Vishen Lakhiani on Breaking All the “Brules” | Impact Theory | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Vishen Lakhiani on Breaking All the “Brules” | Impact Theory".


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Intro (00:00)

- Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Impact Theory. You are here my friends because you believe, like I do, that human potential is nearly limitless, but you know that having potential is not the same as actually doing something with it. So our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that are gonna help you actually execute on your dreams. All right, today's guest is one of the most successful and unconventional entrepreneurs I have ever met.

Understanding Vishen Lakhiani'S Philosophy And Techniques

Introducing Vishen Lakhiani (00:28)

With 700 bucks and a beat up laptop, he launched what has become arguably the largest and most successful meditation and wellness media companies on the planet. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, he's lived in Malaysia, Michigan, New York, the Bay Area, and at the time of this recording, he's house shopping in Estonia, not kidding. He and his family also uproot themselves for an entire month every year to spend time in a new and exciting location to ensure the maximum exposure to new ideas. And this very unique perspective, the diversity that it brings is what has allowed him to question everything and crawl out from under the horde of bullshit rules, what he calls "bruels," that he believes are holding us all back. And in the process, he's had a ridiculous string of successes that sees him now leading a global empire of 200 employees from 40 countries. Along the way, he's founded Omvana, the highest grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in over 30 countries, Dormio, which was recently the second most downloaded health and fitness app in the US,, and most importantly, his flagship company, Mindvalley. He's also a hyperactive philanthropist who's on the Innovation Board of the X Prize, was named to the Transformational Leadership Council, and through his project Renaissance, he's aiming to make his home of Kuala Lumpur, one of the top 20 cities in the world to launch a startup. Please help me in welcoming the CEO and founder of the Radical New Mindvalley Academy, a revolutionary educational platform with over 1.5 million students and subscribers, the creator of A-Fest, and the best-selling author of the code of the extraordinary mind, Vishin Lakhiani. - So, so on it to be on this show. Can I just give a shout out to my family? - Please. - Christina Hayden, Eve High, and Hayden, check out that T-shirt. - Yes, I'm gonna say that symbol. - And Hayden-- - My son is the big Jedi fan. - Well, he's the reason that I'm wearing it. - Nice. - So-- - Had that Hayden? - You had said in an interview that, actually it was a talk that you gave, you said, you know, we have to question all these-- - What? - Brools. And one of them is religion, and so my kids get to pick their own religion, and you said that you kinda hope that he'd choose Jedi, and I was right there with you, man. - You are. - So, yeah, I love that notion. Tell us what, what are the brools, what's the culturescape, like give us some of that, which is-- - Well, well, I coined the word, which I call the culturescape. The culturescape is that tangled web of shared subjective realities that all of us, I immersed in, and all of us are influenced by the culturescape of our local group.

The Culturescape (02:58)

So, I grew up as a kid in Kuala Lumpur, and growing up there, my family was Hindu. So, I was influenced by the shared subjective reality of Hinduism, the idea of reincarnation. I believe growing up, that eating beef was somehow bad. I might go to hell, well, Hindus don't believe in hell, but I might wanna achieve oneness with the universe, or I might be looked upon badly by God because I chose to eat beef. That was my shared subjective reality. As I grew up, I went to a British school, and then I came to America, I went to the University of Michigan, and as I get exposed to these different elements of the culturescape, because of this, this diversity I was part of, I start realizing that not all shared subjective reality is true. So, I realized that my belief that eating beef is bad was just that, it's a belief, it's neither true nor false. So, what I write about in my book is how to study the culturescape, the shared subjective realities we are living in, and identify what rules help you, and what rules are really rules, or bullshit rules. Rules that hold you back from truly living your most extraordinary life. So, let me give you an example of a bullshit rule, right? So, growing up in an Indian family, there's a lot of pressure to be successful. So, if you have Indian friends, they'll probably say this as well, especially Indians who are immigrants, like me, who live outside India, that your family pushes you to be a lawyer, a doctor, or an engineer, and if you're not any of that, you're a family embarrassment. So, Indian kids grow up to be lawyers, doctors, engineers, or family failures. So, in my case, I loved art. I wanted to study art. I love performing art. I love getting on stage and acting. I loved photography, but when I went to school, I viewed artists, the idea of me being an artist as disappointing my family as the opposite of success. So, I signed up for computer engineering classes. I studied art, went through all of these boring, as hell classes that I had no interest in at the University of Michigan, so that five years later, I could get a job at Microsoft. And now, boom, I was it. I was working for Bill Gates. I was at Microsoft. My family, you know, they had saved up over a hundred grand for this college education, and now I will say, "Software guy at Microsoft." 11 weeks into Microsoft, I realized I was miserable, and I quit cold turkey. I basically got myself fired. I had no motivation for work. When I was supposed to be in the office, and I confessed, and I'm so apologetic to my boss, I would just hold myself up and play Age of Empires, 'cause I was so bored with programming. My boss caught me, and he fired me, and I wanted that to happen. I realized that for five years, I was pursuing something that I had no interest in, because the rules of the culturescape of being a good Indian kid said, "Be a software programmer." So, I quit. I quit, I went, I joined a nonprofit, and that's really when my life began. I dabbled in different things from traveling around the world, to meditation, to art, but it was through following these passions. It was through ignoring the bullshit rules of the culturescape, but really, identifying what really drove me, what made me passionate, that I was able to build a life I have today. And that's really why I'm so adamant about teaching people, through my work, through my books, to question everything, to question your religion, to question your societal rules, to question the idea of a college degree. And I have a method for that, which we can talk about later, it's called the three most important questions, but that's how I feel all of us should be living life, by questioning everything.

