Transcript for Vishen Lakhiani – Conquering Fear, Defying Limitations, Living your best life.

welcome to the human experience podcast
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we are the intimate strangers thank you
for listening what’s up folks this is
our episode with addition la kiani of
whom you may or may not have heard of I
promise you that after this episode you
will remember who he is I read his book
and loved it so much that we brought him
onto the show best decision that I’ve
made in show guests decisions in a long
time because this is easily in our top
10 of the best episodes we’ve ever done
you can feel the passion wisdom and
sheer knowledge that vision is relating
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listening and without much further ado
here is vision la kiani the human
experience has obtained the blueprint
for retraining your mind as we speak to
my guests vision la Kyani vision my good
sir welcome to hxp hi Xavier this is an
I am honoured to be here your story is
remarkable I love the book but there’s
some people that might not know who you
are and what you do let’s let’s talk
about that from you know going from
being an engineer to founding MindValley
give us that story I graduated from the
University of Michigan way back in 1999
so you can kind of guess my age right
now I’m 40 years old now when I
graduated my timing in a word kinda
sucked because shortly after I graduated
the dot-com bubble burst so I had moved
out to the Bay Area with dreams of
starting a startup you know getting
funding making a massive difference in
the world only to find all of those
dreams completely dashed I lost my
savings I lost all my money and I
couldn’t get a job anywhere so sometime
in about 2001 around 2 years after
graduation I had officially been fired
twice I had lost to startups and I was
so freakin in in depth I couldn’t even
afford an apartment so I was renting a
couch from a college student in Berkeley
one of those to see the couches so even
my legs kind of dangle docked at the end
and in desperation I was sending my
resume out to any company on Craigslist
that would hire me finally one company
offered me a job
but again the economy was so bad this
was April this was around April or so
2001 back I remember that month alone
14,000 people were laid off in the Bay
Area they were pink slip at least where
people would go to try to network their
way to some sort of salary so I got the
job but the economy was so bad they were
not paying any base salary so
had to pick up the phone and call
lawyers and sell them on technology
technology to manage their law firms and
if the lawyer said no if I didn’t close
a sale I did not get paid that week or
that month and there were people in my
company who just were not earning
nothing they were earning zilch so in
desperation because I couldn’t close to
say like no idea what I was doing I was
a computer engineer trying to hack it as
a guy who knew you know business I got
depressed and I got online and I was
searching I can’t remember what I was
searching maybe it was hope maybe it was
um to to to find meaning maybe it was
why his life sucks so bad
but I found a class on meditation and
the class on meditation was being taught
by a pharmaceutical salesperson in Los
Angeles and she claimed that what she
was teaching would dramatically help you
with business with life with sales all
of these like hyper promises but I
thought look life sucks for me right now
I need to try something so I flew down
to LA I took the class and when I showed
up you know I was the only person there
apparently she wasn’t very good at
marketing itself so I took the class and
what she shared with me was astonishing
I learned how to control my brainwaves I
learned how to channel intuition I
learned how to connect with people with
deep empathy I went back to work and
Monday so it was a tick class over the
weekend Monday I started work and by
Friday I had had not just my best ever
sales week but I was double my period my
previous record and I thought well this
is kind of interesting so I continued
applying some of these ideas in work and
I continued getting better and better
and better in four months I got promoted
three times I was made Director of Sales
I was only 26 years old and I was made
Director of Sales in the company of like
a hundred people sent out to New York to
hit their New York office I continued
experimenting with these techniques I
continued attending new seminars reading
new books exploring just what my mind to
do and soon I could do the Director of
Sales job and the best
development manager job I held two jobs
simultaneously and again I was crushing
it now this point you guys may be
wondering well what exactly was I so
I’ll show you a couple of techniques
Allen one of the techniques that that
blew me away was a simple technique to
tap into intuition at our work everyone
would go to the San Francisco Public
Library they would be assigned to a city
so my city was for example San Antonio I
would check out the San Antonio Yellow
Pages and then I had to call every
lawyer in the attorney section from A to
Z in order write and hope that someone
happened I happen to catch a man at a
convenient time where he would just
listen to my whole that’s what everyone
was doing when I came back from this
class I tried something different
I wouldn’t randomly call the lawyers I
would go into a meditative state of mind
place my finger on the phone book run my
finger aims and call only people I felt
a certain impulse wait so I was calling
less lawyers but interestingly these
lawyers were so much more likely to buy
it’s as if I was guessing but these
guesses seemed to be correct that was
one and that boosted my sales the second
thing I did that double my sales again
was was a simple appetit technique Eyler
i learned to to shut my eyes go with him
and set an intention with the lawyer
before I called him so I was calling say
Bob Jones I would see Bob Jones in my
mind’s eye I would imagine what he
looked like I would tell myself that
this conversation was gonna go smoothly
that Bob Jones would have time for me
that things would close if and only if
this was going to be a win-win for
everyone concerned that Bob Jones would
see his firm go to new heights because
of our technology that we would be able
to serve him well that the would be
pleasurable and meaningful for us and
the simple empathy visualization
technique again double my sales and so
with no with no sales training I was
able to just crush it
now after 18 months at this company III
I remember up in my final month I was
400% over quota um and I decided to quit
I decided to quit because I felt that
the company no longer fit
by my personal mission and I wanted to
do something on my own and I decided
look education according to Nelson
Mandela is the greatest way to change
the world Nelson Mandela has a famous
quote on that and I thought I want to
start an education technology company
and what better thing to get out to the
world and meditation so I started a
simple ecommerce website I you know back
then it wasn’t as easy to start an
e-commerce website so I had that
advantage it’s quite quite remarkable
what you were able to do you you went
from this sort of rock-bottom state
