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TMHS 431: The Myth Of Hard Work & How To Upgrade Your Identity – With Guest Vishen Lakhiani
As we are collectively undergoing a massive shift in our society, there’s never been a better time to evaluate our habits, thoughts, and beliefs. On some level, we’ve all been impacted by societal pressures about the American Dream, the hustle, and what it truly means to be successful. But have you ever considered if any of those paradigms are actually true or effective?
In his new book, The Buddha and the Badass, Vishen Lakhiani shares life changing insights to help you uplevel your career path and your life. Vishen is a speaker, New York Times bestselling author, meditation teacher, and the visionary behind Mindvalley. His tips and tools will help you elevate your unique strengths and transform the way you live, both personally and professionally.
This episode will inspire you to get in touch with your intuition, challenge lifelong paradigms, and align your vision with your values. You’re going to learn about unlocking higher states of consciousness, how to have a healthy work-life balance, and effective strategies to sustainably change your habits. So listen in, take good notes, and enjoy this interview with Vishen Lakhiani!
In this episode you'll discover:
- The inspiration behind Vishen’s new book.
- What intuition really is.
- The power of following your gut instinct.
- How our broken education system contributes to a lack of consciousness.
- The advantages of using plant medicine.
- Why hard work and hustle are myths.
- How to find a balance between acceleration and navigation.
- What it means to discover your Soulprint.
- Where human values originate from.
- How a Muslim watch list shaped the company mission at Mindvalley.
- The best definition of leadership.
- How consciousness grows.
- The difference between ethnocentrism and worldcentrism.
- What the OODA Loop is, and how to use it to make faster decisions.
- How identity shifting can help you transform your habits.
- What the Law of Resonance is.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Beekeepersnaturals.com/model ⇐ Get 15% off raw honey & other natural remedies!
- Onnit.com/model ⇐ Get your optimal health & performance supplements at 10% off!
- High Score on Netflix
- Mask Facts: The Science & History of Masks in Medicine
- The Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani
- The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
- Mindvalley All Access
- Connect with Vishen Lakhiani Website / Instagram
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today, I've got something really special for you. I've been really working to bring on people to help us to think differently. Right now, we're dealing with a very strange and evolving, constantly changing world, and so we need to think differently within our own lives and within the construct of our communities and our society at large, and how we can overcome these challenges and solve these problems. And I always think about the quote from Albert Einstein, that, "We cannot solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created the problem." And that's what we often try to do, we try to stay the same person and figure out the problems in our lives when usually these challenges are there to qualify us for higher levels of being, qualify us for the next level, but we have to embrace that, we have to embrace that challenge.
And I want to bring on resources, insights, tools, tactics to help us to adjust, to help us to meet these challenges, and make it to those higher levels. And I'm constantly looking for inspiration myself as well. And, of course, we're going to get to our special guest and just really dive into this topic. But when talking about going to different levels, there was a great Netflix docu-series called High Score that I just watched and it's really the history of gaming, the history of video games. And to see that evolution from the beginning and talking about going to different levels, it really spoke to me in so many different ways.
Going back to the '80s, my Uncle Leroy, I was just a tyke, I was a tiny one, and my Uncle Leroy had an Atari. It was just that one stick and that one button, that's what you got. And I think it was like Pitfall or something like that, and Pong, these little very... We can call it "primitive" versions of video games to see where it's evolved to today, but you see the inception of that. And even what came before that, what came before Atari, and some of those history lessons, some of those things are really going to trip you out because they're stories that you've never heard before, like the certain people that were involved, because I think we have a certain idea of what a gamer or a game designer might look like or be like. And it's such a diverse array of people and ideas that came together to create it.
But for me, in my life as things evolved and Nintendo hit... Now, first of all, we didn't have a lot of money, so we didn't get it when it came out. We usually got it, say it comes out for Christmas, we'll get it, we'll have Christmas in July or something. We'll come home, all of a sudden we'll have it, maybe the tax refund check came in and we got the Nintendo. But that was a bonding experience for me, that's my earliest memories. That was the first time that I spent time with my stepfather, who was really that father figure in my household once I moved back in from living with my grandmother to moving back in with my mother and my stepfather. Playing video games was a time for us to connect.
So, if people don't understand the visceral nature of gaming, it has so many different meanings for different people. And so we would play these different video games, and one of the first ones that I can remember, of course, playing baseball, the little... And it had those little sound effects as the pitch is coming in. Then you got Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, are you kidding me? Soda Popinski? But you’re average Joe going through fighting Don Flamenco. And, of course, once you get to Iron Mike, it's just so epic. And the game is all about patterns, right? In life, there are so many similarities. You figure out these patterns, you're able to recognize that this thing... I've seen something similar to this and you make the adjustment. You figure out that pattern, you crack the code, then you go to the next level.
And so if you get a chance to check out the documentary on Netflix, again it's called High Score, and it takes us through that evolution. And even going from that to the Sega Genesis, Sonic The Hedgehog, and then getting up to the Super Nintendo. And you know what's so crazy, I just spent time with undefeated World Champion Laila Ali and her husband, Curtis Conway, who played for 12 years in the NFL. When he came out of the gate, he was just killing it, and this was when I was in high school. And on Super Tecmo Bowls, the Super Nintendo, I used to draft and get Curtis Conway on my team, and then he's the homie now, he's a friend of mine now, it's so weird. These are the things that are integrated into our culture, and it can provide a sense of inspiration for looking forward. There are so many cool things, just where are we investing our time and attention? Where are we coming up with creative ideas? I love to be around people and ideas and places that stimulate creativity. And that's something we've been talking about as well because right now we need to get creative, we need to tap into human potential, and that's what it's really all about right now.
Before we dive into our interview, we also have to keep in mind, when we're talking about imagination, when we're talking about performance, we're talking about the health of our incredible brain. And little do we know, and these are the things that are not talked about in even high-level university classes, is how to actually feed our brains. The brain is a very exclusive part of your body. You have something called the blood-brain barrier, the BBB, the triple B. Before Big Baller Brand, the BBB was there and protecting your brain and only allowing certain things into and out of this exclusive club, the blood-brain barrier. Only specific nutrients can get in there. Your brain can create a lot of things that it needs for itself.
One of the things we talk about is the importance of cholesterol for your brain function, and not really realizing that it's not necessarily about dietary cholesterol intake, because your brain can make its own cholesterol as well, it can make the cholesterol that it needs. But another thing is understanding what helps with that transmission and what helps the brain cells themselves to be able to thrive, because one of the things that we are taught is that, over our lifespan, you're born with the brain cells that you're going to have. You have to take good care of them. Now, we know that we can create new brain cells, but this is isolated, for the most part, to specific parts of the brain like the hippocampus. We can have neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells. But a lot of our brain cells, they're with us, and as we go throughout life if we lose them... If we snooze them, we lose them. I don't know if that metaphor sticks there, but that's all good.