Question Everything (06:34)

And I don't mean being skeptical of everything, there's a difference. I mean, healthy skepticism, ultimately questioning the rules of the culturescape, so we can stay true to our own inner identity. - It's really interesting, and the funny, so full disclosure to anybody watching, Vishnu and I know each other, we're both on the board of the X prize. I didn't know that you had a performance bug in you. - I think anybody watching will get that you're very, at ease, talking, you're great on stage, your presentations are amazing. And they have a lot of fucking views, dude. How do you let that stuff drive you? Like, do the three most important questions, do they address that? Like tapping into... - Well, let's talk about that, right? So, I think, the idea of goal setting in the Western world, is rubbish. 'Cause here's what happened. When you ask people to set goals, even if you teach them methodologies, like SMART, SMART, goal setting, you are basically encouraging people to set goals based on that same culture scape with its restricting rules. So people, especially in the United States, set goals along the lines of this, okay, we need to get good grades, so I can graduate high school, so I can get into a good college, need to study hard, to get a good GPA, so maybe I can go to graduate school, so maybe I can do well in my L set, that becomes the next goal, get into law school, the next goal, graduate from law school, get into a partnership, become a lawyer, and that's how teenagers often think about their life, these series of like ticks that they have to go through. But here's what happens, let's actually look at that, let's look at lawyers, 50% of lawyers in America are clinically depressed, it's not just the US, I think Australia did a similar study, so why are kids going into these professions where they end up in a job that they thought was a good goal at one point, only to find themselves absolutely miserable, and I say that with some confidence, because I at a certain point was working in the legal industry, I was selling technology to law firms, and I would speak to lawyers on the phone and diagnose what was going on in their law firms, and it was shocking how many of them actually hated their jobs and wanted to quit. But why is it that teenagers go into these roles?

Goals and Careers (08:30)

Now it's not just lawyers, we set our goals to have two cars and a house of a certain size to be in a marriage, it's because these goals aren't coming from inside us, they're coming from the culturescape, and the culturescape is basically a safety net mechanism. You see, for the longest time in human history, we had to watch out for each other. There were wars, there were disease, go back a thousand years, there were wild animals that might kill you, so you had to follow certain rules of the culturescape to stay safe. Among these were, get a good education, so you are not stuck in a factory job so that you can have a blue collar job, it was get married, so if you're a woman, you have a man to provide for you, it was have five kids, because if you go back 50 years ago, infant mortality was so much higher, you had five kids too, we're gonna probably pass away. But the problem is, people continue with these same rules in today's world, when everything has changed.

End Goals (09:27)

So the question of the thing is, I don't believe in goal setting, because when you teach traditional goal setting, people are locked into the rules of the culturescape. So here's what I suggest. I suggest we ask ourselves three questions, and I call these the three most important questions. Now the first question is this, it's what experiences do I wanna have? Okay, now I'll tell you why that's important. You see, there are two types of goals, they are means goals, and they are end goals. So people tend to chase means goals, not realizing these are very different from end goals. A means goal is, do well in my LSAT, graduate from college, get that particular job, save up for retirement. But if you ask these people, why do you want that? There's always a so. Well, I wanna qualify for college, so I can do this. I wanna become a lawyer, so I can do this. Well, the so leads you to the end goal. Now what are end goals? End goals are these things that really lead to the beauty of being human. It's waking up next to someone you madly love. It's holding your first child in your arms. It's having a puppy, it's seeing your business open for the first time. It's making that, you know, getting that first customer, it's completing your first book, it's creating a work of art, and having people admire it and fall in love with it. These are end goals. So what I advocate is, and the three most important question is, forget the means goals. Means goals are goals designed by the culturescape. Instead, go straight to the end goals. Now the first question you ask yourself to identify your end goals is, what experiences do I wanna have in life? And this is where you start writing down your experiences. And, you know, when I do this exercise, I ask people to take out a piece of paper, draw three columns. So if you're watching, do that right now, take out a piece of paper, three columns, top of the first column, you're gonna write down experiences, right? And ask yourself, what experiences do I wanna have?

