Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Aww Shift

Jul 11, 2023

In today's episode, our guest is Kristiana Mand Lakhiani. She is the Co-founder of Mindvalley and has been in the personal transformation industry for over 18 years. She is an international

speaker, entrepreneur, artist, philanthropist, and everyday life philosopher. Kristina is also the author of transformational quests "7 Days To Happiness" and "Live By Your Own Rules". She also speaks about personal transformation, authenticity, understanding and accepting oneself, and a path to happiness.

[5:00] Why should I listen to you? 

I'm not afraid to express my opinions and I enjoy engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations, especially with someone as interesting and insightful as yourself. It's always enjoyable to converse with others, particularly when I'm in public and can ask them questions about their experiences and interests. I'm naturally curious and find it fulfilling to connect with people on a personal level. Talking to you has been an absolute pleasure. Additionally, I've discovered that the ability to discuss love and other complex ideas in a compelling manner can be entertaining and thought-provoking. It's not simply a matter of saying "I love you," but rather exploring the meaning and power behind that sentiment.

[7:25] Would you mind elaborating on that conversation a bit more? 

I'm glad you brought up that particular chapter because it's my favorite one, and Ashley's favorite as well, as I've been engaged in personal growth for over 20 years. The chapter addresses the concept of spiritual bypassing, which was coined by John Rawls. Essentially, we sometimes become so enamored with certain spiritual theories and concepts that we use them to avoid dealing with our own personal problems. In the conversation you mentioned, where I was being bombarded with expressions of love, many of us have experienced this situation before. Rather than facing conflict or disagreement head-on, the person in question tries to escape by simply professing their love for us. Although it's difficult to pinpoint a single term for this behavior, it often falls under the umbrella of passive-aggressive behavior. By avoiding conflict, we might seem pleasing on the surface, but deep down, the unpleasant feeling will eventually manifest itself. There are several risks associated with this type of behavior, with the most painful being the doubt that it can create within oneself. When we disagree with someone and they respond with "Why don't you calm down? It's you who's nervous," we might start questioning our own sanity.

[16:58] Would you mind sharing some of the things that you found difficult at the beginning and had to overcome to gain strength? 

If we are specifically talking about my child's diagnosis, it's not so much that he's a difficult child, in the sense that most people wouldn't know that his brain functions differently. So the learning point for me was that seeking professional help is necessary when facing challenges in life. We don't have to figure everything out on our own. It's interesting how we are not taught to deal with life's challenges using professional help. We are expected to figure everything out ourselves, which is especially true when schools only provide academic education that doesn't necessarily translate to real-life situations.

In terms of my growth as a parent, the first lesson was about patience and understanding that love alone is not always enough in relationships or anything else. I also learned the meaning of unconditional love, which I believe we get closest to with our children. Later on, I realized that it's okay to prioritize my own happiness and that it's not selfish to do so. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my children is that everyone has the right to their own journey, including the right to make mistakes. This can be challenging for parents because we want to protect our children from pain and difficult experiences. There were times when I had to make a conscious choice to allow my child to face the consequences of life not always going their way, even though I could have intervened and saved the day.

[19:45] Is there a dynamic way that the children are given lessons that they need to learn? 

Parents often assume different roles when it comes to their children, with mothers typically taking on the role of the caretaker and problem-solver, while fathers may be more inclined to encourage their children to figure things out on their own, particularly when it comes to boys. However, I hesitate to make judgments about Vicious Journey's parenting style, as I am not privy to his personal journey and transformation with his children. For me, the experience of raising my own children has taught me important lessons about love, including the willingness to accept and support my children even when I disagree with their choices. This means recognizing that challenges, difficulties, and hardships are an inevitable part of life, and teaching my children the skills they need to navigate them, such as problem-solving and executive functioning. When I first began teaching about happiness, I often emphasized the importance of acknowledging and accepting the inevitability of pain and struggle in life. Many people misunderstand happiness, believing that it is possible to live in a world without discomfort or adversity. However, this is simply not realistic. By embracing the challenges of life and teaching our children to do the same, we can help them develop resilience and prepare them for the ups and downs that are an inevitable part of the human experience.