Here's the thing, we have to take care of our brain cells. What are the foods that can help us do this? We know that the brain is largely made of water, so obviously, this is of the utmost importance. But of that physical outside of the water, what is the physical substrates? What are the physical things that we need to feed our brain cells? Well, the brain, if we're looking at the ratio of macronutrients, is predominantly fat, a pretty high quantity of protein as well, but... And then some vitamins and minerals thrown in the mix. But fat is of the utmost importance. And certain types of fats can cross the blood-brain barrier, not all types of fats. And your brain is very, very hungry for medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs are one of the primary things that can cross the blood-brain barrier and fuel your brain's performance. But also, MCTs, the consumption of MCTs also trigger your liver to produce ketones. Whether you're fasting or whether you're doing a keto diet or not, it can trigger your body to produce ketones that again have the ability to cross that blood-brain barrier and feed your hungry brain.
So, MCTs are of the utmost importance. I'm a huge fan of MCT oils, but not just for the brain function, but also for metabolism. Listen to this, a randomized, double-blind study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, placed participants on a reduced-calorie diet that included either supplemental MCTs or supplemental long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs. After the data was compiled, it was revealed that the group, who included MCT oil, lost more weight, eliminated more body fat, and experienced higher levels of satiety. Their diets are the same, but simply substituting what fat supplement they were using, whether it's medium-chain triglycerides or long-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides not just helped them to lose more weight, but lose more body fat specifically. It's incredible, and these are things that more people need to know about.
Again, huge fan of MCT oil, something I have every day. I had it today, but I get mine from Onnit because they have... Number one, they get it from the best sources. Number two, they have the emulsified MCT oils, which are wonderful because they're great like a coffee creamer or like a creamer for your tea, and they're easy to mix. I used to be on the road with my conventional run-of-the-mill MCT oil, trying to mix it together, but it doesn't really blend together with coffees and teas very well. But the MCT oils mix like magic. And they taste amazing as well. I think it's Mario, I'm still thinking about the video game documentary. It was like, "The Mario, they blended it together." So, definitely pop over and check out the MCT oils at onnit.com/model, and you get 10% off their incredible MCT oils. That's O-N-N-I-T.com/model, 10% off. Do your metabolism, do your brain some good, get on the MCT oil. All right? Pop over there, check them out. And now let's get to the Apple Podcasts review of the week.
iTunes Review: Another five-star review titled, “Mega Respect” by Kent Money. "Shawn! ß this man right here?! Man listen!!! I got your back, brother. WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.
The documentary you just dropped was “Bananas in Pajamas”. You've just gut-punched the system with that latest download. I can't stress how important that film is for us. Man! INSPIRED!!!
I've been listening to you for over two years now. Words are inadequate to express how much you've helped me on my wellness and health journey. And now, with the release of the Breathe Again podcast episode, and the Mask Facts doc! At a time I've been battling the idea of conforming with these new normatives, and being lashed at for speaking against toeing the line?! I thank you. I feel exonerated, I'm elated I have a like-minded and a trustworthy friend in Shawn. Thank you, Brother! Keep up the important work."
Shawn Stevenson: That's powerful. Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcasts, and guys, if you haven't done so yet, please check out the Mask Facts documentary. Go to themodelhealthshow.com/maskfacts, and you can check out the documentary itself and all the studies are there. And also, it just added a brand new complementary video to help you to arm yourself against small-minded cognitive biases and be able to look through studies and see through my eyes and be able to read between the lines to be able to make sense of a lot of complicated jargon that are put into a lot of "scholarly studies." And just to make sense of all this stuff, and not only that, what can we do and take this into our lives and with tangibility so that we can help to truly uplift ourselves and our families and our communities because that's what we really need. And oftentimes, right now, there's so much misinformation. People are really just missing the point and latching on to minutiae and not getting to the underlying cause of so much of our troubles. Again, thank you so much for leaving that review. And if you've yet to do so, pop over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review for the show. It means everything. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day.
For his second appearance on The Model Health Show, our special guest today is Vishen Lakhiani. He's the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, the world's leading online personal growth education company. He just became a two-time New York Times bestselling author with his most recent book, "The Buddha and the Badass." And it became an instant bestseller, debuting on the New York Times and hit number one on the Wall Street Journal's business books list, and is poised to be an incredible treatise for how we can change the way that we are working. Vishen has created an incredible movement, an incredible platform, including over 15 million growth-minded individuals from 195 countries, and half a million students completing Mindvalley courses each and every year. Vishen believes in work/life integration, which is reflective in the company culture that he created at Mindvalley.
In fact, the company was recognized as one of the top 10 coolest offices in the world in 2019, and Vishen's goal is for Mindvalley to reach 100 national schooling systems and every company in the Fortune 500 over the next decade. And I believe that he is well on his way, and he has some incredible insights and advice for us today. And talking about, again, thinking outside of the common paradigm, and being able to shift and upgrade ourselves, upgrade our identity and who we believe ourselves to be and what we're capable of. And it's such an important conversation. And he's also dipping into, right now, the importance of taking a stand. And he's talking about something that he believes in as far as policies, and some things that... He had some triggering events that helped him to think the way that he does, so we want to open this space and have compassion for him sharing that today as well.
And understanding also that we can align ourselves with each other on certain things and we can disagree on certain things. But the important thing is for us to come together and to have a conversation and to have, as we're going to talk about, little idea babies that can take place when we are... Especially when we're coming from opposite sides of the fence, to come together right now, because it's needed more than ever. We're moving into a new paradigm, but the old paradigm must dissolve for us to create something new and better. But there are parts of ourselves, there are parts of people in our community that are gripping on, holding on for dear life, the old ways, the old paradigm when there's so much opportunity to create something better, but we have to shift the way that we think. And so let's jump into this conversation with the incredible Vishen Lakhiani. Vishen, my man, welcome back to the show.
Vishen Lakhiani: Shawn, it's so good to be here. I love being on your podcast because, firstly, it's one of my favorite podcasts to listen to. So, being a guest on this podcast is a true honor.
Shawn Stevenson: That means everything, man, thank you so much. I just wrapped up reading the final chapter of your new book, "The Buddha and the Badass." Got it right here. It's such an incredible book, so important for this time in thinking differently. First thing I want to ask you about, man, is what inspired you to write this book in the first place?
Vishen Lakhiani: A couple of things. Now, my first book, "The Code of the Extraordinary Mind," was about the human mind. And when I wrote that book, it didn't really sell that well. And I thought, "Okay, this is the last book I'm ever going to write." And then something strange happened. About a year or so after the book was published, it suddenly started rising to the top, and it became the number one book on Amazon. It literally became the number one book on Amazon. One day, I was on my computer, and at that point, I'd given up looking at my Amazon rankings. But I had this strange intuitive feeling, "Check your Amazon rankings." And I'm like, "That's weird. I hate looking at my rankings," 'cause I was disappointed by how my book did. But that day I decided to check and I thought Amazon was broken because it said this book is the number two most popular book on Amazon. Not in its category, in all of Amazon.