Create the Experience List (11:38)

Who do I wanna wake up with? What type of house do I wanna live in? What countries do I wanna visit? Where do I wanna travel to? What adventures do I wanna have? Whether it's climbing Mount Kinabalu, or hiking the Andes. What type of family life do I want? What dog do I want? The beautiful thing about experiences is, often they don't require that much money. It's crazy, we associate money with happiness, but often, the most beautiful experience system life require no money. Almost any human being today can fall in love, can make a baby. These are some of the most profound experiences I've had. So the first thing is, you make a list of your experiences. Now the second thing is, you ask yourself this question. For me to be the man or woman who has all of these experiences, how do I have to grow? And here we come to the second list. See, I believe we are souls having a human experience here on Planet Earth. But these souls are not just here to explore all of these wonderful things about being human. I believe as souls as human beings, we crave growth.

Create the Growth List (12:35)

Human beings are growth-driven machines. And so you make that second list. And that second list is, how do I want to grow? How can I learn to be a better father? A better spouse, a better lover? What languages do you want to learn? Do you want to learn a musical instrument? Do you want to learn to write? Do you want to learn to play a particular sport or learn a particular skill? What many people don't realize about the world is that growth is a goal in itself. It's one of the key things that drive us forward as human beings. But very few people write down growth as goals. It's because their education system, which tries to teach us to grow through forced learning, makes many people dread learning. So growth becomes that second list. Now you have two lists, your experiences and your growth.

Three Most Important Questions (13:28)

Now you ask yourself the third question. And the third question is this, to be that man or woman who has all of these experiences, to be that man or woman who has grown in such a way, how can I give back to the world? And it's a very important reason for that question. The Dalai Lama said, if you want to be happy, make other people happy. And I believe that when you do these three most important questions, that third category is what truly leads to fulfillment. It's when you can take your growth. You can take your experiences and contribute to fellow souls, contribute to the human race. You've learned entrepreneurship. Great mentor someone, mentor a kid who wants to get there. You have the ability to sing, figure out how to use it to deliver beautiful music, to inspire people. So your list of contributions becomes your steps for you to give back to the world because that takes you beyond pure happiness into fulfillment. Now, when you have this list, experiences, growth, and contribution, this becomes your goal list. Everything else is just a means goal. Now, when I started creating this, I found that it allowed me to rewire my brain, to shortcut and bypass so many bullshit rules to go straight to these final items, to go straight to ways I could contribute, ways I could grow, ways I could have these beautiful experiences. And often these were unconventional parts. Like when I started my company, I didn't work with any investors or VCs. I decided to start my own university, which is happening in Barcelona, but it all came because when you have done the three most important questions, you get to short circuit the rules of the culture escape and figure out shorter parts towards true human fulfillment. That's amazing and has a high degree of consistency.

Meaning Making Machines (15:19)

