Dubbed by some as the one of the fathers of the personal growth industry, the work of Vishen Lakhiani - the mastermind behind Mindvalley, a publisher and marketer of online self-help programs - has been mentioned by the likes of R&B artist Miguel, NFL player Tony Gonzales and US Open winner, Bianca Andreescu, who cited his best-selling book as a catalyst behind her winning mindset.
Malaysian Lakhiani’s 2016 New York Times bestseller book, The Code of The Extraordinary Mind, was named the most read book on Amazon globally in September and November 2017. Today, more than 10 million students have been helped by Mindvalley, with more than 200 speakers, authors, and activists teaching workshops and courses.
Now Lakhiani is preparing to bring Mindvalley’s models of wellness and health to next week’s Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2019. This time, the headline speaker will delve into new concepts on creating workplaces of the future—ideas he explores in his upcoming new book, Superheroes At Work.
“I am exploring the idea of how work can be a place that actually causes a human being to not just have a job but to make human beings the best versions of themselves physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally,” says Lakhiani.
His own personal development and life-long learning started in the corporate rat race. In 2001, Lakhiani was working in Silicon Valley as a Director of Sales, which left him stressed and burned out. He says that discovering meditation opened up incredible abilities within him. After taking it up he found himself getting promoted three times in four months until he held the roles of Vice President of Sales and he was Vice President of Business Development.
“I was able to perform at superhuman levels of work and I was getting promotion after promotion. And that was because I wasn’t playing the game that everyone else was playing—it wasn’t the game of hassle or hard work. It was the game of inner mastery.”
Lakhiani set up Mindvalley in 2003 to try to educate others in how to change the way they think for a healthier body, mind, and career. “[I felt] those ideas were missing from cooperation everywhere as well as the modern schooling system”.
Entrepreneurship is driving future economic growth in the UAE. The financial and business hub is home to a pool of striving business leaders and entrepreneurs, with a focus on supporting the growing ecosystem. According to the Dubai Statistics Centers, SMEs contribute to more than 47% of the country’s GDP while early-stage startups comprise 50% of firms registered in Dubai. Last month, LinkedIn launched its new business feature “Open for Business”, to help small businesses and freelancers grow in the UAE and globally.
Lakhiani believes that to be successful, entrepreneurs need to start focusing on treating the mind and body and bring in practices that “help them function like a fully optimized human”.
“An entrepreneur is like an athlete. You have to go through incredible challenges. You have to produce incredible ideas. You have to inspire and mobilize people. You have to have your mental faculties and energy level at top levels. But so many entrepreneurs forget this and they fall into the trap of being busy, overworked, overwhelmed at the expense of their mental and physical health,” Lakhiani adds.
Owning a business can be stressful especially for moguls and tycoons in the competitive, everchanging industry. Lakhiani says “stress is normal”, adding that it’s a sign that your body is in distress and needs to be dealt with.
“Most of us buy into the lie that work is meant to be stressful and that you have to push and push and push. This leads to lower performance, lower cognition, lower health, and poorer emotional states,” he adds. Despite this, Lakhiani believes that corporate culture is changing very rapidly compared to 10 years ago when meditation was “too out there,” but to truly apply this to the corporate world, education needs to continue. He suggests that workplaces be regarded as education centers to help employees become better versions of themselves and unlock special skills, including wellness, cognition, health, and leadership, as well as idea generation. This in return will help the organization grow, resulting in significantly healthier and happier employees and raising productivity.
Lakhiani is now planning on expanding Mindvalley’s courses to cover five languages, including Arabic, as well as preparing to publish his third book, The Code Of The Extraordinary Team in January 2020. “In the next two years, we will scale and create the best programs in the world powered by the best learning platform technologies and the best teachers,” he says.
“You have to know how to balance and what to do to not just de-stress but to reduce the onset of stress. And this is when you start to truly perform at your highest potential.”