Vishen Lakhiani: Changing Lives Through Meditation
Vishen Lakhiani is the entrepreneur, author, speaker, and activist looking to make a major dent in every aspect of human life.
Vishen Lakhiani is known by most as the founder of the award-winning education movement Mindvalley, New York Times bestselling author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, founder of A-Fest, Mindvalley Quests, and Mindvalley University as well as an impactful speaker and activist. Vishen believes the world is capable of extraordinary things if we unite together. He believes that the solution lies in raising human consciousness; that is why he created Mindvalley.
Today, his book The 6 Phase Meditation Method: The Proven Technique to Supercharge Your Mind, Manifest Your Goals, and Make Magic in Minutes a Day is helping readers get focused, find peace, and manifest their goals.
Q: What do you remember from your adolescence growing up in Malaysia?
A: I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the schooling system did not allow for any creativity or thinking outside of the box. I recall teachers constantly shoving Brules (Bullsh*t Rules) down my throat, trying to force ways of thinking and behaving onto me that were deemed “acceptable” by society — how to be successful, how to worship God, what a proper family should look like, what I should and should not eat.
As awful as this all was, it was ultimately the first spark in my journey to evolve education. Growing up and seeing beyond the confines of what my childhood school taught me, I felt compelled to bring transformation to people’s lives and empower them to become the best versions of themselves.
Q: What was your first encounter with your own personal spiritual development?
A: Upon graduating from University of Michigan in 1999, I took an elite internship with Microsoft. Only a small percentage of those who applied were accepted into this internship — it was the Holy Grail that would set you up for a career as a computer engineer. Turns out I absolutely hated it, and within weeks I quit.
At that point, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I floated between other positions, feeling like a failure because I could barely pay my bills. Then one night, I got on Google and searched for “hope,” and discovered a class on mediation. Yes, one Google search completely changed my life.
As I became more invested in meditation, something amazing happened: I became the top performer at my job at the time, and my sales figures skyrocketed. I got promoted three times in four months, eventually becoming director of sales. I was using my mind in a unique and different way. Blown away at how meditation was changing my life, I decided to take it to the next level and become a meditation instructor. This was the decision that would ultimately change everything for me — and even led to me creating my own form of meditation, known as 6 Phase Meditation.
These decisions — to do that Google search, to become a meditation instructor – helped lay the foundation for my personal transformation journey and, ultimately, Mindvalley.
Q: When did you first realize that your mission in life was to raise human consciousness?
A: When I look back, there are many moments where I was inching my way toward my ultimate mission. For instance, when I was a kid, I enrolled in a weekly taekwondo class. What I loved so much about these classes was that there was a clear system in place that allowed students to grow to a mastery level in easily attainable stages. Working my way up from a white belt to the coveted black belt, I found that all of the belts were reachable goals to hit, and helpful in tracking my progress and keeping me motivated.
This isn’t to say that I knew my life’s purpose from this early on, but as I got older and began my adventure in human consciousness, I couldn’t help but think back to these moments. I wondered if there was a scale, similar to that of taekwondo, for the evolution of human consciousness — a system that could make it easier for all of us to level up.
THE 6 PHASE MEDITATION METHOD SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTS HOW YOU THINK, PERFORM, GROW, HEAL AND SHAPE THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
Q: Why do you believe giving back is such an important part of human development?
A: Studies have found that acts of giving back are linked to increased mental health and overall wellness. Acts of altruism — no matter how small or large — activate the brain’s mesolimbic pathway and contribute to feelings of gratification and fulfilment. The brain releases happiness chemicals like dopamine throughout the body, aiding your sense of inner peace, tranquility and sense of purpose. Your cognition improves, creating brainwaves similar to the effects of meditation. Additionally, giving back has been proven to lower blood pressure, anxiety, depression, as well as lower risks of dementia and cardiovascular problems.
Q: Of all of Mindvalley’s teaching programs, which include programs on mindfulness, meditation, personal growth, fitness and health, which area do you feel most passionate about?
A: Mindvalley is home to 200 of the world’s top teachers, authors and experts in personal growth and wellness, with an expansive library of highly produced master classes and programs. Some wonderful Mindvalley authors to check out would be Marisa Peer, Jim Kwik, Dr. Shefali, Paul McKenna, Lisa Nichols, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Srikumar Rao, Marie Diamond and so many more. I also recommend you to check out one of our leading programs, called The Silva Ultramind System.
Q: How long did it take you to write The Code of the Extraordinary Mind? How did your life change after the book reached No. 10 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous?