where you’re you’re in your your
friend’s apartment living on a couch and
you you take a meditation class you
realize the importance of kind of
altering changing your brainwaves so
that you’re more tapped into your
intuition and what is the inner compass
that inner compass that we all have and
and suddenly you’re your sales are are
skyrocketing and and this is where I
mean this is where I kind of cut you off
so and this is the birth of mine Valley
all right
this well it’s worth what I quit that
job and decided to start a simple
ecommerce site selling and promoting
meditation that was the birth of mine
Valley hmm okay and it mine Valley to
was taking losses for quite a while
until it turned a profit is that is that
correct while it was 2003 and being a
computer engineer finally I found
something to apply my skills to so it
wasn’t as easy back then to start online
business you did not have things such as
Shopify and so on but I could code my
own checkout my own customer CRM system
and so on and so I built my own website
I got to apply my programming skills my
meditation skills and I built one of the
world’s first online websites for
meditation and immediately it took off I
remember my first customer was a woman
called Barbara from Atlanta this was
like December 22nd 2002 and it’s not
about really slope but slowly and slowly
the business grew today my belly is in a
wide area of different fields we do
everything from apps to festivals we
have about 200 employees globally but
it’s all focused around one thing and
it’s still that one thing that one thing
is spreading ideas in personal growth
our vision our vision is to get these
new ideas these new areas of thought new
visions for health and wellness and
meditation and mindfulness and then
apparently and better relationships to
as many people as we can that’s amazing
I mean why why Kuala Lumpur why Malaysia
by oh jeez oh so Xavier do you want to
know the cleaned-up story or the actual
story let’s go the actual story okay so
the actual story is and it’s only now
you know it’s a and I’m only I’m gonna
say this it’s only now that I am safe
telling you guys the actual story so
here’s what you got to understand after
September 11 2001 America was a very
dangerous place than it is right now and
because of what had happened because of
that terrorism there was a bit of a
paranoia towards certain groups of
people now I had been born in Malay
Malaysia is a country that is about a
fifty sixty percent Muslim population
I’m not a Muslim I’m an of Indian origin
Malaysia is a very diverse country in
Asia night lived in the u.s. at that
point for almost ten years I had
graduated there studied there started a
business there so I was living with my
wife who’s European we were living in
New York and so back then I had a
different name my name was vision Mohan
das and Mohan das is a very common
Indian name you know Gandhi Gandhi’s
name is Mohan das Gandhi so I was named
after my father who was named after I
guess Gandhi but I showed up at JFK
Airport one day the guy looking at my
passport called me mission Mohamed and I
said no it’s Mohan das and he goes no
it’s a SMO Hamid I’m like dude read it
again it’s Mohan das and he said follow
me and so I mean I’m sure he was reading
it superfast or whatever she took me to
a back room and he told me you know
there are certain things about your
parents of travel and so on that looks
suspicious we’re going to have to
investigate you he kept me in that room
for three hours and I was added to a
watchlist a watchlist called special
registration now special registration
essentially meant got for the next five
years of my life I couldn’t use certain
airports I every time I wanted to enter
or exit the United States I would be I
would have to go point interview at the
local airport or in a place near the
airport called a special registration
center and I would get fingerprinted I
would get photographed I’d have to
answer interview questions and but it
was worse than that it wasn’t just
travelling every thirty days living in
the United States I had to report to the
government I had to stand in a long line
going sometimes four blocks to be called
up to a window to have my credit cards
check to make sure I don’t know to make
sure I wasn’t buying fertilizer or stuff
to be interviewed to be interrogated to
have my picture taken it was literally
like living on parole one left wheel of
the United States my wife and I wanted a
kid born here but you know we decided we
couldn’t live like this and so we had a
choice we could move back to Europe
which is where she was from or move back
to Malaysia Malaysia had beautiful warm
weather nice peaches and so I thought
well why not Malaysia and that’s what we
did now now after five years after five
years the
the US Embassy in Malaysia got me off
the list I decided to change my name to
a safe bustling name and that’s how my
name is now mission lucky Ani very
interesting and you know in your in your
book you you talk about struggle being
this sort of launchpad to discovering
new things new ideas to launching a
person into you know kind of the next
level of who they are
and I mean one thing I wanted to kind of
comment about the book about something
that you said while I was doing the
research for the show I think it was on
Facebook that you posted this that you
said you said that that being on The
Wall Street Journal bestseller list
wasn’t enough I’m paraphrasing you said
that you wanted this book to be a Dale
Carnegie Napoleon Hill level book that
that carried through the ages and is
that right absolutely absolutely and and
let me tell you why today any any
celebrity can launch a book and
instantly because they are a celebrity
it will hit the New York Times in the
Wall Street Journal so you know because
that book that initial press that comes
out any guy with a business who has
customers he buys from you know could
instantly like promote the book all over
his business and it’ll hit the top but
those books will not have staying power
within a week or two the books will fall
off the list because to be a genuinely
good cook book spread primarily through
one one way only the most effective way
and that’s word of mouth we buy books
because we hear about them from our
friends you know you can get in a TV
show but again unless your celebrity few
people are going to buy your book I’ve
had friends working on talk shows like
Good Morning America and they will sell
100 books right so the celebrity power
causes spikes but it doesn’t necessarily
lead to a great book what I wanted to
write is a book that genuinely good a
book that will pass from hand to hand
from parent to son from employee to
co-worker for generations and the only
way to do that is to write a genuinely
good book that touches people so that
was one principle but that’s a second
principle and the second principle is
your book must get noticed which
means that you gotta either arouse love
or hate but not apathy and that’s why in
my book I write it in such a way where
it’s designed to make you really love
the ideas really want to follow them
really resonate with you or you will
absolutely hate the book because the
book stands for something
it stands for it stands for humanism and
ideas around humanism it you know if you