So, I went to the Amazon author dashboard, where you can see your sales, and I looked, and the day before September 17, 2017, the book was number one in the world. Briefly, I became the number two best-selling author in the world. I remember Hillary Clinton was number three, Tolkien was number four, and it was just mind-blowing. I decided, "Okay, I'm not a failure as a writer, I should write another book." And now my first book was "The Code of the Extraordinary Mind," it was on personal growth. I thought my second book is going to be on company culture. I started writing that second book, I got a big offer from Penguin, my publisher, super appreciative to them. And sometime last year, I had another intuitive impulse. If you know anything about me, I'm a guy who lives on intuition. Sometime last year, I was halfway done with a book that was going to be called "Blisscipline," and it was about happiness in the workplace, it was about company culture. And I had this intuitive feeling that if I went and wrote the book, I was paid to write, it was not going to work. So, I decided I'm going to scrap it and I'm going to just start fresh.
I remember, I was in Brazil, I was attending a music festival in Brazil, and I decided, "Screw it, I'm just rewriting the book, I'm starting fresh. I'm going to write a different book, a better book." And I didn't know that the pandemic was going to hit. And my book was scheduled to come out in May of this year. And if I had written the original book, it would have been a failure because nobody cared about office culture, no one was going to the office. But the book I wrote, "The Buddha and the Badass," is about how suffering makes us stronger. It's about how to unify two disparate parts of our being, the inner Buddha, and the Badass, that inner being, that inner archetype that wants to go out and change the world. It turned out it was the perfect book for the pandemic because it showed people how to be adaptable, how to deal with suffering, how to deal with life when your badass plans of changing the world, someone throws a wrench in them, and you got to tap into the inner Buddha to navigate through that chaos.
And the book hit number one in the Wall Street Journal, and the reviews have been amazing. It's five-star reviews on Amazon. I got a call from my publisher saying they were blown away by the reviews for this book, and so now I got offered a third and a fourth book, and I guess I'm probably going to be a prolific writer. That's something.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh, man such an awesome story, that's incredibly profound, and I'm so glad that you talk about this because I think that it's so overlooked because we're looking for the very tangible things. And again, me being very science-minded, I'm looking for those reasonings to "trust my gut" and to listen to that intuition. But we all have it, it's just we're looking for data to try to prove it. And I remember hearing the statement that intuition is advanced pattern recognition, and that really spoke to me as an inroads. And recently I did a talk for an event, and this was a mutual friend of ours, Dave Asprey, and it was their big conference that they do every year. I had this presentation all set, ready to go. It was great, but literally the night before, I had this urge, this deep urge within to do something totally different.
And so I scraped the presentation, created a new one. And this is not for my distinction and my feedback, but it ended up being, from the feedback of the attendees, the best talk of the event, and the most gripping, and the most visceral because I went with my gut and what was needed in that moment, with that audience, who were here... Although these things about we got this thing and that thing to help you to live to be 180 years old, 200 years old and still getting your groove on, but there was something else that was needed, and that message is what I put together. And so, if I didn't listen to that intuition, it wouldn't have created so much value within the construct of that event.
For me, when I heard the definition of intuition being advanced pattern recognition that gave me a little bit more of an inroads to be... This kind of I can see, I've seen something similar to this. But it doesn't necessarily mean that you've seen it in the "real world." You know what I mean? And so within the context of the book, you're blending that together, the real tangibility of the work, the ideas of work, with that intuitive importance. But one of the most powerful things that I want to ask you about right now is, you also highlight our broken education system, and this is something else that I talk a lot about. Can you talk a little bit about that, why you brought that up, and some of the big messages that you're sharing in the book?
Vishen Lakhiani: Okay. Firstly, your followers are avid bio-hackers. Okay? Now, I disagree with you, Shawn. Intuition is not just advanced pattern recognition. Intuition is something beyond just our brain. I believe that our thinking, our faculties of cognition do not just stop with gray matter, it extends beyond us. And we don't fully understand how it works, but we know that human beings are able to perceive information outside just what is coming in through sensory input. It's more than just pattern recognition. For example, there was a famous test at the University of Edinburgh, called the Ganzfeld test experiments. They would take people and they would put people in sensory deprivation chambers, so these were... And I'm sure you've heard of a sensory deprivation chamber. It's very popular. Dave Asprey has one at his bio-hacking facility in Santa Monica Upgrade Labs.
And so you sit in this chamber, and there's no sound, there's no light, you're super relaxed, and you are a receiver. Now, there's a sender, another fellow human being in a separate room, and that sender was shown one of four pictures on a giant monitor. The picture could be horses running through water. It could be a picture of destruction in World War II. It could be the London Bridge, it could be the jungles of Thailand. Now, the receiver is told to transmit that picture to the sender, and the sender is then woken up from his sensory deprivation chamber, where he is in a relaxed state, called the alpha or theta level of mind. More on that later, it's altered states. And the sender is shown four pictures and said, "Which picture do you think we showed the receiver?" Okay. Now, math, probability-wise, what do you think were the odds of the senders guessing the correct picture?
Shawn Stevenson: Maybe...
Vishen Lakhiani: Four pictures, they had four pictures, so they have to guess...
Shawn Stevenson: So, 25%?
Vishen Lakhiani: Exactly. But in actuality, it was 33% over hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of test subjects, 33%. Now, 33% defies the laws of probability, 33% means that the odds of intuition being real are about a billion to one in favor of intuition. But notice, they were not correct 80% or 90%. When people say, "Oh, intuition isn't real," they think that intuition means you have to be correct 80% or 90%. That's not the case. Intuition is a tiny correction. In this case, it was 25 to 33. That's a bonus 8%. But think about it, if you were picking stocks, if you were starting a company, if you were ideating a new product, if you could increase your accuracy by those extra percentage points, that's a huge advantage.
Now, just in this opening dialogue, I'll share two instances of intuition. I had a gut feeling to check my Amazon rankings, and boom, the book had become the number one book in the world. A few years later, I had a gut feeling to change a book. I literally put in hundreds of hours writing a book, and I decided to scrap my work because I had this gut feeling that it was going to be a failure. I didn't know that the pandemic was going to hit. I re-wrote a new book which became number one in the Wall Street Journal, that is intuition. Now, we don't learn that, because the education system is messed up and broken.
I want to bring up a quote for you. Behind me, you should see this quote by Ken Wilber. Let me make it full screen, and let me just make myself disappear for a while so I can read you that quote. This is by Ken Wilber. Ken Wilber is America's most prominent philosopher. He has an IQ of 175. He's the founder of integral theory. He's been quoted by President Bill Clinton. He's been quoted by Kermit the Frog. His ideas have been used in politics, government, science, technology, philosophy. He is America's most widely translated philosopher.