Now what I wanna know is, do you, like growing up as your kid, do you think that your kids will still struggle with this? Like is the culture escape the kind of thing that sort of it worms its way in? Well, how do you walk them through not ending up in that? So that's a beautiful question, and I love parenting. One of the key things in my growth list is be as great a parent as I can be, 'cause I think that's one of the biggest responsibilities that being human, the whole act of being human gives us, right, to raise another like, baby you and not fuck that kid up. So-- Too much. Too much, right. So one of the key things, I remember talking to a parent, a psychologist called Shelley Lefko, and I asked the one, Shelley, what is the greatest gift a parent can give a child? And Shelley said this, she said, the greatest thing you can do for your children is to be acutely aware that they form their beliefs because of you. So make sure that you are taking absolute care to give them the right beliefs. Now this is so, so, so important. Kids are little meaning making machines. It's how the human brain has evolved to work. We create meaning about the world. Now if you think about, say, American parenting, right, let's say, let's say Billy, your kid is sitting at a table, and he drops his fork, and you go, Billy, don't drop that fork. And two minutes later, Billy drops his spoon, and now you're like, Billy, I told you not to drop that fork. And that's, now you drop a spoon, go stand in that corner. So you take Billy off the chair, you go, put him in the corner, and if your parents, I've done that, I know you guys have done that as well. Now here's, now I thought that was fine. I'm not slapping the kid. I'm just making him stand in the corner, so he learns to hold his frickin' cutlery. So Shelley said, the problem with that is this. We're not paying attention to Billy's meaning making machine. It's that machine and the child's head that's creating meaning. What if this is what is going on in Billy's head? He accidentally dropped his fork, and he was surprised at his mom, you know, questioned him. He's a kid, you know, his hands. He's still learning to use his hands. And so he wanted to find out, was his mom really angry with him? Is mom really angry? What if I drop my spoon? I just wanna see what happens. That's how kids understand the world. They experiment, so he drops his spoon. Now mom sends him to a corner. He doesn't get to finish his meal, which he was enjoying. Now think about, Shelley says, what's going on in Billy's head? The meaning making machine is turning. He's going, mom doesn't trust me. Mom is angry at me. Mom sends me to a corner 'cause she doesn't respect me. Mom doesn't love me. Does she love me? Why am I in a corner? Why can't I speak now? My voice is not important. And these things become part of identity. And these things, when they repeat, is what creates adults that can be so broken. All of us grow up with these holes within ourselves. We feel not loved enough. We feel not important enough. We feel that we don't matter. All of us grow up. I had these issues as a teenager. And it's because our style of parenting doesn't take care of the meaning making machine in a child's brain. So how do you do that? Well, you'd be acutely aware of how a child's brain works. So with my son, let me give you an example of the opposite, right? I was driving my car with my son two weeks ago and he asked me a question. I can't remember what it was, but it was something about science. He's a science junkie. And as he asked me the question, the phone rang and I checked it and it was my CFO. And it was a really, I knew it was an important call. So I took the call. And two minutes into the call, I realized I did not my son. Now what does that tell him? It occurred to me that his meeting making machine might go off and go, oh, dad's work is more important than me. I'm not important. Dad's CFO is more important. So I paused the call and I said, Hayden, I am so, so, so, sorry. Your question is so important to me. You're the most important person in my life. I just need to finish this call because it's only gonna be two minutes and I'm guessing it's something urgent and then I'm gonna give you full attention. Those simple statements tweak his meeting making machine and gives him a sense of importance, gives him a sense of, you know, understanding that he is truly important. So as parents, you wanna be careful of that. Now if you do that, your kid is growing up with healthy beliefs, beliefs which are empowering, beliefs of confidence, beliefs that say, I matter. And when children have that, they are less immune to the rules of the culturescape. They are less immune to a religious leader who might say, you're a sinner because you ate the wrong type of meat. Or because you didn't follow some arbitrary bullshit rule written 2,000 years ago. They are able to use their own, they get a positive meeting making machine and they are better able to use that sense of power and confidence to navigate the world without falling for other people's bullshit. - Yeah, so how do you deal with discipline and not wanting to trigger a negative meeting making machine but knowing that at, or maybe, hey, you tell me, like do you need to corral them?

human beeflore (20:12)

Are there certain rules that they should follow? What happens when Billy punches somebody in the face? - That's happened to my kid, right? Now I believe, I think there are two fundamental things we can have as human beings that define how we function in the world. The first belief is that human beings are fundamentally good. The second belief is that human beings are fundamentally evil. I have a major issue with religion. I think religion has gone past its time of usefulness in human society and it's about time that we start questioning religion and we should cut the chord and stop indoctrinating our children in our religion whether it's Islam or Christianity or Hinduism or any other type of religion. But one of the things is, many religions are created by men and women and enforced by men and women who believe human beings are fundamentally evil. That's where you get dumb ideas such as sin, bad karma and things like that. I believe human beings are fundamentally good. I rarely have discipline issues with my son. Yes, there was a time, many years ago, four or five years ago, when I know my kid punched another kid because he lost his temper. So I sat down with Hayden and we spoke about it and we spoke about the value of compassion and we spoke about Ken Wilbur and his theories of levels of awareness, how one can move from ethnocentrism to world centrism to cosmos centrism, how all of us can be connected in life. I never disciplined him. How old was he at this point? He was maybe five years old. And do you think he got that? I mean, he did. Ethnocentrism is pretty intense. You'd be surprised at how smart kids really are. So Hayden, yeah, Hayden is aware of philosophers like Ken Wilbur and understands many of these concepts. Now, here's why this is important. Charles Darwin, we all know Darwin, right? The theory of evolution. Well, in 1872, Darwin wrote a really interesting book. I forgot the name, but it had the word sexual in the title. I guess in 1872, you wanted to sell a book, you would put the word anatomy of reproduction and sexual something in the title, right? - I think that works today too. - It works today, probably. So, God, I wish I could remember the name of the book.

