‘Gratitude’ gratitude in advance is very much a practical thing of going to the outcome that we want and starting to mentally rehearse that as a present reality, and then stepping into a space of gratitude as we rehearse it before we’ve even experienced it. This shift in thinking will shift you mentally, physically, and emotionally. This positive loop is created when you begin to view life with gratitude. created by by looking at life this way.
As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Mangena.
Dan Mangena is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and public speaker who made his first million by the age of 20. The harsh reality of losing his success and rebuilding it led him on a 12-year journey to seeking and creating more practical and tangible strategies to align himself with his purpose. He has spent the better part of his life perfecting and sharing his world-class Beyond Intention Paradigm. He was listed in the Wall Street Journal as a ‘Master of Success’. His books, podcasts, events & retreats continue to help captains-of-industry and private individuals alike live an abundant, joyful, purpose- driven life. He offers many unique and effective practices to take one from meditating and visualizing to living intentionally in all areas of our lives.
Alongside his siblings he launched The Mangena Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to “empower generations to create a better, brighter, safer, and more loving world.” Dan pursues this mission by building schools and orphanages in third world countries, mentoring children in foster care and children’s homes in the UK as well as young offenders and those in the criminal justice system in the UK.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I’m a child of immigrants. My parents came to the UK in the seventies. I was born in the eighties, in East London. We moved out to Essex when I was around 11 years old. It was a very trying time for me. I was bullied to the point that I faked illness so that I didn’t have to go to school. When I left primary school and went on to senior school (high school) I dedicated myself to trying to do things a bit differently. The true source of the challenges that I faced around making friends, keeping friends and my social awkwardness, wasn’t revealed until my mid to late twenties when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s.
Once I started to understand the gifts that Aspergers gave me I began to apply those to life. My life has improved tremendously.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.
Back when I was in high school there was a national grade scandal. I was performing well with As and Bs. The grades of well performing students were dropped and I received Cs. I was infuriated. This drop in grades caused me to lose the award I received to attend Keble College, Oxford University. My parents insisted that I still attend without being able to retake exams and reapply for a better entry position. I entered university with a chip on my shoulder. It seemed the system was working against me, so I checked out!
Prior to the scandal I had begun personal development work. I decided that I didn’t need to graduate Oxford and become and investment banker. I could make money on my own terms. Rejecting the traditional 9-to-5 lifestyle was my act of rebellion.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
I am a firm believer in mentorship. I’ve spent a lot of money on my personal development via books, courses, seminars, coaching, etc. I’ve read hundreds of books and I think the idea of not having the money to invest in mentorship and coaching is ridiculous. There’s so much available now. A lot of people offer a lot of content online: books, audio books, YouTube channels, podcasts etc. You can gain the advantages of mentorship without the actual face-to-face relationship with one specific person, however I do have mentors.
I’ve had the blessing of being able to invest in getting support, but I’ve also gained wise council through relationships, proving myself and then being taken under the wing of those who see my potential.
Spiritually, Dr. Joe Dispenza, best-selling author of Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007) and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One is someone I’ve looked up to for a while now. I’ve spent time with him on a one-to-one and gained valuable guidance and support.
In terms of being in the heart, I’ve connected recently with the amazing soul Danny Levin author of The Mosaic and a podcast series called 50 conversations with 50 strangers. For working on changing my mindset, my coach Ayodele Kolade has been amazing for me. On consciousness thinking centered around money I gleam from David Neagle and for strategic business methods, Dr. Greg Reid is my mentor. Everything I learned about relationships and how to just be a good businessperson, I learned through him.
I’ve connected with a lot of millionaires and billionaires around the world. I get the opportunity to speak to them and get mentorship, but those listed above changed my life.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Incidentally, none of my mistakes have really led to funny outcomes. They’ve generally been either really ‘ball busting’ heavy or not really that important, but I would say for sure that a mistake that had a funny outcome, was when I was meant to go to an event in the States. I had a speaking engagement in California. I was sure confident I booked my flight to the right place. I travelled from Heathrow with a connection in Atlanta, GA. When I arrived at the gate for my connection, I learned that I was booked to go to Palm Springs, Florida not Palm Springs, California.