This is what Ken told me in an interview I did with him, much like you are doing an interview with me right now. He said, "Humanity is flying way under its full potential simply because we do not educate for the whole or complete human being. We educate just a small part, a slice, a fragment, of just what's possible for us. Because according to the great wisdom traditions around the world, not only do humans possess typical states of consciousness, like waking, dreaming, deep sleep, they also possess profound high states of consciousness, like enlightenment or awakening, and none of the education systems teach any of these. Now, all of these factors I've mentioned, none of these are rare, isolated, esoteric, far-out, strange, or occult, they are all some of the very most basic and most fundamental potentials of human beings everywhere. They are simply Human 101. Yet we don't educate Human 101. We educate something like human one-tenth. So, yes, I firmly believe that we can bring about health on this planet for the planet and for all humans on it if we started educating for the whole person with all their fundamental potentials and capacities and skills, and stop this fragmented, partial, broken system we have right now."
What is Ken talking about? He's talking about altered states of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness are when you go into these different realms, alpha, beta, delta, gamma. Altered states of consciousness is what Nikola Tesla tapped into when he ideated his inventions. It is what Thomas Edison did when he came up with 2300 patents. It's what many CEOs in Silicon Valley are doing right now behind the curtain. One CEO told me, "Any CEO... " And by the way, the guy whose quote I'm about to share, he built a $600 million in sales company. This is John Butcher, founder of Precious Moments. He's an American CEO, started seven companies. He said this, "Any CEO who is not using plant medicine, is at a competitive disadvantage."
Now, what is going on? What's going on with the Ganzfeld test experiments when you're in a sensory deprivation chamber? What's going on when you're using plant medicine? You're accessing altered states, exactly like what Ken Wilber is talking about. Yet we don't teach it, and so people think it's rubbish. We were talking about Dave Asprey, a mutual friend. I love Dave. Dave and I train at Dave's 40 years of Zen Meditation Institute, which uses cutting edge technology to put you in altered states. Today, that's public, everybody knows about 40 years of Zen. But in 2016, when I got on Dave's podcast and I spoke about intuition, it caused a controversy. People literally went to my Amazon page and slammed my book without reading it, giving it one star because I dare speak about intuition. In 2017, Dave came out and he's like, "Dude, I meditate with Vishen." Vishen comes to 40 years of Zen, which is my training institute. We use some of the world's most cutting edge neural feedback to teach people how to get to altered states. Dave believes in intuition, that's how he became freakin' Dave Asprey.
What I'm trying to do, Shawn, is to stop this bull division that says that intuition isn't real. Mark my words, it's your children, 10 years from now, will be learning intuition in school. Companies will be teaching intuition. This year, Mindvalley launched multiple programs, our number one program in history, which was launched in May this year, was a program on tapping into altered states for intuition.
Shawn Stevenson: That's incredible.
Vishen Lakhiani: It's not pattern recognition. Just because we cannot understand something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Shawn Stevenson: Perfect. I was literally about to say that same statement, that is so powerful and so true. And what's so remarkable is that we have some data for those data-driven people to see, like, "Wow, this is something interesting. We need to look into this more and not neglect that it exists." As you mentioned with the education system itself... And I want to talk about this because, right now, even right upstairs, my son is on a Zoom call trying to connect with his fellow classmates and his teachers, the world is very different now. And even within that construct, for most students, we're still being taught the same kind of rote memorization of facts and figures, and not really how to thrive as a human being. And that's what you're talking about because one of the things that we were taught... Both of us were taught is, you learn these basics, you get into a job, you work really hard, and someday it'll pay off. But in the book itself, you talk about the myth of hard work. Can you talk a little bit about that? Why do you have a section on that?
Vishen Lakhiani: Right, right, right. Okay. American philosophy of work says that it's all about hard work. Hard work, the hustle, is what is going to make you successful. The hustle is what is going to make your entrepreneurship dreams come true. The hustle is the answer to everything. No, it isn't. And it's the reason, it's part of the reason why there are so many people who fail at business. It's part of the reason why American lifespans are falling. Americans die two years younger than their Western European counterparts. That's bad. It's because the hustle causes high degrees of stress. It causes high degrees of cortisol release in your body. It causes high degrees of norepinephrine, which prevent your ability to truly focus and to deal with overwhelm.
I just got back from Berlin and I had dinner with a couple, a Canadian and American couple. These two men, they were talking about the differences, I asked them, "What are the differences in work culture between Germans and American-Canadians?" And they said, "You know what's really strange about Germans, they take a lot of vacation. They end their work-life on time. They go home, they spend time with their family, they take a lot of vacation." And I don't know how they are productive. But here's the funny thing, if you actually look at worker output and productivity, Germans trump Americans. Germans actually... Go Google the data, Germans trump Americans in terms of worker output and productivity.
Why is this? The thing is, the hustle is a myth. What we need and what I wrote about in my book is a balance between acceleration and navigation. Acceleration is when you go, go, go, go, go, you're moving towards your goals. That's acceleration. Navigation is when you step back. You decide to take a walk in the woods and reflect on why you're truly doing what you're doing. Maybe you go on holiday and you decide to sit by the beach and journal.
I came up with the idea of acceleration and navigation because I was on Necker Island with Richard Branson, and I observed how he worked. This is a man with 50,000 employees with over 300 companies. He's a billionaire, one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in the world. Yet there I saw him sitting in a hammock, rocking, writing in a journal, he doesn't even have a smartphone, he literally doesn't have a smartphone. He's not on Slack, he's not going through emails, he's just rocking on a hammock writing on a journal, thinking. And then he will take a break during the day and go play tennis. And sometimes he'll take a break during the day, just take a walk through his island, or in some extreme cases swim five freaking kilometers from one island to another island. Backstroke. I did a swim with him. He's like 69 years old. That's the difference between hustle and navigation, yet this is a guy who is a visionary. Do you know Richard Branson registered the trademark Virgin Galactic way before private space travel was even a thing? It was like the 1980s when he registered that. He is tapping into something. He's tapping into ideas, into visions. He's tapping into altered states.
If you're just accelerating, you are literally functioning in what Steven Kotler calls a monophase state of being. You're operating in one state of human existence. In fact, as Ken Wilber spoke about, there are multiple states of human existence. When Branson goes into his relaxation mode, he's operating into what you might call flow or mojo, and that's where his ideas are coming. I asked him, I actually asked him, "Do you believe in intuition?" And he said, "I don't know, I've never really thought about it." But in another conversation, he did share something really interesting. I asked him, "You have... “Sorry, a friend of mine asked him, "You have 300 business partners, people come to you with ideas all the time, how do you know whom to trust?" And what he said was really curious, he said, "Often within 60 seconds of shaking someone's hand, I know if I should trust them." That is intuition.
The most remarkable productive people I know, Shawn, are not hustlers. They work hard, but to them, hard work means focus. It doesn't mean giving up on sleep, giving up on your health, giving up on your family. It means focus, planning, productivity, but within a time frame, and then giving yourself time to recover, to heal, to think, to ideate, to meditate, to work out, to eat healthy. If you aren't doing that, you're operating at a fraction of your potential. If there was one thing I could ensure entrepreneurs understand is that hustle is dangerous, it's bull, it's wrecking your odds of success.