actually read the book you will see that
they are anti-trump messages in the book
and I’m not and it’s not blatant but
it’s in there because the book is that
the book stands for humanism the book
talks about things that business books
are not supposed to talk about such as
intuition right many people would never
talk about intuition in the business
becoming this focus right now on number
four the New York Times business list
and and I was told by my friends don’t
say that you can’t say that because no
one’s going to take you seriously but
I’ve experienced it and I feel just
because we cannot explain a phenomenon
doesn’t mean it isn’t real so in that
way only foreword for the book I I have
this sentence I say we grow through pain
or we grow through insight but never
true apathy therefore this book will be
painful at times and it will be
insightful at times but I didn’t want to
write something that you would ignore
yeah you know I’ve talked to a lot of
authors a lot of bestsellers and no one
as has has had the vision of of what you
just stated the the long game vision of
you know I want this book to reach more
than just a list a special list and that
people get on when they sell enough
copies and I think that alone is just so
so profound to me and it’s a good segue
let’s let’s dig in to kind of what the
book gets into can you tell us what is
what is the culture scape and how does
what how does the culture scape affect
the choices that we kind of are are
ingrained or hardwired to to make okay
so firstly I am fascinated by
evolutionary biology and one of the
you learn when you study evolution
biology and I was talking to her to a
friend of mine who’s in the field he
said the the planet got effed as soon as
human beings evolved a brain with
pattern recognition systems now what
this means is at a certain point in that
evolution we begin to see the nuance of
patents right and part of this pattern
recognition system allowed us to develop
new ways of communicating with language
so an ape and a tribe could say look
tiger but a human being could say hey
Bob don’t go by the river because I saw
a tiger there five hours ago
so let’s chill out here and wait and go
back and fish tomorrow when that beast
might go away so as we develop these
systems to recognize time to recognize
patterns to communicate human being
started living in two different worlds
and I just want to acknowledge there’s a
phenomenal book on this call sapiens by
you while are really ok so we started
living in two different worlds and one
world is the world of absolute truth
this is the world that says this rock is
grey and it is hard this berry is edible
that’s absolute truth it’s true for
everyone but there’s also a world of
relative truth in this world is the
world of human language that exists in
our heads
human language allowed us to create a
mythology a culture a designation for
what a man should do what a woman should
do it allowed us to create rules and
values and and ways of assembly not
tribe and communicating and hailing the
leader but the thing about these this
world of language is that it is not real
it’s not absolute truth it’s relative
truth meaning it’s true for some people
and not true for others but the problem
is all of us as human beings tend to
take the world of relative truth very
often as absolute truth think about how
we blindly believe what our religions
say or what a political leaders say or
what we or what we believe in the
television media we believe that you
need a college degree to be successful
we believe that you need a nine-to-five
job we believe that if you don’t follow
this particular rule of our religion
this is going to happen to you you
believe that a man and the woman need to
unify and have a marriage and have 2.5
kids and two cars in the garage and
then you are living in a normal family
the problem with the problem with the
culture scape is that the culture scape
evolved as a mental construct to keep us
because for 7,000 years we lived in an
unsafe world we lived in a world where
hunter-gatherers were competing with
each other for food or tribes were
fighting with each other for land but
today we are living in the safest time
in human history we’re living in a time
when we are connected to the rest of the
world through the internet the rules
that kept us safe the culture escape
which is that collection of human
believes rituals habits no longer is as
relevant to us as it was before and
therefore we can question that culture
scape and I love this I love that you
are challenging the status quo just
because in my own experience I I tend to
see what people are doing and I do the
exact opposite and I mean but a singular
question that I have for you is I mean
what do you what do you say and how do
you deal with a person who is kind of
struggling with that you know they’re
they’re being judged by their family
they’re being told that what they’re
doing is the wrong thing they’re they’re
being told no you should be a doctor
lawyer or whatever and and yet inside
themselves they they have this passion
for something completely different
I mean how do you how do you personally
recommend a person deals with that that
fight because it is it is a battle well
I it is it is one of the hardest things
that many people are going to go true I
was blessed to have parents who were
progressive in many ways and and will
open mind that many people don’t I have
a friend who was exiled from her family
because she married a man of the
different religion but in the book in
chapter 2 of the book I deal with this
topic and I talk about why it is so
important to stay true for your values
now here’s basically what I said and I
quote a friend of mine a writer and TV
actress by the name of Salma Sidora
right and Psalm says the people who tell
you that you need to follow a particular
family or cultural belief or way of life
love you
essentially what they’re saying is look
at me I’m better because my chains are
bigger and you got to understand that it
is your right to break those chains you
have to you know recognize that they’re
doing it because they love you because
like every other human being raised in
the culture escape they have an
evolutionary drive to keep their
offspring safe whether it’s a teacher or
it’s a parent it’s their own natural
tendency to keep you safe but you have
to do what is going to be right for you
otherwise you’re living someone else’s
life and that is the surest path to
mediocrity and being miserable
look I became a computer engineer
because growing up in Indian culture see
in the early 1990s Bill Gates visited
India and Bill Gates in India was seen
as one of the greatest men in the world
and it caused it actually it actually
changed Indian culture in some way he
was the richest man in the world India
was a poor country and Indian parents
started telling their kids you must be a
computer engineer my grandfather told me
be like Bill Gates be a computer
engineer you know or at least work for
Bill Gates and so I ended up studying
Computer Engineering and ended up
getting a job at Microsoft I went
through five years of my life getting
the best grades I could trying to learn
computer engineering I got that job at
Microsoft I was in Bill Gates home and I
decided I wanted to quit and Bill Gates
