We know that creating a life’s vision is key to success – but how do you start? In this episode, I share the 3-step formula created by Vishen Lakhiani, founder of the personal development company Mindvalley and New York Times bestselling author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind.
I went to Kuala Lumpur to record this podcast with Vishen Lakhiani, founder of the personal development company Mindvalley and New York Times AND Amazon bestselling author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. Vishen is a longtime friend, and I wanted to ask him one simple question:
How do you create a life’s vision? Where do you start?
Vishen grew up in an Indian family that wanted him to become an engineer. Vishen ended up at Microsoft – a job he hated, but he didn’t have the courage to quit. So Vishen purposefully got himself fired just 11 weeks into the job, then moved to New York to work at a non-profit for under the poverty line.
During this time, Vishen watched an interview with Jim Carrey.
When Jim Carrey was broke and sleeping in a car, he wrote himself a check for $20 million. He carried that check around in his wallet. In 1994, Jim got his big break: a $700,000 check for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The movie hit #1, which helped him get a $7 million check for Dumb and Dumber. Then, Jim’s movie The Mask hit #1 as well – making Jim the first actor in the world to have three #1 movies in the same year.
The next check Jim got? $20 million for a movie called The Cable Guy.
In the interview Vishen saw, Jim said he believed he was creating this reality in this mind. So Vishen was inspired and wrote a check for $1 billion from himself to the world. He dated the check for 50 years down the road: 2049.
Since then, Vishen has failed many times, but he’s always bounced back stronger than before. Today, he has built a life where he can give value to Mindvalley’s 300 employees and millions students because he has a singular massive vision delivering him forward.
How to Create Your Life’s Vision
Know the difference between means goals and end goals.
- Means goals are based on other people’s bulls*** rules, or brules, of how the world is supposed to work.
- Vishen’s goal of being an engineer was a means goal – because he thought it was a safe way to make money.
- In the United States, many people become lawyers because of a ‘brule’ that becoming a lawyer leads to success. But 50% of female American lawyers are clinically depressed, and the United States has only 5% of the global population but 50% of the global lawyers.
- When means goals pile up, you wake up at 50 wondering what you’re doing with your life because means goals don’t create happiness.
- End goals are the goals that come from your heart and make it sing.
Ask Yourself the 3 Most Important Questions
Start by dividing a piece of paper into three columns.
- What truly amazing, epic experiences do I want to have?
- At the top of the first column, write Experiences.
- Spend no more than 3 minutes writing the answer to this question.
- When you spend more than 3 minutes, your left brain will kick in and develop reasons you can’t have these experiences.
- Experiences might include holding your newborn daughter or cycling across South America or waking up next someone you’re madly in love with every day.
- This is NOT a bucket list because bucket lists only have experiences – you need 2 more things to go from happiness to fulfillment.
- If I were to become the person who had all these experiences, how do I need to grow?
- At the top of the second column, write Growth.
- Growth is a goal in itself, but we forget this because school makes growth painful.
- Create a list of the skills you’ll need to develop and how you want to grow.
- If you want to wake up next to someone you’re in love with each day, you need to learn some dating skills.
- If you were blessed enough to be this person with all these experiences and growth, how would you give back?
- At the top of the third column, write Contribution.
- Experiences and growth can make you happy, but fulfillment comes from giving back.
- When Vishen and I spoke on stage with the Dalai Lama, he told us that the secret to being happy was to make other people happy.
- Create a list of ways that you could give back to the world.
- Examples could include donating 10% of your income or raising your children into successful giving people or writing a book that inspires the world.
Want more from Vishen Lakhiani? Download the Mindvalley Quest app and find the free Extraordinary by Design course to go even deeper into these three questions. You can also purchase his book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind.