepreneur is also the author of New York Times Bestseller, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. The book is “a blueprint of laws to break us free from the shackles of an ordinary life”, based on personal experiences and over 200 hours of interviews with leaders such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington.
Lakhiani spoke to Malaysia Tatler about his entrepreneurial journey. Here are three core tenets that set him on the path to success.
We are nothing without a purpose
“I have been through a lot and it has taught me to weed out the fluff. I do not have the time or patience for things that do not improve humanity,” says Lakhiani. “I believe we are born on this earth for a reason. When you divert from that reason, the universe kicks our butt to realign us in the right direction.”
“I live by something I call The Eve Principle. My daughter Eve is a mixed-race kid. Off the bat, you won’t be able to accurately guess her heritage from her appearance. I want a future for her where she can thrive and be happy despite her ethnicity or nationality. Everything I do, I ask myself: Will this make a better world for her?”
We need to open our minds to new ways of thinking
In his formative years, Lakhiani moved to Silicon Valley just before the dot-com bubble burst. Facing hard times, he found himself in a dial-for-dollars telemarketing job, where he was paid on commission. With morale “at an all-time low”, he signed up for a meditation class that changed his path permanently.
“The experience changed me,” says Lakhiani. “I was using abilities in my mind that I never learned in school: heightened creativity, intuition and empathy to connect with people. I could visualise my goals and go into a peaceful state of mind. I doubled my sales exponentially after I returned. I was promoted to director of sales and moved to New York to start an office at the age of 26.”
Education is the key to everything
After a while, Lakhiani grew tired of sales and focused his attention on education, inspired by his mother, a former teacher.
“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’ But the schooling system globally is flawed; they teach us how to achieve success through the amount of money in your bank account, or the title on your business card. The truth is there’s more to life than that.”
"If humans are like iPhones, our hardware is our belief system. If we choose to do so, we can upgrade our system.”
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