Brokenhearted and lost with absolutely no sense of direction? That is how I felt when I first came across Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of Mindvalley. Encountering one of the most difficult days I’ve weathered, that day I raced toward my usual coping mechanisms — getting high, binge eating and watching YouTube. It seemed as though the more I ate, the more empty I felt. As I reached a newfound breaking point, an ad on YouTube began to play. Most of the time, I skip ads as soon as they appear, but I was so disconnected that I just stared plainly at the screen. As I listened to Vishen explain his story of living as the person he thought people wanted him to be, I felt a sort of kinship with his struggle. He went on to explain how it took him seven years to realize that even after he attained what he thought he wanted, he was more despondent than ever. From there, he began to listen to what he himself wanted and developed an online platform that offers classes centered on mindfulness, manifestation, inner self-development and so much more.
Two years ago, the passage above described my reality. Two years ago, my life finally began. The message of Mindvalley inspired me with its abundance of help in response to my desperate plea. My story may not quite describe your reality, but I know you can relate to being at a crossroads, with no intuition of what your next step should be. It’s quite infuriating when you realize that you were never taught how to cope with your emotions. Of course, we can thank our previously provincial society for the suppression of emotional authenticity. However, we are now beginning to see the band-aid come off to finally allow for the healing of our human collective.
What Is Mindvalley?
Mindvalley is an online classroom packed with multiple courses that focus on reshaping the mind. The program’s name, Mindvalley, provides a clear idea of what it’s all about. A valley isn’t easy to traverse, with its undulating terrain. But, what you do not explore, you do not discover. Whether you are looking to deepen your connection to spirituality, develop your individuality, or do away with bad habits, Mindvalley is here to take you to the next level. We often put up with many problems, but never take the initiative to find significant solutions. And worse yet, we don’t even know how or where to begin.
Mindvalley serves as a magnificent starting line. The classes they offer are both synchronous and asynchronous for the convenience of the student; if you prefer to have more support and go through the course at the same pace as others, you have that option, but, if you like to dance to the beat of your own drum, that’s also possible. The classes are all different but are usually administered through pre-recorded videos in which world-renowned experts in their respective fields share their knowledge. They keep the videos pretty short to allow proper digestion of the material.
What To Expect
But don’t confuse this platform with some kind of college. There are no grades; rather, it requires a true desire to improve on the student’s part. I say this because your commitment to these classes mirrors how much (or how little) you will take away from them. In my experience, the teachers will always make you think. They provide sufficient background on a topic and ask you many questions so that you can begin to define your own perspective. With one video to watch every day, you can couple it with your commute to work, your evening tea, or as I do, while you make your bed in the morning.
Lasting an average of 3-4 weeks, Mindvalley classes structure their course material with primary topics for each week of the course. That means you can build strong foundations within your first month of the program. Lastly, they provide independent work or techniques to ensure that you apply the knowledge you receive. Because, what good is a solution that isn’t being put into action? Overall, you will have to be willing, and diligent, if you want this program to work for you.
Everything good comes at a cost, whether it be money, time, or attention — all of which this program requires. I know that this is always the hardest part for many people because our money and time are difficult for people to sacrifice. What are you willing to commit to, if not your own lifelong inner peace? Mindvalley’s pricing is either $500 for a year, or $99 every month. As a freshmen college student, this was a steep price to pay, but I took the risk. I actually ended up purchasing the program with my leftover student loan after I tried their free trial period (which lasted 15 days). I took the leap because my desire to improve was so strong. While I was initially worried about the money I spent on Mindvalley, I later examined how much money I spent on trivial things that I had never remotely questioned. We’re quick to buy new shoes, good food, or any external, quick fix to make us happy. But when we invest in our own minds and well-being, we uncover multiple gifts that keep on giving.
The saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” But when something is broken, we usually just opt for using ample amounts of glue to hold the tower of our lives together, reapplying it constantly. However, that glue will only last so long. Eventually our tower becomes more glue than the building blocks of life. We all need to experience decay in our lives so that we may evolve into our new selves. But we must be willing to detach from our old coping mechanisms and allow our towers to collapse. This isn’t laying down and dying, but rather rebuilding our lives upon a firm foundation that will live forever. It’s really the bravest thing we can do. The question that will test us over and over is, “Are you willing?” — to take a shot in the dark, to let go of your current paradigm, to let life truly be lived. If you always have a safety net, you never live, and actually resist the nature of life itself — change.