diffusion of sympathy (22:39)

But anyway, you guys can Google it. It was written in 1872 or 1873. And in that book, Charles Darwin spoke about this incredible idea called diffusion of sympathy. And when I read that paragraph, I felt like, I felt like my hair stand on end because it was like listening to the Dalai Lama, remembering that this was a guy who lived 150 years ago. He said when human beings start understanding that they can be sympathetic to the community around them, very soon they start understanding that they have a natural advantage by being sympathetic to the entire nation. But then very soon they realized that they have a further advantage by being sympathetic to people of other nations. And one by one, this diffusion of sympathy will extend until someday the entire human race will be sympathetic to each other. He predicted world centrism. He predicted that more and more of us are gonna go up to areas of world centrism. Charles Darwin didn't just talk about how we evolved. He talked about how we are going to evolve.

dykes rant (23:41)

The natural state of evolution of human beings, according to Charles Darwin, is that sympathies. And sympathies is basically 1872 language for compassion. It's gonna extend and extend and extend until the human race is won. I guess today you can call that unity, right? So back to why it's important for a kid to know this. When you see, and I'm not trying to get political, I'm trying to get logical. When you see a man like Trump get on television and blame Mexicans and blame Muslims, you can tell that his ideas are counter to the natural forward evolution of the human race, which is diffusion of sympathy to people of all colors and all creeds. In other words, he's holding us back. And if you decide that the goal of a political leader is to help human beings evolve, you would not work for Trump. Assuming you understood Darwin, you understood Ken Wilbur's philosophy. My child at seven can watch Trump on television and go, this guy is kinda, you know, bad. So I believe that is the most important thing we can teach our people because if people learn that, there would be no racism, there would be no wars, there would be no discrimination against people of different colors or religions, there would be no discrimination against gays. And the thing is, if you are a religious person and you learn that, the way you embrace your religion changes, religion goes away from being a suffocating poisonous rule to something that can open you up to new experiences. - Do you consider yourself a philosopher or an entrepreneur more? - I imagine there's a bit of both, but.

Discussing Corporate Culture And Mindvalley

labels and labels and labels (25:22)

- Interesting question. I realize I just went on on philosophy for a really long time. - Which is amazing, but I'm very curious to know where your self definition would fall. - I used to think I was an entrepreneur, but again, entrepreneur is a mean school. - Okay. - So I don't like that label, entrepreneur. They are entrepreneurs who are freelancers on right now, who will design a logo for you. They're an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs simply means you're earning your own income. They're entrepreneurs like you who have built billion dollar companies. The gap is too wide to put everybody into one label. So I define myself not by the label entrepreneur, but by what I stand for. I believe it's not our labels that matter. It's your stand. One guy I know, Patrick J. If I lost my business, and that happens, right? Small chance, but it happens. I wouldn't lose my identity. If I stop standing up for unity, I wouldn't be vision. Everything I do in mind value is about taking Darwin's prediction of sympathetic diffusion and getting it out to more people. There's this big desire in me for unity. I don't know where it comes from. Maybe it was the racism I experienced as a child. Often the biggest childhood pains we experience are simply the things that define our future values. But that's what makes me me.

There are two types of free companies (27:05)

I'm a fighter and an activist for human unity. That's my number one definition of myself. - Wow, man, that's intense. And I love that. I love that you've thought enough about it to really know what your real end goal is. That's phenomenal. The reason that I asked is, I think a lot about what is the ultimate power of being an entrepreneur? What is the end game to put it in your terms? And for me, I definitely consider myself an entrepreneur, but the reason that I consider myself an entrepreneur and the reason that I think that that's so powerful and the reason that I get so excited, doing things like the adventure trip that we did for the X-prize is you get to be around other entrepreneurs and they sound like fucking philosophers. They sound like you sound. And I know anybody watching this is thinking, this guy runs companies? You know what I mean? Like they're thinking of you as a philosopher. What I want them to see in that is that commerce becomes this very powerful vehicle for you to build a platform, to launch what you're trying to do with unity in a way that's sustainable, in a way that touches a lot of people. Like tell them about awesomeness fest, now known as A-Fest, and that you give away the profits, and but you're only able to do that because you're such an effective entrepreneur. - Well, let me first backtrack a bit. I wanna give you guys a model that might help explain this, right? In my book, I have a quote. I think it's the single most quoted line in my book, and it is business people do it for the dollars, but entrepreneurs do it to push the human race forward. - I love that. - That's the difference. People lump everyone together, but no, they are business people who will stop businesses that basically are designed just for shareholder value, just to make a buck. Entrepreneurs are people like you. You started Quest Nutrition because you wanted to make a dent in obesity in America. You wanted to help people live a healthy lifestyle. Entrepreneurs, I found true entrepreneurs do it because there's this deep calling in them to push the human race forward. Now, as a result, business people and entrepreneurs build very different types of companies. And if you understand this division, you understand that there are two types of companies you can join.