is an amazing guy he was having a
barbecue in his home for all the fresh
new Microsoft employees but I realized I
hated my job and I realized if I
continued down this path I’d be working
every day from 9:00 to 7:00 in misery 11
weeks after joining Microsoft I quit and
I joined something that really gave me a
passion you know I and and it it led to
great things in my life I joined a
nonprofit basically but I did that
against my parents advice and they were
I’m sure they were upset for a while
but it led to Who I am today no parent
tells their child you know why don’t you
start a meditation company that’s the
Shah respond to be successful so I think
it’s really important that we learn to
be resilient that we learn to that these
people love us that we Forge our own
paths anyway yeah I am you know I also
work in the entrepreneur startup
industry and a lot of my friends who
went to very prestigious schools dropped
you know $200,000 degrees to do their
passion and seeing that is both
inspiring and the most scary thing that
I’ve ever witnessed because it seems
like our culture now is almost moving
towards that it’s almost books like
yours and and others are pushing people
to find their passion to look at truly
look at their passion because we we are
sold this idea of immediately going into
college after we move out of high school
we we go to college we we pick a degree
pick a major it’s the most forced saying
that in our culture I think is a disease
and you know you you have these rules
and these rules that you you
call let’s define those let’s let’s get
into those I mean what are what are some
of these rules
so a Bruhl is a rule that we
adopt to simplify our understanding of
the world
and so one of the biggest rules is what
you just mentioned the idea that you
need a college degree to be successful
even the idea that you need College
itself I can tell you Xavier I don’t
want to believe in college I have a
eight-year-old son I don’t Jeremy goes
to college or not what I care about is
that he finds meaningful work that’s it
meaningful work I don’t even care if all
those his passion right his passion
maybe cuz passions are something you can
follow as hobbies discussion maybe to
play the guitar and finally place the
guitar meaningful work I think is really
what we should all be doing I talk about
that in the book and I talk about I
share an exercise quality three most
important questions that any of you can
Google online that will teach you how to
get there but college degrees are a brew
the idea that you need to get married is
a rule the idea that you need to live in
the same country that you were born in
is a rule there are so many things out
there that we blindly accept because of
convenience because everyone else is
doing it human beings as I said are
pattern recognition machines and one of
the patterns that we tend to follow as a
mental algorithm is
if everyone else is doing it it must be
okay and it must be safe and it must be
the part to do and we do this to
simplify our decision-making matrix but
it’s not often the best way to truly
being successful sufficient mean you’ve
been through a lot in your life and
you’ve you know you’ve there’s a lot of
up and up and downs with with owning
your own company launching and you you
happen to be incredibly successful what
you’re doing mine fali is huge and I
mean this book is is quite unique
how important is gratitude to you know
sustaining a mental health it is
probably one of the single most
important things you can do so let’s put
it this way right we evolved our
physical systems way earlier than we
evolved our conscious systems think
about it this way when we get up to go
to work
we put on clothes we spray cologne we
take a shower maybe shave or shampoo our
hair get into a car looking good feeling
good ready to dash off to work many of
us will start today with a healthy
breakfast or working out at home or at
the gym we’ve evolved as human beings to
practice these things and people could
do so would swear by them I don’t know
anyone to tell you whom I work with who
would get up and I’m not gonna take a
bot today you know I’m gonna skip that
brushing my teeth in yes if you go back
if you go back to the 1910s in 1926 you
know most Americans did not brush their
teeth in the 1920s the US army issued a
Health Alert because because tooth decay
was a serious issue among in the US Army
even showering many people did not
shower in centuries ago Queen Elizabeth
claimed that she only showered twice in
a lifetime the day she was born and the
day she got married so a lot of things
that we take for granted right now we’re
not normal back then we’re evolved our
physical systems so we we clean
ourselves before hitting out we wash
ourselves yet billions of people wake up
every morning with their minds filled
with gunk with worry
with fear with anxiety which stress
would dread for the upcoming day and
they do nothing
about it we wash our buttons but we
don’t wash our minds we are trained to
believe that our minds that worry is
normal stress is normal fears is normal
jealousy or anger or hatred towards
someone else oh that’s just normal you
know that way to piss me off it’s not
normal just like Queen Elizabeth thought
that her natural body odor was normal
and that people of that time thought
that it was okay for them even a rich
man can bathe on it once a week and now
we know better we need to realize that
worries fears anxieties abnormal mental
conditions there are signs that your
mind isn’t in a healthy state and that
you can clean them within minutes just
like you can take a quick shower and the
solution to that is gratitude scientists
have studied gratitude and said it has
the greatest correlation with well-being
over just about any other mental
characteristic gratitude studies now
show that gratitude make you of less
prone to anxiety it improves your heart
performance it makes you a more
forgiving person it creates better
states of kindness it improves your
performance at work because it leads to
happiness which in turn leads to better
productivity so gratitude leads to
things such as optimism other studies
show that optimism say in sales people
can lead to a 55 percent better
performance gratitude leads to happiness
studies show that happiness leads to
better performance in exams
studies show that doctors who are trying
to be happy a 19 percent better at
diagnosis so there are so many studies
right now that it’s almost a cliche to
practice gratitude but honestly it is
one of the greatest things we can
practice now we don’t hear about it in
television commercials and so on because
you cannot market gratitude the pharma
industry hasn’t yet figured out a way to
bill you for gratitude they can bill you
for Prozac I mean you can go on a prozac
subscription plan but studies actually
show that gratitude can create just as
good levels of happiness without the
pharmaceutical side-effects and that’s
why gratitude is one of the most
important and crucial things you guys
can do ok
so so you know we’ve built a framework
we’ve defined some of the things that
limit us and we’re getting into the
things that we can do to change that
as as a sort of side question because I
also want to learn about who you are and