Shawn Stevenson: Powerful. I 1000% agree. This is so awesome. I'm really enjoying this. So many different things I want to talk to you about and many more things for us to cover, and we're going to do that right after this quick break, so sit tight and we'll be right back.
There's a huge wave taking place right now with folks stepping up to try to find how to get a mental edge. There's never been more competition, there's never been more people vying for attention and looking for creativity and performance and finding ways that really stand out. And so priming and optimizing brain health is truly the wave of the future right now. And for that, folks are really tuning into this category of nootropics. Nootropics are a category of supplements, drugs, other substances that can improve cognitive function, be it memory, executive function, motivation, things like that. But we want to keep in mind that your brain is really operating on a system that has literally millions of years of evolution behind it, so throwing in a new smart drug that was created last week might not be a good idea.
We want to lean into what are some of the things that have historical use that are also clinically proven to be effective for optimizing and improving the function of our brain. We're talking about mental performance. And so for that, I want you to know about a study that was published in evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine that found that this little secret, listen in, raw honey possesses nootropic effects such as memory-enhancing attributes, as well as neuropharmacological activities such as antidepressant activities and anxiolytic effects, so helping to reduce anxiety. I didn't know honey could do that. But listen to this, honey polyphenols are also directly involved in activities that help to reduce neuroinflammation. We're talking about reducing inflammation in the brain.
This is another thing that has a parallel wave taking place with inflammation and disorders of inflammation taking place throughout our body, systemic inflammation, but also of the brain specifically, which is connected to issues like dementia and Alzheimer's, but also just poor mental performance. And so honey has that capability as well. But the key is raw honey. The study says, raw honey. Now, with this, we need to be careful, we need to be mindful. And for me, this is why I look to Beekeeper's Naturals to get my honey because they're dedicated to sustainable bee practices, beekeeping, and also, they have third party testing for over 70 pesticide residues that are found in common bee products like honey, bee pollen, and the list goes on and on.
Now, some of those things that are in conventional honey include arsenic, lead, mercury, E Coli. Not good, not good, so we want to behave and make sure that we get our honey. They have an incredible Superfood Honey. They have a chill, B.Chill Honey also that has hemp in the honey as well. But they have some incredible products that, again, you're getting your medicine, you're getting your nootropic benefits without the harmful stuff on the backside. Now, if we're talking about nootropics, this one specifically you have to know about.
There was a study published in Advanced Biomedical Research that found that royal jelly, royal jelly has the potential to improve spatial learning, attention, and memory. Royal jelly, that's what the queen bee eats. It's exclusively the royal jelly. So, this is taking honey, and this is supercharging it. This is taking honey, and doing a Fast and Furious with it. This is the Vin Diesel version. Royal jelly also has antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. And royal jelly has been found to facilitate the differentiation of all types of brain cells, so helping your brain to create the cells that it needs. And to top it off, researchers in Japan recently discovered that royal jelly has the power to stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This is the memory center of your brain literally creating new brain cells. I'm telling you, there are not many nootropics out there that can do something like that.
And the B.LXR product that Beekeeper's Naturals has is phenomenal. It's called B.LXR, incredible. The basis is royal jelly, but they also have one of my all-time favorite things in there, bacopa. Now, listen to this, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled human trial, gold standard of studies, published in 2016, found that after just six weeks of use, bacopa significantly improved speed of visual information processing, learning rate, memory consolidation, and even decreased anxiety in study participants. Try the B.LXR. If you want to boost your cognitive performance, it's something for you to kick off your day to get focused. If you are about to go into a meeting or a performance or a study, or you just want to improve the function of your brain, reduce inflammation, get your brain healthier. Try the B.LXR. Go to beekeepersnaturals.com/model and you can get 15% off everything they carry. Again, I'm a huge fan of the Superfood Honey, love the bee pollen. B.LXR, game changer. That's Beekeeper's Naturals, so that's B-E-E-K-E-E-P-E-R-S naturals.com/model, for 15% off. And now, back to the show.
I think that today a lot of us are looking for, if I could just get the blueprint, I need to get Vishen's blueprint for success, I need to get Gary V's blueprint for success, Shawn's blueprint for success. But you actually talk about something called your soul print, and I thought that that was really profound because our ideas of what we should do, what success looks like are usually not coming from us. Can you talk about your concept of soul print?
Vishen Lakhiani: Right. The soul print is an idea I learned from a Sudanese refugee by the name of Drima Starlight. He changed his name, his original name was Amir. Amir fled the dictatorship of Sudan and sought refugee status in Canada, and he now lives in Toronto. He's a brilliant, brilliant writer, a brilliant teacher, and he explained to me one day that, in my journey as an entrepreneur, I had it wrong. I had created a set of values for my company that came from the democratic process I had learned from Zappos, from Tony Hsieh of Zappos, a brilliant leader. But basically it was... I got my then 20 or 25 employees together, I asked them, "What does Mindvalley mean to you?" Everyone put stuff down in a paper, we collected the paper, and we looked at trends, and we came up with a list of values, values such as evolved through learning, kick serious ass, delight our customers.
Now, all of those were good, but what Amir explained to me is that I was missing something. He said, "Look, great companies need two types of values. They need the Constitution, and they need the laws of Congress. The Constitution is that foundational value that comes from the founder, hence the word "foundational." And he said, "Vishen, what are your values, and why on earth are your values not infused in Mindvalley?" He said, "This democratic process you did is bull." He said, "No, the democratic process you did is subservient to the foundational values. You first need to understand what are Vishen's values, infuse that in your company, and then do your democratic process and create a code of operations or an employee value code. And that's fine but that's going to change just like the laws of Congress change, but the constitution, you don't touch that. The Constitution is the foundation of the country. The foundational values are the values that come from the founder."
So, he took me through an exercise, and it was really interesting. And I wrote about this in chapter one of "The Buddha and the Badass." He said, "Your values come often from your suffering, the biggest pain in your life, and the biggest peaks in your life." And so he took me through an exercise, and I replicate the exercise in the book for anyone who's interested to discover your pain. And this is a really, really interesting thing. Your pain, your suffering are often the bread crumbs to your values. Maybe you were abused as a child, and that put in you the value of compassion and kindness to all. It's really your soul's way of saying, "Screw that." I went through so much suffering, I will fight so other people don't suffer as much. Maybe your suffering was that you were discriminated because of your race or your gender, and you decide, "I will fight against racism. I will fund against misogyny." And you decide that you want to infuse that in your company, you want to create the most diverse company X in the world, or a company where you ensure, as Branson did, by the way, that 50% of your managers are women, your suffering are the bread crumbs to your values.
