Episode #254

The Code of The Extraordinary Mind

In this episode Joe Polish interviews Vishen Lakhiani. Living on a couch after two failed Silicon Valley startups, Vishen got hooked on the power of mindfulness and meditation – and has never looked back. He’s now  the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, a company that publishes high-end courses for personal growth. He’s just published The Code of The Extraordinary Mind – a book that analyses how exceptional people think and work and turns it into processes to help you change your life.

About Vishen Lakhiani:

Vishen Lakhiani is a Malaysian-born entrepreneur, education technology innovator, speaker, and investor. He is the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, an education technology company specializing in innovation in education by introducing wellness, mindfulness and personal development into global education and lifelong learning.

Here’s a glance at what you’ll learn from Vishen Lakhiani in this episode:

  • How Vishen went from being broke, sleeping on a couch to founding a global education platform that is positively changing millions of peoples lives
  • Vishen shares the beliefs, systems and practices of legendary leaders like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and many more
  • The 2 biggest mistakes people make when it comes to achieving more success and happiness
  • Vishen reveals the spark that moved him to write his new book “The Code of The Extraordinary Mind”
  • Live A Life That Speaks To Your Soul: Vishen explains the difference between means goals and end goals
  • A 3-step method for upgrading your system for living
  • The one thing all extraordinary people have in common
  • How to break free from the rules that hold you back and craft a life vision that aligns with who you truly are and changes the world
  • What the Culturescape is and how you can step out of it and transcend it
  • The way to turn pain and failure into learning, insight and transformation
  • Chapter 9 (“”Be Unfuckwithable””) in Vishen’s new book was inspired by Joe. Here’s how you can become unfuckwithable…
  • The 3 most important questions to ask yourself if you want to live an extraordinary life
  • Consciousness Engineering: 2 principles for accelerating your personal growth and rapidly upgrading every area of your life
  • A system you can put in place in your company to attract and hire talented people from around the world
  • One of the best biographies written by a billionaire that everyone should read

  • Introduction [00:50]
  • Vichen’s the author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind [01:00]
  • “I lost all my money and failed att two startups in Silicon Valley…from that point, sleeping on a couch, I discovered things such as meditation and mindfulness.” [02:30]
  • Vishen became an incredibly successful sales employee using what he learned [04:50]
  • “As I built up my company, I got access to incredible minds. And I started trying to unpack the patterns behind them to write my book.” [06:10]
  • “What are the biggest mistakes that people are making when it comes to pursuing happiness, success and achievement?” [08:00]
  • “Success and happiness are nothing more than words. They mean different things depending on where in the culturescape you are born.” [08:45]
  • Words all mean different things to different people – and we borrow meanings from our parents, teachers, or preachers [09:50]
  • “I was one of the top 1% of computer engineering grads in the United States…and I hated it”  [11:00]
  • Distinguish between “means goals” and “end goals” [12:10]
  • Define what success looks like for yourself [14:05]
  • What questions can people ask to get away from the “bullshit rules” that determine their lives? [14:30]
  • “Bullshit rules come from five sources; accidental indoctrination; culture and media; social proof;
  • The best way to detach from bullshit rules is to determine where they come from…and then to start making a list of your end goals [19:21]
  • There are three buckets of end goals: experiences that make your heart sing; goals for growth and skills; ways to contribute and serve [19:30]
  • What is consciousness engineering? [24:48]
  • Vishen tries to think of the human brain as a computer. Beliefs about the world are your ‘hardware’.  “Systems for living” are habits and systems that help you [25:25]
  • To develop in any way, the first step is to examine your beliefs [28:20]
  • “When I interview people, the first thing I focus on is what they believe about the world. The second thing I ask about is their practices” [30:40]
  • Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson is Vishen’s favorite book [32:00]
  • A discussion with Richard Branson is what encouraged Vishen to write his own book: first his beliefs about his own capacity changed; then he found a system to write [34:40]
  • Mindvalley publishes high-end personal growth services. [36:00]
  • Mindvalley is based in Malaysia but has a client base in New York. Vishen attracted great talent from around the world by creating and marketing an incredibly attractive company culture [36:56]
  • Wrote a manifesto: Nine Things About Work That We Want to Disrupt [38:20]
  • The Steampunk office was a failure…but Vishen’s learned from it [39:00]
  • The 3-step method for upgrading your system for living [41:30]
    • Most of the systems we’ve learned to live life with are outdated
    • 1: Discover what systems aren’t working
    • 2: Refresh your systems. Innovate. Take time to learn better ways of doing things
    • 3: Set points: Test yourself every week
  • Maintain simple correction procedures that stop you from getting off track [48:00]
  • One chapter of the book is titled “Be Unfuck-with-able” – what does that mean? [49:20]
  • Being unfuck-with-able is all about cultivating a Zen state – developing forgiveness, mindfulness, and self-love [51:00]
  • “What have you found that all extraordinary people have in common?” [52:50]
  • Extraordinary people have a quest. They want to make a change that’s bigger than themselves. [53:20]
  • Instead of asking kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, we should ask “What mark do you want to make on the world?” [53:50]
  • “Where are mistakes and failure necessary?” [56:20]
  • You can lead a life that’s safe. Or you can lead a life that’s thrilling and exciting and that sometimes has failure in it [58:30]
  • You can learn from pain (kenshou) or learn from insight (satori). Pain is just kenshou – it’s an opportunity for learning [59:00]
  • Vishen is excited about the level of technological integration that comes with the book. There’s an app and a community that’s attached to it – people can read the book in one sitting or use it as a 12-week course. [01:01:30]
  • The book is designed to challenge how you live your life. It’s meant to be disruptive [01:03:30]

Check out The Code of the Extraordinary Mind now [01:06:00]