your life and and your process and I
want to deconstruct that as much as
possible you know you in your book you
talk about kind of hanging out with
Richard Branson and you mentioned Bill
Gates earlier and but Tony Robbins in
how how are you able to kind of how how
are you able to enter this sort of very
elite very niche circle of human beings
that are changing the world well a lot
of it is because I have a simple
principle in life and that is you at
least some of the five people closest to
you so I like connecting with people who
can inspire me people who can uplift me
and I I make these connections by being
of value to these people I’ll give you
an example Peter Diamandis runs the
XPrize foundation he’s probably one of
the greatest entrepreneurs on the planet
today a man who thinks incredibly big
thanks to him we have the private space
travel industry thanks to him we have
XPrize saw the world problems he also
founded singularity University he’s now
started Planetary Resources which is
mining for asteroids I saw Peter
Diamandis peak and I told him you know
you really inspired me and I asked him I
I would love to be able to learn more
from you
what can I do and he told me about a
seminar that he runs and it’s an
expensive seminars like 10 or 20 K to
attend it’s called abundance 360 he told
me that he runs nonprofits and if I was
an entrepreneur and I had you know
excess capital that I wanted to put to a
good cause I could donate to his
nonprofit and I thought that was a
really good idea and so every year I
actually donate a large sum of money to
the XPrize Foundation and as a reward
for this I have Peter as a friend I got
to interview him for the book I get to
spend you know at least seven days or so
with him on XPrize events and XPrize
trips and I get to learn from him and
other inspiring people
true X price and you know it’s a large
sum of money and some people might say
it’s a ridiculous cost but the fact is
I’m getting back to the world because X
price is probably one of the most
high-performing NGOs out there in terms
of like value for dollar donator but at
the same time I get to meet with people
who inspire me and never fail to remind
me to dream bigger now any of us can do
the same thing I had to start somewhere
and I started and I started this whole
idea of networking and connecting with
great people in 2005 in 2005 there was a
a guy I know who was an author and he me
and at that point I had a blog I simply
had a blog on personal growth and this
guy who was an author had a program out
I can’t remember what the program was
called but it was a really cool program
on goal-setting and he had his team
reaching out to bloggers saying asking
if anybody you know would write a blog
post about him and he wasn’t a really
big name but I did anyway I tested out
his program I wrote a blog post and I
think I remember I think I helped him
sell like $30,000 work to this program
and she was happy and he said you know
I’m doing a networking event and maybe
you can come and you can and you know he
told me flat out I’m not qualified for
his networking event but I could come as
a volunteer and I did I went and I
volunteered there I met more people and
I asked them how can I add value to you
is that anything I can do could I
interview you could I you know could I
could I share a blog post about you
could I volunteer for you and I work my
way up over 11 years and anyone can do
it’s really about if you want to get if
you want to network with the with great
minds figure out how can you add value
to them there are many people many
people do it the other way around
I go to conferences I have people coming
up to me going hey you know I have this
great business idea could I get you on a
phone call for 30 minutes so you can
advise me and and it’s just impractical
I mean every good entrepreneur every
good CEO knows that our time is worth
tens of thousands of dollars for our to
our business if I get in a phone call
with someone and advise someone for 30
minutes that’s actually costing me money
there are many people don’t get it one
in ten actually asked me how
can add value to me nine out of ten
asked me for stuff yeah I mean that’s
that’s that’s got to be tough because I
mean you you’ve done a lot people admire
you and so they you know they they just
don’t have they don’t have that ability
to kind of see past you know the first
layer which is you know that that
boundary if you’re asking me for
something you’re not you’re not helping
me and you know it’s it’s like you you
can’t go around and help everyone that
you even if you want to that you can’t
go and help every single person that
asks you to help like them and and and
Savior if if I can share one thing I
just realized I missed out on the best
possible tip for your audience and the
best possible tip is snot be a connector
if you want to connect with incredible
people be a connector so here’s what I
did in 2010 I decided to start my own
festival I observed that you know many
people go to entrepreneurship seminars
and they would skip the lecture speaking
spot but and hang out in the bars
because they love connecting so I
started my own festival back then it was
called awesomeness fest but now it’s
called a fest but I invited 250 people
entrepreneurs and people who have you
know we’re doing great things in the
world to come and hang out together and
then in Costa Rica I put up my own money
so I was gambling my own money that this
was gonna take off or I was gonna lose
money and actually 250 people came I
went up to incredible speakers like chip
Conley who started you know the George
or DD hotel chain and is now part of
Airbnb and I asked him if they would
come speak and I put together this
incredible thing and now every year it
happens every year thousands of people
apply to attend a fest where they can
come together and connect with each
other but by putting myself as the
founder of it I get access to all of
these great minds today 80% of my
friends are a festers and um you know
it’s turned into a really really
remarkable thing that anybody could do
this anybody could decide that you know
I want to start a a book society within
my city what people are going to come
together and discuss the latest business
book they’re going to read I want to
start a
a CrossFit movement where people who
want to get better at help can come
together and work out together and it’s
a really really really great philosophy
I started in a small way and I grew and
grew and grew to now having my own
festival being part of the XPrize
innovation board and so on but I did it
all in ten years you start with a small
group and you expand from there I love
it I truly the vision and the aspect of
you know really you really have this
talent of seeing beyond you know you’re
seeing 1012 moves ahead and it’s it’s
really remarkable
um let’s has their mission has there
been any single moment where I mean it
has this happened yet for you where you
have said okay I’ve made it or or is
that you know an elusive kind of thing
where you’re still kind of kind of
pushing the edge nope nope y’all yes so
that’s a trick question okay and it’s a
trick question because of this modern
I talked about this in Chapter um
chapter six of the book modern
goal-setting is screwed up we teach