Fortunately, I had a reasonable window to get an alternate flight. I ended up having to get a flight to LAX. From LAX I ended up having to spend $300 on a taxi to get me out to Palm Springs. It was just a crazy experience that resulted in me meeting new people and developing a new friendship. Most importantly I learned to keep cool, remain humble, focus and when executing a plan flexibility and resourcefulness are valuable tools.
The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success? This is a very important question to the quality of the interview
The first thing I would say is forge your own path. The ‘cookie cutter’ approach to coaching, transformational and personal development is not effective. Success is found when individuals are authentically themselves. I believe one should find inspiration from others but leverage your unique gifts, skillset, goals and intentions to make your mark.
Ask yourself instead if my results are indicative of the kind of thing that you want. If so, from a place of knowing yourself, what aspects of my journey can help you avoid making mistakes and empower you to make moves towards your own desires.
Play to your strengths and hire your weaknesses. The areas where you lack knowledge or strength contract that work out to someone who is strong in the skill.
Take full responsibility for everything. Regardless of what the environment is, who is the president or any other circumstances that are going on — the more responsibility you take, the more direct creative dominion and agency you have over your life. The more power you give away to others through blame, the less power that you have in your own life.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much? This is a very important question — it gives insight and offers a suggested reading for someone else
So I actually have five books that I read, more or less every year. It started with the conversation that I was having with a friend of mine, who also is an avid reader and led to my ideal life blueprint model, which requires you to pick five particular areas that you want as the foundations for your ideal life, and for each of those areas, you pick a book that represents your Bible/roadmap to success.
So with my five areas, my five books are: The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles, Relating Revolution by some friends of mine Meenal & Kris Kelkar, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer and You Are The Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Those are my five books. Which one has had the most impact on me personally? I would say that it’s The Power of Now. That one was a really key book in the unfolding of what is now my Beyond Intention Paradigm.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
I’m actually quite the “quote monster”. I post at least one or two quotes every day on my Instagram @DreamerCEO. The one that I love to share with people often is:
“The mind does not lose and the environment does not lie.”
This is quote is impactful (in my opinion) because that which we believe is possible, actually becomes a filter for everything in our experience. It doesn’t matter how much positive thinking you’re doing, how hard you’re working, how high your energy levels are, how spiritually connected you are, how much you meditate and all this good stuff. If you don’t believe something is possible, then you’re not going to be able to see it! Parts of your brain will actually shut you off from witnessing it.
When I’m taking people through my Beyond Intention Paradigm, which is the four steps of ‘Accept’, ‘Clear’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Listen’, none of these pieces mean anything, if I don’t believe that the outcome that I’m looking to create in my life, is even possible. “The mind doesn’t lose” really speaks to the fact that the unconscious mind is a perfect executing machine.
“The environment doesn’t lie” speaks to the fact that our world is a direct reflection of what’s going on with us in our unconscious mind.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
2020 has been a really crazy year. It’s been really intriguing to see how people in the same circumstances are having completely different experiences.
There are some who are having the best year ever, some of whom have in the worst year ever. For me personally, this has been a really great year! There’ve been some challenges, but those challenges have actually only served two fortify and strengthen my ability personally, to step into deeper levels of mastery.
My work with financial abundance has been a big part of what I’ve been teaching for the past couple of years. The reason for that is, one of the biggest excuses that people have about not living more ‘kickass’ lives has been money. My team is doing a special edition of The Money Game, my book on manifesting wealth.
We’re also looking at potentially re-releasing the best-selling book, Stepping Beyond Intention will be powerful in supporting people with creating a level of mastery that frees them from fear and anxiety around external circumstances,
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?
- One of the modalities that I’m trained in is called Reality Transurfing. It is a very powerful idea that helps us to look at stress in a completely different light. The concept is called Importance Levels. Reality Transurfing is based on the work of a Russian chap called Vadim Zeland. He wrote a book called Reality Transurfing as part of a collection of five books. Importance Levels basically invites us to reconsider our relationship to the things that are giving us a disempowering emotional response.