Vishens view on corporation legislation (29:20)

If you are applying for a job or working for a company, this is so important. You can be in a humanity minus company, or you can be in a humanity plus company like Quest Nutrition or Mindvalley. Humanity plus companies are designed not just for profit. They can be highly profitable, like Quest, like Zumba, but they are pushing the human race forward. Humanity minus companies create money, but they serve very poor, and they don't really serve to push the human race forward. In many cases, they keep the human race stuck in old practices. If you think about oil and gas companies right now, right, which are influencing the EPA to cut so many environmental regulations, if you think about companies that sell junk food, these are humanity minus companies, big tobacco junk food, companies that are willing to sacrifice quality and manipulate people to eat stuff that actually make you sick because it leads to their bottom line, humanity minus. I wish millennials today could understand this, so you guys stop sending your resumes to bullshit companies that are messing up the planet. No one's asking you to save the world. All I'm saying is don't fuck it up for the next generation. - That's a fair ask. So what I wanna know is, do you think, going back to what you're saying about the food companies, the humanity minus, do you think that we legislate our way out of that? Do we stop food companies from doing things, or do we as consumers make demands that they be better? - That's a very important question. I am not for extreme legislation, but the fact of the matter is, legislation is necessary, because especially in a country like the US, right? There is this danger that America becomes a corporatocracy. If not, if it isn't already, and certain legislation is necessary. Let me give you an example. In Talin, which is this beautiful, medieval town, my wife is from there, we're buying a house there, I love Talin, I'm so happy that there's legislation that doesn't allow Starbucks in Talin, 'cause I used to live in New York, and I remember in 1998 and 1999, walking through the streets of New York and being able to visit and have dates and all of these beautiful little romantic coffee shops, and when Starbucks came in, all of these coffee shops just died out, it's just a Starbucks everywhere. And some of these Starbucks don't even have like places where you can sit, it's coffee on the go. Right now, I love Starbucks, I start at Mindvalley in a Starbucks, but I can see how, without legislation, certain historical places like Talin, one of my favorite cities, might lose their native touch. Talin has shops, stores, which are over 500 years old. These might die out if these companies come in, so sometimes legislation is necessary. And especially when it comes to food, I think it's so vitally important. According to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, one in three Americans are now officially obese. And until we create a world where, and hopefully the millennial generation will figure this out, we create a world where companies are all humanity plus, the fact is, a large number of companies exist straight up as an algorithm for generating profit, and these algorithms, I'm not saying these guys behind them are bad or wrong, I'm just saying the algorithm of the companies to generate profit at all cost. And these might be counter to where we want to take the human species. - Yeah, it's a fascinating argument that I won't derail less entirely, and keep going down that rabbit hole, but it's something I think a lot about. What was that study that you read about belief, and I think you refer to it as Bob, Billy, and Sally, and their teachers, is this one where the teacher gets told these three are special? - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

The Expectancy Effect (33:08)

So the numerous studies, it's called the expectancy effect, right? So there was this one study done in the school where they took a teacher, and they played a trick on her. They told her that certain people in her class had tested and were proven to be exceptionally gifted. But the teacher, to be fair to everyone, was not allowed to tell these kids how they had done in this presumed IQ test. She just had to do her regular job and be quiet about it. Now, what they found is that after one year, even though they had randomly picked the kids whom they told the teacher was gifted, those kids started scoring better in exams. And that's the expectancy effect. People do good when you expect them to do good. It's a really interesting study that shows that often what we expect to be true about the world, whether it's because it changes our behavior, or it influences the world in some way, ends up being true. They did that same study with managers. They told managers certain employees were just had the potential to be star employees. And again, these employees were picked at random. And sure enough, those employees ended up being star employees. - And that is so fascinating to me when you think about the power of the mind. Because what's happening is, and this goes back to, did you read Malcolm Gladwell outliers? - Yes, I did. - And we talked about hockey players in Canada are all born between January and March because they end up being bigger and because they have early wins, because they're just more coordinated, they're bigger, they're stronger. And then that gives them the confidence. They go on to do better simply because they have the confidence and believe that they must be better. And so they actually separate themselves from the pack. And that just the teacher, 'cause these kids don't even know the study's happening. So just the teacher believing, even though they're trying not to let anything on, that they think these kids are special. The kids actually end up doing better. It's so surreal and makes me absolutely terrified to have children. And because you realize, I want it to be Plato, I think it's Plato that said, the only impossible job is raising children. And when you think about how many, I literally, as you were talking about rules, I had this vision of your kids and vines representing the rules winding their way over. And your job as a parent is one by one to fight those off because they come for you. - They do. - It's not like they just get passed on by you. There's so many, to navigate the world, we have to make assumptions about it. And to have a consistent human experience, you have to make assumptions. You have to have things that you believe. And for things can get in man that are sneaky, and it is so hard to shock that all off and do something exceptional. I don't wanna run out of time.