people that they need to pursue goals
but the problem is many of the goals
that people are pursuing are goals from
the couch escape including the goal be
an entrepreneur that is a goal
most entrepreneurs are miserable they
thought they wanted to do it because
they wanted freedom or they wanted to
build a great product or they wanted the
experience of being a leader or they
wanted you know the satisfaction of
being looked up upon only to find that
they are trapped into the equivalent of
having a day job working crazy long
hours but now with added risk and if you
don’t believe me ask most entrepreneurs
I mean it most people who listen to your
podcast when they think of entrepreneurs
they think of startup entrepreneurs who
got funding and so on but that’s not the
case the guy who runs the local grocery
store or you know opens up a restaurant
is an entrepreneur as well a guy who’s
an uber driver trying to earn a living
on his own as a contractor is in many
ways an entrepreneur
most people are barely surviving now the
reason for that is because we are
trained to chase means
rather than end goals so means goal is a
means to an end get a college degree be
an entrepreneur is a moon school what we
are really chasing though at the end
walls the end goals are I want a life of
freedom I want to live in a way where I
can work 20 hours a week and spend 20
hours with my son or wife or daughter I
want to write I want to run I want the
experience of being able to inspire
people daily now when you set end goals
you open yourself up to unusual means to
get there but you don’t get trapped into
the means of the culture escape one of
my annual Savior was to be able to stay
in a gorgeous luxury hotel every six
months and have my children in my family
with me and experience life and have
friends with me and when I set that goal
I had no freaking idea how to do it
it seems so counter to being the CEO of
a large company on the 200 person
company but then the idea for a fest
came to me and now every six months I am
staying in a luxury hotel I was just in
Greece and in six months from now it’s
in the Mexican Riviera and I’m there
with 200 people who are attending a fest
and I’m there because of the hosts and
everything is paid for and because I’m
bringing so much business to the hotel I
get the Presidential Suite and so
somehow this bizarre goal that I put
down on paper when I was in when I was
in my early 20s came true but I set it
out as an envelope was something I
wanted for the end in itself so when you
understand the difference between means
goals and end goals you learn to hack
life to find faster optimized routes to
what truly speaks to your soul what
truly makes you happy okay now back to
your question right is it ever enough
as long as you’re attaining your end
goals it will be enough but if you’re
chasing means goals it’s never going to
be enough because means goals always
mean there’s something next a means goal
is something you do so you can attain
something so you can attain something
you study hard in high school so you can
get into a good college so you can do
well in your LSAT so you can get that
law degree so you can start your own law
firm so you can be a lawyer and be a
fancy fancy bigwig only to realize that
50% of lawyers I read this
recently settled from depression because
their jobs are miserable and they’re
wondering how did I get here right here
yeah Wow it’s just such a profound idea
and I love it um you know you in the
book you talk about bending reality and
you know you mentioned you just
mentioned hacking happiness you know how
do we do this so this is one of the more
controversial aspects of the book this
is probably the part of the book where
so if you look at my book on Amazon
you’ll see the reviews are really
interesting it’s it’s 87 or 90 percent
five-star reviews but there are also
lots of one-star reviews from people who
blatantly hate the book this is one of
the things they hate about the book I
suggest in the book that reality is
malleable that we cannot explain it but
to some degree our minds influence our
reality and I’m not talking about the
simplistic idea of programs such as the
secret I find that very simplistic I
don’t know what causes it but I believe
that we can bend reality I believe that
luck is within our control and I believe
this because I keep seeing instances in
my life and instances in the lives of
other really successful people I know
that shocks us we don’t know how this
coincidence of synchronicity came onto
our lap but we know that we wanted it to
and we were focused on it in the right
way and I suggest a formula for bending
reality and the formula is this have
amazing visions pulling you forward
exciting things that you want to do but
at the same time be happy now so a lot
of people think you’ve got to focus your
thoughts and think and think and think
and think you can think about that thing
that you want often know because if you
are in the wrong frame of mind your
thoughts about it are thoughts of worry
or fear or anxiety that it’s going to
come with you you must be in the state
that I call the state of pending reality
where you have these bold visions of
what you want to do in the world but the
second ingredient is you are not
attached to those visions if they come
they come if they don’t come they don’t
come they are nice-to-haves rather you
are happy now you have made it you don’t
need anything more now it’s a tricky
state to get to get in because society
doesn’t train us to be in this
but if you believe that you’ve made it
that you’re happy now you find that the
visions that you want come to you but
you got to be unattached from those
visions so again it’s a it’s a it’s a
big philosophy I’ve given one our
speeches on it you can you can google me
and you’ll find several speeches I’ve
I’ve done that talk about this you know
for people who learn it yep but uh but
that’s the magic ingredient and I strive
every single day to put myself in that
state to have big goals and visions
pulling me forward but to be happy now
to be happy in the present is there is
there a technique or is there a sort of
ritual that you use to sort of elicit
these ideas these these creative
inspirations that you have I mean is
there any specific task or way that you
come up with new fresh ideas yes so you
can train the mind you can train the
mind to tap into intuition and
I developed a 15 to 20 minute meditation
I call it the sixth phase it is unlike
other meditations because it’s not about
mantras or rituals or any of that other
stuff that turns people off I don’t
believe in clearing your mind or any of
that whether it’s six mental exercises
that you do and the six phase has become
very very very popular if you download
mind values meditation app in Ghana its
installed free you can get online and
google talks
IIF there’s a major conference called
wisdom 2.0 in Silicon Valley and I get
the second most highly watched talk ever
at their conference after Eckhart Tolle
so you can find that on their Channel
and it’s about the six days and I also
included a chapter on it in my book and
if you buy the book you get a free
course that teaches you this method but
I’ll summarize it basically just like a
character in a video game have you ever
played those old 90s video games where