And so Amir took me through an exercise where I had to relive my past pain, not in a dramatic way, but to remember it and to understand what did I learn from that that I want to give to the world so other people don't go through that pain. In my case, one of my values that emerged was unity, because I was living in America, and in 2003, I got added to the bull Muslim watchlist. I had lived in America for a decade, but because I was born in a Muslim country, I was added to a watchlist, and I had to report to the government every 28 days for fingerprinting and for a mug shot. It was like living on parole. And so I had to leave America 'cause I'm like, "Screw that." I love America and I'm running an American company, but I cannot live like I'm a freaking criminal because I was born in a Muslim country. What the is that?
And you can see, it pisses me off, but I moved... So I had to move back to my home country, Malaysia, build my company, Mindvalley, in Malaysia. And Mindvalley is an American company, but it's built-in Malaysia. And now I live in Estonia because my ex-wife is Estonian, so I live between two countries, but I decided that unity is going to be value in my company, that unity... That we are going to be one of the most diverse companies of our type. Today, out of our 295 staff members, we have representatives from something like 55 different countries, 55. At our peak, it was 60. We are one of the most diverse companies in the world.
When Trump announced the new Muslim ban in 2016, and that was shut down because the founders of Google, the founders of Airbnb all protested. We put up videos saying, "Hey, look, if you are from Sudan or any of those countries, and you can't get to America, we'll hire you. We're an American company, we're in Malaysia, we'll give you a visa, come join us." We got some really good programs from Iran, from Syria, and so we fight for Unity. By the way, Mindvalley does everything it can to steer voters away from Trump, because we don't believe in playing by the sidelines. If you are a politician that uses race-baiting or disunity to get votes, we will do everything we can as a media company to take away votes. I want a world where no one votes for a freaking racist, where nobody votes for hate-mongers 'cause very often they lack vision and they're going to screw things up, as Trump has done with the COVID crisis.
So you can see, I tapped into my pain, being on this Muslim watchlist, being kicked out of the US. And I don't care if you disagree with me, maybe you follow Trump, that's fine, that's your thing, we all have our rights. But in my company, we do everything to make sure that the racist politicians, like Trump, Bolsonaro, I want to put them and their policies in the garbage bin of history, that is infused in the Mindvalley DNA. Mindvalley is probably the only personal growth company out there that doesn't stand on the sidelines when it comes to this election. I haven't heard much from Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra, any of the other spiritual teachers, and that's fine, everybody makes their choice, but we are extremely vocal politically.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, that's powerful. And to say that that's how it should be, for us to stand up and to represent through our businesses as well, that's incredibly remarkable.
Vishen Lakhiani: But here's the point, when we started standing up, when I took my values and I put them in the company, can you guess what happened?
Shawn Stevenson: Please tell me.
Vishen Lakhiani: First week, people said, "Screw you, we're not going to buy from you. How dare you insult the American president? His Muslim watchlist is legit, Muslim people are dangerous. I will leave Mindvalley." First week. Could you guess what happened after that? Sales went, 'cause all of a sudden, the majority of people, the silent majority that resonated with companies that take a stand, resonated with us. Our sales took off. In a survey of American Consumer, 75% of Americans want CEOs and companies to take a stand. If you're following the news, did you read about what happened to Colin Kaepernick today?
Shawn Stevenson: Are you talking about the Madden video game?
Vishen Lakhiani: Yes, exactly. Colin Kaepernick was ostracized because he kneeled, he kneeled for the Black Lives Matter. He's now a freaking hero. When Nike put Colin Kaepernick on their advertisements, guess what happened to Nike's stock? It dropped a little bit for the first week, and then it shot up higher than before. Nike was taking a stand. It's really important that you as an entrepreneur figure out what is that pain, what is that suffering. What value did it give you? And you embed that value in the DNA of your company. That value is your soul print. Just like all of us have a fingerprint that is unique, we all have a unique set of patterns in our soul, but most of us fail to express that. But when you, as an entrepreneur, inject that in your company, magic happens. The greatest companies out there are companies infused with the soul of their founding team.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. And injecting ourselves, our personalities, our values into our business, and into our lives is more important than ever, but we're going to come up against resistance, Vishen.
Vishen Lakhiani: Right.
Shawn Stevenson: And you talk about mastering "unfuckawithability." And I think that a lot of people aren't taking action, they aren't speaking up, they aren't taking a stand because they're worried about what other people think instead of what the right people think.
Vishen Lakhiani: Exactly. Look, 30% of your audience probably hate me right now because I just made a political statement, but that is the art of being unfuckwithable. Martin Luther King was unfuckwithable. Gandhi was unfuckwithable. They were not afraid to make statements that would bring them, enemies, because they knew that their statements were elevating human beings to new higher levels of thinking. Do you know what the definition of leadership is, Shawn? The best definition I've ever heard?
Shawn Stevenson: Please share.
Vishen Lakhiani: It's by Tim Urban, who wrote the blog "Wait But Why." Leaders articulate what is going on in the back of people's heads that people are afraid to say, because they're afraid that they won't fit in, and they articulate that first. And when they articulate that, they give hidden beliefs a voice, and that's when people follow them. When Bill Clinton was asked, "Did you smoke marijuana?" He said, "Yeah, yeah, but I didn't inhale." Because back then, in the late '90s, you couldn't admit that you inhaled marijuana that you inhaled when you smoked the joint. But when Obama was asked the same question in 2007, "Did you inhale?" He said, "Yes, that's the point." 'Cause Obama... The world had changed. It was now becoming more publicly acceptable. Obama gave a voice, and instantly he made it legit.
In the subsequent years, 30 American states legalized marijuana. And it's now something that it's just normalized. Leaders give people a voice, but to be a leader, you got to be afraid to say things that will rub some people the wrong way. So, unfuckwithability is basically this. It is the idea that other people's criticism of you or other people's praise of you don't matter. You live life based on how you want to express your beliefs. But while you want to be unfuckwithable, you want to make sure that you're consciously unfuckwithable. You don't want to be a bully, you don't want to be moving humanity towards dumb ideas. President Trump is also unfuckwithable. He doesn't care like he just says whatever he wants. But if you actually study integral theory, if you actually study human evolution parts, like Spiral Dynamics, Trump is actually moving consciousness backward to 1950s level thinking. So, you need to know enough about human development.
In a nutshell, you need to know this. Let me just bring up this particular chart. It's beautifully... It's fascinating. I'm just going to share a chart over here. You're going to see it behind me. This is a very classic spiral dynamics chart in integral theory. You may not be able to make out what's going on over here, but I'll give you a quick summary. They are different models of how consciousness grows. One of the most powerful models of how consciousness grows is that we, as human beings, evolved from egocentric, which is me, me, me, me, me. So, hunter-gatherer 20,000 years ago, if you saw a deer and you're about to kill the deer, and another hunter comes, you're going to fight that other hunter for the deer. You may kill the deer, then kill that other hunter, because you need that deer meat for yourself. Egocentric, it's about survival of you and your family.