A: This book is a compilation of years of research, science and countless interviews with some of the most brilliant minds I’ve encountered. I am very proud of this book and of how many people it has reached globally. The more people we can help to transform, the better. Now, with three bestsellers and another one in the works, I truly love using writing (and audio) as another way to reach so many people and bring the wisdom of hundreds of brilliant minds to more humans.
Q: What does your creative process look like when you’re starting to write a book?
A: Transformation is the key thing. Everything I write has the end goal of giving someone a powerful transformation.
Q: What prompted you to write The 6 Phase Meditation Method: The Proven Technique to Supercharge Your Mind, Manifest Your Goals, and Make Magic in Minutes a Day?
A: I created The 6 Phase Meditation Method as a radical reinvention of meditation, an easier form of self-transformation that isn’t labelled by outdated thinking and customs. I wanted to share the protocol I had created for myself so that anyone could do it, no matter what your views are on meditation or where you’re at in your personal growth journey; and it can be done in less than 20 minutes every day. The 6 Phase Meditation Method significantly impacts how you think, perform, grow, heal and shape the world around you. Today more than two million people practise this, including award- winning athletes and celebrities.
Q: How do you feel knowing that Mindvalley is one of the leading brands in human transformation?
A: Seeing the evolution and success of Mindvalley has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. With over 20 million growth-seekers worldwide, I am grateful for every member who has put their trust in me and this community. It has long been my mission to raise human consciousness and transform the major systems that run the world, and it has been so fulfilling to see Mindvalley do exactly that.
Looking to the future, Mindvalley’s success excites me. Seeing how much we have achieved in our journey so far, I am eager to continue working to expand the platform even farther beyond what we already have to offer.
Q: Who are some of the top teachers today in the fields of meditation, intuition, consciousness, meta-learning, biohacking and longevity?
A: I am fortunate enough to have some of the top teachers and brightest minds sharing their wisdom at Mindvalley through various courses, master classes and quests that members can choose from. For meditation, we offer Meditation for Super Performance with Emily Fletcher, the meditation expert who’s taught at Google and Harvard. For intuition, there is Sixth Sense Superpower with Sonia Choquette, the world’s premier intuition teacher. For meta-learning, try one of our most popular programs, called Superbrain by Jim Kwik. For biohacking, Mindvalley will soon launch a biohacking quest led by the “Father of Biohacking,” Dave Asprey. For longevity, we offer The Longevity Blueprint by Ben Greenfield.
Q: If someone is completely new to the idea of human transformation/self-improvement, where would you tell them to start?
A: The first thing to do when starting anything new is to forget everything you think you know about it. Oftentimes we go into new endeavours with preconceived notions and misconceptions that will cloud our judgment or skew our experience. The best way to begin any journey, especially one of self-improvement, is by going in with a completely open mind and heart. I would suggest downloading the Mindvalley app and creating an account so you can begin looking at our courses. We actually offer a 7-day free trial membership at this special link.
Q: What do you believe are the qualities of a great leader?
A: Everyone at some point in their lives aspires to climb up the ladder toward a leadership role, but the definition of what a great leader is often gets clouded by all the rules we think we have to live by. Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “A leader is someone who gets people to do things he wants done because they want to do it.” This quote has always stuck with me. What an amazing quote.
As I began growing my business and evolving my leadership style, I soon realized that a leader is someone who helps other people grow. So, we came up with this leadership credo: “Everyone you lead is as brilliant as you, as great as you, and as capable of the same impact. Your job is simply to remind them of this fact and help them grow.” I believe that the best leaders are the best coaches.
Q: What motivates you on a daily basis?
A: I want to share an idea that I got from the brilliant Dr. Reverend Michael Beckwith. He says that you don’t need motivation, and that it is actually rubbish. The people who need that are doing a job or role that aligns with their mission. If you need to be pushed, then you’re probably not pursuing the right vision. I wake up every day and am pulled by my own vision, which took me years to figure out. So, the real question is, do you need motivation, or do you need to find a vision that pulls you forward?
Q: What does la dolce vita, the sweet life, mean to you?
A: It means a life filled with the things that bring the most happiness. This is beyond money, having the best job, fancy clothes, but rather the people you surround yourself with and the relationships you have with them. Having heart-to-heart connections with other human beings is what truly makes us feel happy, and what makes life so sweet.
Hi, I’m Vishen…
And most people know me as:
The founder of Mindvalley
an award-winning education movement with millions of students worldwide and growing fast.
The New York Times Bestselling author
of The Code of the Extraordinarv 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 (you might have seen my exposé on Nestlé, shared over 20 million times).
Interview by Estelle Zentil