you got a you know where where your
character is on a quest and you got an
uplevel you’ve got to up level your
charisma up level your endurance up
level your skill you remember what I’m
talking about right so identify that in
the human world there are six things
that we constantly have to uplevel and
fifteen to twenty minute meditation is
called a sixth phase because it takes
you through two to three minute
exercises in order to uplevel yourself
the first is compassion if we create
more compassion human-beings the world
becomes a more beautiful place and up
level in yourself in compassion means
you see other human beings as beautiful
as amazing you’re kind to that waiter
who might mess up your order you’re
generous and empathetic to your family
and your co-workers so compassion is the
first one so we teach a simple idea for
compassion second is gratitude we’ve
spoken about that
the third is forgiveness people don’t
get this but forgiveness when you learn
how to forgive it actually boosts your
endurance it’s studies have shown
induces things such as your ability to
do a vertical jump others have said it
Bruce’s IQ so forgiveness is a really
key part and it makes you a more gentle
happier human being then so those three
phases about happiness in the now right
the first ingredient of damning reality
we don’t go on to face four five and six
which is the second ingredient attending
reality which is about having a vision
so phase four is about seeing yourself
three years into the future
most of us underestimate what we can do
in three years an overestimate what we
can do in one year so this space helps
you craft that vision for yourself
phase five is picturing your perfect day
unfolding and Phase six is feeling
blessed it is you know if you have a
religion you pray to a particular goal
if you’re an atheist and you just you
know want to feel supported phase six is
where you you feel that feeling of
support whether it’s coming from within
from your family or from a higher power
so this particular meditation takes you
through those six phases and it up
levels you and people who do it say it’s
like taking a magic pill every day if
there is a pill remember that movie
limitless if there is a pill that gets
you there it’s this and people
underestimate it because it’s free and
it’s easy and we shouldn’t do that um
but it’s one of those things which I
think is one of the biggest changes in
my life when I started doing this it
changed me and it transformed my
business and it transformed how I get
out there in the world and every success
I’ve had is because of this one daily
habit that I do every single day or at
least it’s the single greatest
correlation to any success I’ve had I’m
blown away
I truly I mean I think that this is the
the next level that we I mean you have
developed a blueprint for this sort of
mechanism of not only reaching this sort
of idea of success but also attaining a
sense of fulfillment in what you’re
and as you mentioned earlier your
there’s not it’s not this end goal it’s
it’s this you know it’s this process of
it and having the happiness now
realizing that you’ve made it already
you’ve already made it and I love that
about this book and just a truly amazing
there’s a chapter in your book called be
unfuck with a bull I how can I not bring
this up be unfuck with a bull how how
how did you come up with that name for
the chapter it’s a it’s another one of
those things right you know people
people tell me how how can you teach
meditation and use the f-word as if it’s
some magic word that creates bad vibes
no is an incredible word it it it
is the idea you know it’s it’s what
causes us to be born it’s loved making
it just has a bad connotation but it’s
how you use the word and I use it here
as a form of power being unfuckable it
means being immune to judgment to
criticism but also being immune to
praise because if you give someone the
ability to lift you up through praise
you also give them the ability to
control your emotions through criticism
right unfuckable means being steady in
who you are it means being able to
forgive people in the past who have
wronged you so it’s about healing your
past true forgiveness and you control
that those people may be you know they
may have done you wrong and you don’t
have to wait for them to come and
you can forgive them for giving your
pass is part one the second part of I’m
being unfuckable is being grounded in
the present it’s having mindfulness
practices at your disposal so let’s say
you are someone cuts you off and flips
you the finger while driving it doesn’t
shake you up your cool that way so it’s
being grounded in the present and third
being on whatever means having
being being confident about your future
and knowing that the choices you make
you are making them for yourself and not
because someone is pushing you in that
direction not because you are following
someone else’s rules so that’s really
what this chapter is about it’s it’s a
it’s a way of getting you strong so that
you can go and chase and pursue those
crazy dreams you want while being
grounded and happy in the present and
not being pushed around by the culture
scape and other people’s expectations of
you yeah Wow so huge and envision that
so okay let’s split to put it all
together man I mean like we’ve created
we’ve gone through the culture scape
we’ve we’ve identified this idea of you
know not doing not doing the things that
people maybe expect of us and we move
through these levels and I feel like
they’re stages and it’s almost like an
awakening you’re waking up to the matrix
or something but you talked about living
your quest you know and and how to kind
of live for a life of meaning and what I
mean what is that what does that
translate into for you well again
you got to remember I’m a geek writing a
book I’m a computer engineer I grew up
being called a nerd I played computer
games and hacked them all my life and
living your quest actually comes from my
my computer games if you if you think
about great computer games there’s
always this quest that someone goes on
and I believe all of us are here on the
planet to find that quest and I don’t
think that there is a that there is a
particular quest that a higher power
puts us don’t and
demands that we have to do the quest is
something personal but a quest is
basically this it is something that
you’re going to do on the planet that
will leave the planet better off for the
rest of humanity the problem is many
people forget this when it comes to
defining their life for their life
vision and they end up in situations
where they are actually working on
projects working for companies which are
not doing good for the planet
so in the book I introduced a concept
called humanity + and humanity –
humanity + our companies and businesses
that are helping push the human race
forward use a beer with your podcast
that’s inspiring people is humanity Plus
Elon Musk and Tesla is humanity + Apple
that creates great consumer electronics
and beautiful design is humanity + but
there are also companies out there that
let’s be honest they need to die out
because they are actually producing
businesses and services that are
negative to the world and I’m just going
to call out one company right now