Mindvalley Academy (35:53)

I wanna hear about your university because I think your university addresses a lot of this stuff. What exactly is Mindvalley Academy? And how's it different? Why is it important? - Perfect. So Mindvalley Academy is a company I started. So Mindvalley, again, is an education company. Mindvalley Academy is this really successful online school. We started to teach people the things that school should have thought you, but forgot. I often hear from people who say, education failed me. And the reason for that is because if you really look at what creates happy, successful life, it is not the stuff that schools are teaching us. All of us today walk around with the equivalent of a freaking supercomputer in our pockets, right? And on this computer, you can pretty much pull up most information. Yet what do schools teach? They teach you geography, history, math. And all of that is accessible in our portable brain. But what they don't teach us is how to truly lead exceptional lives. How do you be a great parent and not fuck up your kids? How do you be a great lover? So you don't end up one of those divorce statistics which afflict 50% of marriages. How do you lead a life of adventure? So you don't wake up at 40 wondering, what the hell am I doing? How do you stay physically fit? How do you extend your longevity? How do you know what foods to eat and what to toss into the garbage can? How do you treat people? How do you get on stage and share an idea? How do you write a business plan? How do you become an entrepreneur? How do you learn how to create residual streams of income? Passive income. School doesn't teach that to you. In fact, school doesn't teach you much of what one truly needs to be successful. So what we do is we go out there, we find the greatest teachers in the world. The greatest guy for fitness. The greatest man or woman for a healthy eating. The greatest people for mindfulness and meditation. The greatest people for self-esteem. The greatest people for goal setting. We take those great teachers and we combine them with a great curriculum. Often they have their own curriculum but we teach them particular psychology and stuff to create phenomenal courses. We combine this with great technology. Great teacher, great curriculum, great technology. Wrapped around all of it is art and design and beautiful filmmaking and we produce the world's best courses and these subject matters. These courses are on an app. We have two apps, the Mindvalley app which is for traditional courses. In a new app we are launching soon called Mindvalley Quest. Basically, students join a cohort, a group. 3,000 students at the same time going through an incredible program. One of our top programs is WildFit which is a weight loss program. It's like the most amazing thing for reshaping your body all based on using NLP to change your approach to food. You have 3,000 people go through it and here's the crazy thing. The completion rate is almost 500% better than traditional courses. And what happens is it's based on micro learning so you take a 10 minute lesson every day. It's not eight hours of content. People go through and then there's community so people are supporting each other and at the end of 30, 60 or 90 days people now have a healthy eating habit or they've figured out how to put on muscle and be physically fit or they now have high endurance or they now can practice mindfulness or they've now learned to tap into their intuition. So we are roping in many of the world's greatest teachers, Neil Donald Walsh, Ken Wilbur, putting them off, Wim Hof. Yeah, Wim Hof is teaching in our university. I'll come to that in a moment. And putting them on Mindvalley Academy, through our apps. Now at the same time there are certain things where you learn best as a group and that's what Mindvalley U is about. So we're actually creating our own university to compete with four year colleges which I think are not relevant anymore.

Mindvalley University (39:20)