As human beings evolved, we became ethnocentric. Now it's about the survival of us as a tribe. Okay. Ethnocentrism was expressed best in World War II when Germany decided that they were going to just wipe out the Polish population and take over Poland. When the Soviets decided that they're just going to invade other countries and send people to the Gulags and Russian-ize those countries, that's ethnocentrism. You are kind, you're compassionate, but to your people. People who are not your people, well they deserve to die, or worse, their lives don't matter. So, ethnocentrism rears its ugly head in politics today.
According to Ken Wilber, 70% of the population is ethnocentric. So, when you are expressing your innermost thoughts, you want to make sure that you're not bringing people to ethnocentrism, that you're going to a level above, which is worldcentrism. Worldcentrism is where you're kind and compassionate but to all people. In other words, Shawn, you would fight for the lives of a Venezuelan who was starving, the same way you would for someone in your own country. You would help someone or befriend someone, whether they were Muslim or Christian. Their religion doesn't matter. And so we want to move the world to what's worldcentrism, that's 30% of the current population. Now, being unfuckwithable is important, but you want to ensure that the leaders you're choosing and that the voices you're amplifying are moving people upwards towards worldcentrism.
I gave the example earlier of a Sudanese refugee, Drima Starlight, and how he changed my life. Brilliant guy. Most refugees are actually highly accomplished, highly educated, but Trump cut the number of refugees allowed in America. Drima is in Canada, a country that is more worldcentric than America. So, you want to elevate to the higher levels of the diagram. I'm giving you a simplified version. As you can see in the diagram below, it's actually pretty complex, but you want to make sure that the ideas that you're articulating are moving people towards greater and greater levels of inclusion, love, compassion. And you want to be unfuckwithable about it. You want to speak up for refugees, you want to speak up for Black Lives Matter, you want to speak up for tolerance. That's really important in the world today. And that's why unfuckwithability is an idea I so resonate with.
Shawn Stevenson: Love it, I'm taking notes myself. And by the way, guys, if you're not watching this on the YouTube version, make sure to pop over and check it out, and you can see all the cool graphics. He's got some awesome technology he's utilizing today. Part of that was going from the individual to the group. And within the construct of the group, especially when you have rich associations and a desire to work together, you actually create some magic. And you talk about this in the book as well, of what you call the unified brain. And this topic of idea sex was super poignant. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Vishen Lakhiani: Yeah. What I try to do in "The Buddha and the Badass" is I try to bring in radical concepts of how to redefine how we work, and many of these concepts have a Buddha element or a spiritual element, but they haven't gone mainstream yet, because people are still afraid of them or they haven't been educated to embrace them. So, what I'm trying to do is precisely how I defined leadership earlier, I'm giving a voice to the hidden beliefs. "The Buddha and the Badass" proposes that intuition is real. It talks about navigation and acceleration. And one of the things it talks about is this concept called OODA looping, which is really interesting. It's basically how you create organizations where everyone is deeply connected, from your first day of joining Mindvalley, and you get a Mindvalley email address, you can see our vision for the company, you can see every team's OKRs, you can see the plans for every team, you can jump in and make an edit to the Google Doc for the plan. It's just radical transparency. You get my WhatsApp number, and you can WhatsApp me with your ideas, and so new hires send me ideas all the time.
That radical transparency is a form of changing the way people traditionally communicate. I don't really use email. I don't do phone calls. Everything I do is in a concept called OODA, and it's actually a concept that comes from a US Air Force colonel called Colonel Boyd, and it means, observe, orient, decide, act. It's basically, moving fast, acting fast on limited information, and sharing that information very rapidly with your team. More about it in chapter eight of "The Buddha and the Badass."
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes. Can you talk about the idea of brain sinking? I think it was in that same chapter as well. And also idea sex, what the hell is idea sex?
Vishen Lakhiani: I'll give you an example, okay? Observe, orient, decide, act. What John Boyd noticed is that Air Force pilots that were the most accurate, the Air Force pilots with the best aim, actually downed less enemy planes. They would observe, they would orient, they would decide, and they would act, but they were doing it too slow. Then there were other pilots who would miss way more often. They would observe, orient, decide, act, but they would do that cycle much more rapidly. They would miss more often, but they would down more planes. Now, if you're fighting a war, what do you care about, downing more enemy planes or wasting more bullets?
Shawn Stevenson: Downing planes.
Vishen Lakhiani: Downing planes, right? So, what Colonel John Boyd said is that it's about how fast you can repeat in decision-making. It's about how fast you can repeat this cycle. Observe, orient, decide, act. Observe, orient, decide, act. Observe, orient, decide, act. As an entrepreneur and founder, what I seek to do is to make decisions very rapidly as many as I can, every single day, as fast as I can. And so I got rid of meetings, most meetings, I got rid of them. We use Airtable, which is a... It's a no-code coding software tool to make all our company OKRs, objectives, and key results, visible to everyone. Everyone orients, and when I get an idea from any team member, it could come in a two-minute voicemail on WhatsApp. I respond with maybe a note or a one-minute voicemail, and we decide and we act. And so things move really, really really fast. We're able to innovate way faster than the competition. In fact, that's the essence of OODA, it allows you to innovate faster than the competition.
Now, in OODA, you understand that 90% of your ideas, 80% to 90% of your ideas are going to work, 10% to 20% are going to fail. But you accept failure as a wasted bullet, perfectly acceptable when you're trying to fight a war. And that war might be to get your product or service out, to capture market share, to go ideal, whatever it is for you.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, and so those ideas, with your team and everybody getting together in rapid-fire and throwing things together, is basically like a menage happening with ideas and little idea babies are presented.
Vishen Lakhiani: Right. I'll give you an example. We were creating printed journals for our Mindvalley All Access customers. Mindvalley All Access is... You can go to mindvalley.com/access, and that's where all of Mindvalley, all the best personal growth programs in the world are unlocked for you. And we wanted to test out an idea where we were going to give these beautiful journals to all our customers who sign up for Mindvalley All Access. And I got a message today, a voicemail... As I was rushing for this interview, I got a two-minute voicemail from one of my advisors, and he said, "Vishen, I don't like your idea for the journal. I really want to include a beautiful poster in the journal." And he gave me his idea for the poster. And he didn't say, "Can we get on a call?" 'Cause he knows two minutes is all he needs. I replied with a two-minute refinement of the poster, what to put in the poster, a little thing that makes the poster creative. I took both those voicemails, four minutes now, I sent it to my journal design team. They said, "Thumbs up, great, we're going to do it." That is OODA. Literally in four minutes, in four minutes a decision was made and it's gone to execution.
Shawn Stevenson: That sounds unreal but very possible.
Vishen Lakhiani: Yeah. Now, will the poster work? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe people don't care about getting that little poster with their journal, we don't know, but I'm not going to bother myself with the details, I go on to the next decision.
Shawn Stevenson: And that's what it's all about, getting those reps in.
