Growing up in Malaysia, Vishen Lakhiani—CEO and founder of the Malaysia-based edutech company Mindvalley—admired his mother’s work as a teacher. But, as he explained in an interview with Malaysia Tatler, he felt pressure to study computer engineering. He struggled when the dot-com bubble ended and eventually discovered he had chosen the “wrong path.” At a low point in his life, he was working unhappily in telemarketing in Silicon Valley. Then he took a life-changing meditation class.
“The experience changed me,” he said of the class, which he found with a simple online search. “I was using abilities in my mind that I never learned in school: heightened creativity, intuition and empathy to connect with people. I could visualise my goals and go into a peaceful state of mind.” His life improved quickly from there.
In an interview with Foundr, which calls Lakhiani “the man officially standing at the intersection of mindfulness and business,” he said, “I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could get this beautiful science, this beautiful art form out into the world?”
Lakhiani explained to Tatler how he also came to believe that “the schooling system globally is flawed.” He said, “They teach us how to achieve success through the amount of money in your bank account, or the title on your business card. The truth is there’s more to life than that. School doesn’t educate you for issues you face in life, like stress and anxiety, marriage, relationships, parenting and so much more.”
He eventually returned to education with these principles in mind. According to his personal website, Lakhiani and his former partner launched Mindvalley in 2003 as “a digital publisher and marketer of self-help programs and courses.” Today, the company’s website explains that it is “creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages.”
By combining an extensive digital learning platform—including a vast selection of online courses—with large events and conferences, Mindvalley aims to create a unique, global educational experience. The curriculum focuses on five “key areas of the human experience”: performance, mind, health, relationships, and career.
Lakhiani’s book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, combines his personal experience and interviews with a wide variety of leaders, including Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington, presenting “a blueprint of laws to break us free from the shackles of an ordinary life.”