- There are two types of importance levels that come into play here. Inner importance: the importance of us in a situation and outer importance: the importance of other things coming to us in our situation. By simply repositioning the amount of importance that we give to our inner and/or outer world, be that through increasing our resourcefulness or reducing our fear of the task, we can start to shift our relationship to it and therefore reduce the stress.
- Ultimately, pressure and stress can be reduced by readdressing our relationship of importance. There are different tactics and tools that you can use around that, for example Mirror Work originally developed by inspirational teacher Louise Hay is a great practice for getting in touch with the inner self, understanding inner importance and improving your own worthiness.
- In terms of outer importance and the things outside of us: in my group coaching I advise that everyone accept that everything is temporal. Reduce the outer importance by remembering that everything is not as ‘do-or-die’ as we think it is. Some things might be, but you know what: the world’s going to keep turning and things are going to be alright, even if you do get something wrong or you do miss a deadline. This isn’t encouraging people to be lackluster and actually missing deadlines, it’s just remembering that the pain and torture that you put yourself through over it going wrong, is more than you’ll probably go through if things don’t go according to plan.
- There’s a couple of insidious ideas, that I think also contribute to the stress and pressure that we put on ourselves to perform for others. One is putting other people’s thoughts about us higher than the value that we place on our own health. This sometimes comes from holding the illusionary idea that people care about us more than they do, because generally speaking people are so absorbed in their own life. They don’t really give us the attention that we think they are.
Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?
Number one — ‘Accept’ accept that we are the author and creator of our life. That’s a very ‘mental’ choice. We’re stepping into our power consciously and deliberately.
Number Two — ‘Clear’ coming back to the present moment is really about letting go of the past and letting go of the future, recognizing that the past is gone and the future isn’t here yet. This might be something like your meditation practice or breath work, or getting out into nature. Do something that allows you to tap into the silence within you.
Number Three — ‘Gratitude’ gratitude in advance is very much a practical thing of going to the outcome that we want and starting to mentally rehearse that as a present reality, and then stepping into a space of gratitude as we rehearse it before we’ve even experienced it. This shift in thinking will shift you mentally, physically, and emotionally. This positive loop is created when you begin to view life with gratitude. created by by looking at life this way.
Number Four — ‘Listen’ For me personally; it’s meditation, visualization and something I use called ‘daily check-ins’. I ask myself several times a day how are you ‘feeling’. What images am I mentally rehearsing? What’s going on in my head? Asking myself are the thoughts that I’m thinking and the emotions I’m feeling aligned with what I wanted to achieve? In doing that consistently over the course of my day, I make sure that I’m on task with getting to my goals.
Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.
Gentle breath work, meditation and visualization are staples in my practices.
I use the tools from Reality Transurfing, specifically around ‘goal slides’, which is an aspect or an application of visualization that’s really powerful. What we’re doing is, we’re going to the end goal in our mind’s eye and playing it with a level of certainty that could actually seem to be a little bit ridiculous, because we’re not playing something that we think is going to happen. We’re playing something in our mind’s eye as if we were connecting with an option that’s already in reality.
I follow the quantum model personally, in terms of how reality is constructed and by that, I mean that it’s my belief that every single outcome that we could conceive of is possible. It already exists as a potential, all that we’re doing when we’re “creating”, is selecting something that’s already there.
An example that Zeland gives is imagining that we’re in a supermarket. We’re just selecting from the shelves, the things that we want to be a part of our reality. I do my visualization that way, and I do it multiple times a day. As well meditation which is of vital importance to my practice.
Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?
Who am I showing up as, doing the reality transurfacing and mirror work technique? Ask yourself if you are creating a deliberate and conscious expansion into more of what I want? Or is it just something that you are doing out of habit? Fear?
You can do the best meditation in the world, have the best yoga practice in the world or have the clearest vision in the world, but if you’re doing it from a space of fear, then you’ve essentially polluted that practice with the fear. The seeds of fear aren’t going to bear fruits of abundance or expansion.
You can anything work if you’re aligned with it and you believe in its efficacy.