Alan Watts, who's one of our teachers, his work is coming to Mindvalley Quest, phenomenal philosopher. Alan Watts said, "No literate inquisitive young man needs to go to college unless they are trading to be a doctor or a teacher or anything that requires certification." And he wrote that in 1972. It's even more true right now. Think about college, right? You take a group of 19, 20 and 21 year olds and put them in a bubble for four years. And when they come out of that bubble, the world has changed. I mean, Peter D'Aamander said, "Between 2016 and 2022, we will see more change in the world than between 1900 and 2000." So what happens when you emerge from this bubble? Your knowledge is often no longer useless. Your degree doesn't matter. 15% of people at Google, according to last law block, they're hit up hiring. No longer have a college degree. Same at Mindvalley, 15% of our highest, no college degree. So people are coming out with these bullshit degrees that spent four years on campus and they're hanging out with other 19 year olds. What can you learn from a 19-year old? Now we wanna change college. So the first thing is, get red of the four years. Mindvalley you is one month a year. You go for one month onto our campus and then you go back into the real world for 11 months. You come back a month later. Go back into the real world for 11 months. It is one month a year stretched out for 48 years. So the second thing we just got rid of, graduation. It's pointless. Why would you ever want to graduate from learning, right? So you come back every year. Now the third thing we do is, it's not just for teenagers. You have parents coming, husband, wife, 10 year olds, teens, five year olds. It's for people of all ages. You could be in a class with a 13 year old and 70 year olds. And because of this, everybody learns from each other. An interesting statistic shows that 85% of jobs are found through personal connections, not resumes. The resumes help, but it's that personal connection. Everybody knows resumes are BS. By putting entrepreneurs and teenagers all in the same campus together. Your kids make incredible connections. So now the next thing we hack is the campus itself. Rather than have a confined campus, our campus is in spectacular cities around the world, like Barcelona. Next year it's going to be Berlin or Tallinn. The campus moves every year. So every year for one month, you're living in a new city. You're discovering a new culture. You're on this campus with this incredible community of people of all around the ages. And now we bring in the magic ingredient, teachers. Our subject matter and our teachers are the subjects that truly change your life. Our teachers are legendary. Colleges do not have the best teachers. They have the best researchers. They are incentivized to employ the best researchers. But the best teachers, these are the people you have on the show. These are people on TED Talks. These are people writing best-selling books. We get these people into our campus. It's such a rich community. But it all started because my family and I wanted to question a blue. Kristina and I were wondering, how cool would it be if we could live one month a year in a foreign city without kids? And if we had community around us and we had opportunity to do what we love, which is learn. And this new university idea was born. So we launched it. It's been ridiculous. Hundreds of applications. We're going to them right now. We'll probably fill our first quota. Our first beta test is 400 people. But I'm going to scale this to 10,000 people. And yes, absolutely. We are taking on four-year colleges. Wow, man. That's incredible. It's a big vision. Thank you.

Concluding Remarks And Impact

Where to find Vishen (42:59)

All right. You're doing a lot. Where can these guys find you online? Go to is where you can learn all about mind valleyacademy, our courses, our teachers, and mindvalleyacademy forward slash you is where you can learn about our university project. Awesome, man. All right.

What is the impact you want to have on the world (43:16)

Last question. What's the impact that you want to have on the world? I already shared what I feel is the number one thing I stand for. And that is unity. But the second thing I stand for is human transformation. The impact I want to have on the world is to help take our human education systems from what we learn as adults to what colleges teach. And later we're going to go down to K1, K12, an early infant learning and upgrade these to teach the skills that truly create happy, wonderful, kind, generous people who are able to live beautiful, fulfilled lives, create humanity plus companies and elevate the human race as a world-centric species. Now, this means an overhaul of how our education system works. It means teaching ideas like world-centrism, getting it into the K1 to K12 system, into colleges, and teaching people to unleash that power within. I know that line sounds corny, but teaching people to unleash that abilities within, to really craft and create the best lives they can. That's the legacy I want to live. I want to reboot human education and create something that's more relevant for the generation, that future, that this human race is moving into. I love it, man. Thank you so much for coming on, dude. This is awesome. Thanks. Guys, listen when I say that, yes, he has a massive vision, but the thing you need to understand about him is he is an entrepreneur to his core. And while he does not define himself by that, and I get it, it's all about unity, he actually knows how to execute. And that's why it's important to me that he has the skill set of an entrepreneur, because he's not an empty dreamer who's pulling all of this stuff out of the ether to sound good. He's building all of this stuff based on real world execution, knowing what it takes to actually take on a four-year university, knowing what it takes to look at a global problem like people being too ethnocentric or being too egocentric, and understanding how to build sustainable engines that take care of that through being an entrepreneur, looking past the dollar, and looking to the opportunity, and the way to build something, to get people excited and rallied around an idea, go online and look at their offices, look at the way that he's constructed it, and one thing I was not going to forget to ask him, and I forgot, is that he makes people swear on like a Wonder Woman statue when they start in the hall of awesomeness. These are all real things tied to his company. Go check it out. He questions everything. He is doing things in a new way, and I know I have learned a lot from him. I hope that you guys will as well.


Outro (45:58)

It is a weekly show, my friends. So if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe, and until next time, be legendary, my friends. Take care. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, brother. Love this. Hey, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Impact Theory. If this content is adding value to your life, our one ask is that you go to iTunes, and Stitcher, and Rate and Review. Not only does that help us build this community, which at the end of the day is all we care about, but it also helps us get even more amazing guests on here to show their knowledge with all of us. Thank you guys so much for being a part of this community, and until next time, be legendary, my friends.

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