Mindvalley Co-Founder Kristina Mand-Lakhiani’s Journey To Inner Peace

Kristina Mand-Lakhiani’s journey of self-growth and self-acceptance has been anything but easy coming from a communist society. She is an entrepreneur, mother of two, speaker, philanthropist, philosopher, artist and the co-founder of Mindvalley, “a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages.” 

Mand-Lakhiani’s uniqueness lies in her understanding of how to engage audiences. A marketing whisperer of sorts, she explains one of her best methods to connect with audiences is to imagine you are dating them, to pique their interest initially and slowly nurture the relationship over time—this builds a strong bond and mutual trust.

Her work with Mindvalley has transformed a multitude of individuals by encouraging positive changes, practicing authenticity and breaking free of self-perception barriers. The education platform offers 10 million students access to courses designed by world-renowned leaders such as Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Michael Beckwith and Lisa Nichols. 

She is also the author of “7 Days To Happiness and Live By Your Own Rules,” which both share her personal journey of transformation, authenticity, understanding and accepting oneself. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Influencers for Change Award presented from Global Impact Creators.

Growing up under Soviet-style communism, Mand-Lakhiani “I was brought up thinking society is more important than an individual and that you only matter if you are a part of something bigger. That’s why personal growth was something very alien for me.” But it was the passion of Mindvalley co-founder, Vishen Lakhiani, that led her to love personal growth and transformation. “Personal growth is about the individual and their contribution to the world,” she said. “You have to change yourself if you want to change the world.”

Mand-Lakhiani’s ability to inspire people around her with her straightforward, yet realistic outlook on life and help others change themselves through personal growth has brought her worldwide admiration. Reflecting on her work, she shares, “It’s a peaceful feeling when you know that what you’re doing is bigger than you.”


Kristina Mand-Lakhiani: I’m an only child, so I always felt pressured to do things perfectly. I always had this picture in my head of how I should be if I want to be a successful person. And when I was 40, I started catching myself thinking and feeling things I thought I shouldn’t. For example, I would always be known as my husband’s wife or asked about my children and not myself. And that made me feel bad because I’m much more than just a mother and a wife. 

I realized the problem was that we equate our personal happiness with society’s perception of success. I was following society’s idea of success and it didn’t correlate with mine. I believed in society more than myself. But you’ll soon find yourself at a crossroads where you’ll either choose to be successful, or to be true to yourself. That was the beginning of my journey. 


Kristina Mand-Lakhiani: Once you become honest with yourself, you can’t turn back. I remember, I just came back to Estonia from living in Asia for 16 years. And while I was living there I always wished I could go back to Estonia because I felt so alienated. But as I was landing, I suddenly felt scared because I realized that everything had changed. The country had changed and so have I. But that’s the thing–with any transformation with yourself, you know you will help yourself discover yourself.

The scariest thing that had happened was separating with [my ex-husband] Vishen. I was 40 when we decided to end it. But even if I would like to go back to that, it would probably just break into pieces, but much faster because I am a different person now. This is a one-way journey. Once you’re out, you’re out. It’s like jumping out with a parachute. When you’re out of the plane, you can’t go back and land the other way. 

The first step is to be honest with yourself. And that is tricky, especially for us perfectionists, because you aren’t aware that you are being deluded. Oftentimes as perfectionists, we equate ourselves to the perfect picture of us in our heads knowing and it is a very fair and honest mistake. We think that this is how we are supposed to be and if I try hard, I will be that sooner or later. So I’ll fake it until I make it. But the truth is that it is not you. 

It is good to aspire to be something better but you can not move anywhere unless you’re at peace with what you are right now and that might not be that perfect vision of yourself. It is important to have that honesty with yourself to accept your reality. Saying no to a perfectly functional and successful thing because somewhere deep inside you feel unlike yourself, is a scary thing. Because the whole world will retaliate. Coming to peace with what you are is being okay with not being perfect. 


Kristina Mand-Lakhiani: For me, communication or relationship with the audience is like dating where the end game is marriage. My team knows I always give the weirdest analogies when it comes to marketing. But literally, just imagine someone in your audience and you start dating that person. You meet them in the bar. How do you pick them up? How do you start the conversation? How do you get to know them? The trust? Are you out for a one-night stand or for a long-term relationship? That’s how I imagined it to be and it’s a very good analogy, because marketing is all about psychology, and psychology is the same for everyone. We have the same triggers, the same motivations, the same pains and the same reaction to what’s happening to us. 


Kristina Mand-Lakhiani: It’s a peaceful feeling when you know that what you’re doing is bigger than you. It de-stresses you because in business, we often talk about marking the territory and having the biggest piece of the pie. But when you realize that what you do is bigger than you, then it’s not about how big a piece of pie you have, it’s actually about how many people you can help to be at peace with who they are to live meaningful and happy lives. 

Interview by Tricia Love Vargas

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