We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey? You can share 2
“Habits maketh the man”, I think is how the quote goes, right? Because we are really the sum of our habits. We’re operating, according to Dr. Bruce Lipton, around 90% of the time in our unconscious mind and habits are an expression of the unconscious patterns that we’ve got. So when we’re programming a new habit, we’re essentially making something a part of the program. Your habits must align with what we want. For me, the habit of daily gratitude has been really powerful in terms of framing where I’m at emotionally and my relationship to my goals, and also taking time out for myself.
My main two habits are gratitude and taking time out for myself. The habit of taking time out to myself at intervals of the day has been very important. It’s allowed me to check in and make sure that my batteries are full, in order for me to be of service to others.
What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?
A friend memory and brain performance coach Josh McCartney reminded me of something in a video that he did, what’s most important is who we want to be, not what we want to achieve? Who we want to be is going to be a much stronger magnet for us than what we want to achieve.
Focus your attention, your awareness and energy on expanding into the person that you want be and ensuring that you have a cognitive connection between the person you want to be and those habits that you want to instill.
Coherent frequency is always going to consume incoherent frequencies. An uplifting habit is always going to consume a downward habit, that makes you feel crap about yourself. By focusing on being the person, that’s got the good habits, a lot of the time you’ll find that the “bad habits” will just fall away.
As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful.
We’re always flowing to something. The universe is expensive, it’s not contractive. It’s just that we’re not always flowing to what we want, but by being very deliberate in our intentions, choosing how we’re feeling, choosing our thought quality and then making conscious choices from that space; we’re always going to be in flow and even in our unconscious times too. I’m all about having a life of flow, and for me a life of flow is all about being in alignment.
I love to use Beyond Intention personally, in order to be able to deliberately make the choice in what I’m feeling/thinking/doing, in order to establish and maintain that reality of flow. I’ve had great success teaching our clients to do the same.
Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?
When I made the leap into this industry I was scared of no longer being able to fly first class and have nice things. I was allowing that limitation to stop me doing what really lit me up. Many people restrict themselves because they are fearful or unwilling to make a short term sacrifice.
I want more people to do what lights them up. I honestly believe that what lights us up is God or the universe’s way of letting us know what we’re here to do. This isn’t about purpose, this is something deeper than that. I refer to it as ‘the dream’. It’s the thing that’s encoded within us that really lets us know what our contribution is to the overall universal tapestry. Once people are freed from the illusion of things in life that are limiting them, keeping them from stepping into that purpose, they’re able to really trust that they’re going to be taken care of. That the universe/God/their world is going to take care of them. The more people we can do that for, the better.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. From the back of your book, I took this.
My siblings and I have actually started a foundation, through which we’re working on empowering the next generation to start living an expansive life. If more people are doing that, then the world is going to be populated with a different caliber of person and if there’s a different caliber of person in the world, then the experience of people within that world is going to be much more up-lifting.
I’m obsessed with people being able to have that freedom, to live more abundant, joyful, purpose-driven lives. Doing it without allowing stuff to stand in the way and being so lit up by what they’re doing.
I want us to create an uplift in the overall consciousness of humanity, because we reached that critical mass of more people doing what they’re here to do. The joy, love and expansion that they have can create a new agreement of what the world looks like and how people living in that world experience in life.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂 Excellent question.
I’ve actually been really blessed in that my mentors, and the circles that I get to move in now, have empowered me to be able to meet a lot of really amazing people. I’ve gotten to meet an astronaut and some of the great business leaders who have created amazing companies. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a lot of my teachers and the people that I really look up to, but there’s one person that I think it would be fascinating to see at home, in their normal element: and that’s Tony Robbins.
He’s always at such a high intensity, operating at such a high level all the time. I’d love to just be a fly on the wall, not even necessarily to have lunch with him or anything like that. I’d love to just be a fly on the wall for more of his extended day. Just to witness him in consistent action.
I am one or two degrees of separation from Tony at the moment. I think that, if I really put my mind to it, I could make it happen.
How can our readers further follow your work online? https://
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.