[30:05] Do you mind unpacking the aspect of putting oneself first? 

As previously mentioned, I was born and raised in the Soviet Union, a society known for its idealism and emphasis on community building. In this societal framework, individuals were deemed less necessary and this was deeply ingrained in my worldview until my teenage years. Moreover, my favorite literary period was the end of the 19th century which further reinforced my belief that a person's most important goal in life was to be of use to the rest of the world. However, in my late 20s to early 30s, I experienced some trauma from constantly prioritizing others over myself. It was during this time that I stumbled upon a poster with an unusual message. The poster encouraged individuals to prioritize their happiness, a foreign concept that left me puzzled and questioning its validity. Years later, I found myself working with refugees in Malaysia, mainly from Myanmar, while simultaneously building Mindvalley, a company focused on teaching individuals to live happy, fulfilled, and extraordinary lives. This contradiction between the human tragedy I witnessed and the message of happiness we were promoting at Mindvalley created cognitive dissonance within me. At an event where the Dalai Lama was speaking, I finally posed my question to him, struggling to reconcile the two seemingly opposite worlds I was experiencing. His response, "You can't help anyone if you're not happy," hit me like a sledgehammer. Here was a person who had dedicated his life to making the world a better place, yet he understood the importance of personal happiness and well-being. I realized that personal well-being and happiness are incompatible with the desire to be useful to the world or be a good parent, entrepreneur, or athlete is a fallacy. In fact, prioritizing one's own well-being and happiness is a necessary step toward being able to help others and solve problems more effectively. Although the topics of happiness and self-love may not be seen as sexy or pragmatic in some circles, I have found that discussing these topics with pragmatic individuals, including entrepreneurs, can be enlightening. It is often assumed that personal well-being and happiness must be sacrificed for more "serious" problems, such as economic crises or raising children. However, this assumption is misguided, as prioritizing personal well-being and happiness can actually make it easier to tackle these so-called serious problems.

[39:45] Can you tell us what your book is about? 

After my previous rant about the importance of taking care of oneself, I noticed that the book in question is about self-love and is called Becoming Foursome. The book focuses on finding one's way back to oneself, which can often be a challenge for individuals who have been busy pursuing success and following societal ideals. Personally, I found myself in this situation around the age of 30–40, where I felt like my body was going through the motions but I wasn't truly present in my own life. It was a strange feeling, but it prompted me to start asking questions and seeking ways to improve my well-being. Eventually, I realized that I needed to reconnect with myself, and the journey back to myself began. The book is quite research-heavy and a nerdy/geeky read, which I personally appreciate. I like to have facts and scientific support before making statements or claims. The Journey Back to You is a transformative journey, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone by giving away too many details. It's like picking up Lord of the Rings and knowing how it ends—it takes away from experience. 

[43:40]  Do you know that 85% of adults have self-esteem? 

Self-esteem is not synonymous with self-love, although it is often a byproduct of it or the lack of it. This is a common issue, as there are many misunderstandings and distortions around what healthy self-love actually entails. For example, some people think that egocentrism or self-love is excessive, but that is not the case. Similarly, complacency is often seen as a sign of too much self-love, but it is actually a distortion. We may also mistakenly believe that our idealized self-image is an indicator of self-love, when in fact these misconceptions are markers of its absence or lack. It's challenging to talk about self-love when we don't fully comprehend it. Therefore, it's crucial to understand that self-love matters, especially during times when we're not at our best. It's comparable to the love we have for children. It's easy to love them when they behave well, but it's much more challenging when they make mistakes or don't follow our advice. In those situations, it's necessary to accept that they have their own journey and to continue loving them unconditionally. Similarly, it's crucial to learn how to love ourselves even when we make mistakes or don't meet our own expectations. This may be difficult, but it's a crucial aspect of cultivating a healthy sense of self-love.

[49:34] What promise did God make to the world when he created you? 

That it's going to be cool, and you should have fun. 

Key Quotes 

[11:15-11:20] The words don't convey the actual meaning of your feelings; it's everything about you that does. 

[25:20-25:25] We often profess the truth without knowing that what is true to us might not be true to someone else. 

How to connect with Kristina Mand Lakhiani