Vishen Lakhiani: Let me tell you the power of OODA. One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is that Mindvalley started out as a digital marketing publishing company. And when we started out, we were super tiny. We were doing maybe two million in revenue. Competition was doing 100 million in revenue. In just a matter of five years, we hit 100 million in revenue, the competition was down to two million because the world had changed. YouTube, Facebook, they had changed the publishing landscape. Our competition started suffering, they started going bankrupt because they were not innovating enough. We were OODA looping our way out of a dying industry, and that was how powerful OODA looping was. With zero VC funding, I took a company, with zero VC funding, no investors, no bank loans, to 100 million in revenue. And OODA looping was part of that strategy.
Shawn Stevenson: So powerful. And again, all of this is contained within the book. And then in our conversations, you go even outside of the context of the book, and we talk about the importance of... And why it's a necessity to upgrade our identity right now. We're all faced with an incredibly challenging time, a very different world, a lot of things are in flux, a lot of things are changing. And through this, we have an opportunity, we have an opportunity to grow, to upgrade our identity, as you talk about. And within that, we have to start to think differently. And one of the things you already mentioned is going to different realms of thinking and of a possibility. Can you talk a little bit more about that, and how we can tap into that, and why it's so important right now?
Vishen Lakhiani: Got it. In my book, I call it identity upgrading, and one of the guys I learned this from is our mutual friend, the Reverend Michael Beckwith. Shawn, you may remember this, you, me, and Michael Beckwith were all in Portugal together speaking at A-Fest. This was last year in May, back when we could still do seminars. And I remember, I was having breakfast with Michael and Michael Beckwith is the spiritual teacher who has been in the highest number of documentary films out of any living American spiritual teacher. The guy is brilliant and so charismatic and so, so wise. And he was in the movie, The Secret, and I said, Michael, "Do you really believe in that law of attraction stuff?" And he goes, "What's more important is the law of resonance." And I said, "Tell me about that." And he said, "The universe, Vishen, doesn't give you what you want. People get that wrong. Rather, the universe will reflect to you who you are." That was a really powerful insight. Don't focus on the want, focus on being who you are.
In my book, I took Michael's philosophy and I combined it with a mental repatterning process by two other mind pioneers, Jose Silva and Christie Marie Sheldon, it's called identity upgrading. And it shifts your definition of who you are, shifts your definition of how your health works, how you show up in the world, and you change your identity first. And then it's crazy that the world starts to reflect this identity to you, and through shifting your identity, you shift the world. It's a way of embedding statements in your brain that change the way you see yourself.
Now, there is some cutting-edge scientific research on this. In James Clear's brilliant book, "Atomic Habits," he says, "Look, if you want to get fit, there are three approaches." The first is the outcome approach, lose 5 pounds. And the outcome approach can work for some people, but usually, in most cases, it fails, because to lose 5 pounds, you got to make sacrifice, you got to go to the gym, you've got to change your eating habits. It's not easy for people. And so people will wake up one day and go, "I'm so tired, I could use more sleep." Or, "This cheesecake looks so good, just one bite." Now, the second way and a superior way, is process, you don't just set an outcome, you decide on a process. "I'm going to go to the gym three times a week. Get a fitness trainer. I'm going to get on diet X." And you find the process and you work that process into your life. Better, better than pure outcome, but very few people will stick to that process.
The best way is identity shifting. This is where you take on the identity, "I have the fit, muscular body of an athlete." When you learn to take on that identity, the cheesecake doesn't tempt you. It's just not what you do. Skipping gym is not even something that you can do because of your body... You are an athlete. Your body is an athlete. Athletes just do gym time. So, you got to learn to switch that identity.
One of the things that make Mindvalley so successful as a personal growth company is that all our programs focus on identity shifting. We change your inner state, and then the habits, the practices, the beliefs, all come from that. And there's this larger metaphysical thing, which we won't have time to go into, where it seems that the world bends to your new identity. You literally bend reality.
Shawn Stevenson: So powerful, man. Vishen, there are so many things I want to talk with you about, and I want to make sure that everybody picks up the book. Number one, can you let everybody know where to pick the book up, where to follow you online?
Vishen Lakhiani: Absolutely. "The Buddha and the Badass" is available on Amazon. Just go to Amazon and search for "The Buddha and the Badass."
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. What about social media, Mindvalley, how can they keep up with you guys there?
Vishen Lakhiani: Check out Mindvalley. Mindvalley... I passionately believe, Shawn, Mindvalley is the single greatest product on the planet today that you could spend money on. Mindvalley All Access just gives you... It just completely changes your life. It's just mind-blowing what happens. It's like a new type of university for adults that teaches you everything regular schooling forgot. Mindvalley.com/access. And you can follow me on Instagram, @Vishen.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Vishen, thank you so much for sharing your brilliance and thank you for sharing your time with us today. You are one of the true leading voices right now that we need to hear from, so thank you so much for sharing your time and your gift.
Vishen Lakhiani: Yeah. And if anybody wants to reach out, I love to get feedback, follow me on Instagram, @Vishen. Just pick up your phone and do that right now. And shoot me a message, I love seeing people's feedback. Okay?
Shawn Stevenson: Vishen Lakhiani, everybody.
Vishen Lakhiani: Thank you.
Shawn Stevenson: All right, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. And definitely pick up a copy of "The Buddha and the Badass," it's a super important book right now. And the closing thing that he talked about, it's one of the most poignant and important things in our world today, is understanding that for us to truly become the best version of ourselves, this is one of the things you hear out there, is becoming the best version of yourself, that comes along with this concept that we don't really like to look at, which is we have to let our old self die. In order for the new to come, we have to let go of the old. And that can feel very, very uncomfortable. And this is a time right now that's forcing us to lean into that discomfort. If we allow it if we go with it, if we resist it, we're going to find ourselves staying the same, we're going to find ourselves wanting new results but trying to remain the same person.
And change truly does come, long-lasting, continuous change, when we shift our identities, when we become the type of person that can have the things that we want to have, when we become the type of person that can have the level of health and fitness that we want to have. Because, and I've said this before, you don't get to health by chasing after it. You attract health and wellness to you by the person that you become. You become the type of person that, fill in the blank. I am the type of person that gets up every morning and goes for a walk, I'm the type of person that eats a certain quality of food, and I don't eat other types of foods. We shift our identity so that that's who we see ourselves as so that the choices become automatic, versus infighting with ourselves and having these little family feuds within our own brains trying to get us to do the right thing. And Steve Harvey is right there moderating the whole thing in your head. That's super weird, I know.
But that's what really is happening all the time, we're fighting with ourselves to try to do the right thing, to try to stay accountable to the things that we want to achieve. And we're trying to work from the outside in by making ourselves do the activity, versus doing the inner work and shifting that identity. Again, I hope that you enjoyed this episode, and please share it out with your friends and family on social media. Tag me, tag Vishen, and let us know what you thought about the episode. We've got some epic, epic shows coming your way very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com, that's where you could find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in
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