because we don’t see that it is a
humanity – company that’s coca-cola and
Pepsi and McDonald’s coke sells high
fructose corn syrup which is dangerous
to the human biology but they market it
as happiness in a can they repeatedly
deny and by their own scientific studies
that showed that coke doesn’t really
cause diabetes they are continuously
trying to market it to teenagers I have
a friend who’s one of the most brilliant
men in Silicon Valley who was approached
by coke and he told and they asked him
can you help us figure out a way to get
this to more teens and he said
essentially off no money is going
to be able to buy my soul like that but
think about it right people work for
coke I have a friend recently who quit
coke and he said you know when you’re
working for coke in your first couple of
weeks you go through this moral dilemma
and you want to quit and they get you to
stay by paying you 30% of birth’ any
other job you could possibly get and my
message in my book is don’t fall for
that I mean we are facing a world right
now where for the first time I believe
we are handing the world to our children
that is worse off than the world we
inherited you look at millennium
salaries for example millenniums for the
first time are worse off than the
previous generation and
where global warming is a serious threat
and obesity is another serious threat
the degradation of our food is another
thing and so we need people today who
are going to stop and say no to
jobs for Humanity negative companies for
companies that will started in a
different era when the only thing that
mattered was shareholder value and we
need people to join the XPrize that
Tesla’s the the companies of the world
that are actually helping push humanity
forward now I’m not saying you need to
save the world all I’m saying is don’t
 it up for the next generation yeah
Wow Bravo man I truly truly respect
everything that you’re saying and doing
you know I I want to sort of you know
we’ve we’ve covered a lot of material
and there’s more in your book but I I
want to give you a chance to I mean for
the person out there that the may be
listening to the show and is struggling
you know they’re they’re struggling
however that struggle may be what would
you what do you say to that person how
would you kind of lift them up like how
do you give a person hope that is
trapped in a job they hate working for
something that they don’t believe in
feel like they have passion passion to
do something great for the world what do
you what do you say to what single thing
can you say to that person so so I
wanted to understand the concept of
kensho and Satori it’s a very important
idea I talked about in Chapter ten now
we grow so kensho and Satori comes from
the Reverend Michael Beckwith who
teaches at the agape spiritual Center in
Los Angeles it’s a it’s a church for
humanism that is it’s just incredible
but one of the ideas he shares and I and
I quote him in the book we grow a soul
will give us an opportunity to grow true
can show moments of Satori moments can
show is growth troupe a Satori is growth
through inspiration now the problem is
most people are not really
into the Esso and so when we need to get
steered into the right direction the
solo will go you know I’m gonna make I’m
gonna mess things up for a moment here
so that you learn the lesson and so we
fall sick we fall sick and we get
hospitalized but we learn to eat better
and take better care of our bodies a
business we start fails but it teaches
us something and it gives us the idea
for our next business we fell in love
and someone breaks our heart but it
helps us then later find the man or
woman we are really meant to be with
let’s go true kensho moments have come
true so many cultural moments you know
from having my health screwed up to
having my heart completely cut apart to
using multiple businesses each of that
is a stepping stone but after a while
you got it you learn to see the patterns
and I’ve now learned that kensho is
simply a way to alter correct and when
you see pain as a way to autocorrect you
realize that you start to adopt this
Eastern philosophical idea that there is
no pain they only is what is and what is
is often just a way to help put you in
the right Park now when you start seeing
this you open yourself to more Satori
your soul goes oh he’s listening he’s
not wailing and whining about that
illness or being stuck in hospital he
knows that you know this is just part of
the plan to get him to wake up and you
start doing that you start moving
towards Satori moments which is where
you awaken you move into the right
direction true inside Satori moments are
beautiful I’ll be meditating and I get a
Satori moment I’ll be in the shower and
I get a Satori moment and that Satori
moment is something where I learned
about a new way I can add value to the
world a new way I can be happy
recently I was in Greece right for a
fest and I got invited to visit a
refugee camp and I got to see these
Afghan and Syrian and Iraqi refugees
living in the most miserable conditions
and I got to talk to the children there
learn about their lifestyle and I
realized that was a Satori moment I
realized I wanted to do something for
this so I spoke to people in the camp
and they are putting on a Kickstarter
campaign to raise funds and I’m helping
promote that campaign I’m helping them
raise 50,000
it was it wasn’t painful it was an
insight it was an insight on how I can
add value to the world and when you
learn to live life like that life
becomes beautiful you start seeing these
awakenings you start having these
opportunities just show up that make you
happy that give you joy that show you
how you can add value to the world and
that’s when you’re really living a life
that is extraordinary love the mustard
fan love it
I mean we’re approaching the anterior
vision we I’ve got a couple more
questions for you um what is something
that you would say extraordinary people
have in common
extraordinary people have a vision for
their life a vision for how they want to
contribute to the world how they want to
grow a vision for what experience is to
want to have in their life but here’s
the thing right that vision isn’t just
about them that vision involves pushing
the human race forward to some degree
and it doesn’t mean you have to start a
huge company it could be a vision for
how you want to grow a vision for the
beautiful experiences you want to have
of travel and a vision for your
contribution because you’re just going
to be the best mom or dad you can be
embraced amazing kids for 18 years and
that’s good that makes you extraordinary
but there is a second ingredient and
that second ingredient is they have made
it exactly like you said they have made
it and by made it it means that while
they have that vision where they are
right now they are happy they are
unattached to that vision so if you have
to ask me for that definition that’s
really in extraordinary people love life
life is unfolding for them in this
beautiful way it’s as if coincidences
and synchronicities fall on their lap
they are happy where they are there’s
nothing that they are chasing they know
that to chase is to push away and they
have these visions for how they want to
expand their life and grow their life
and these visions are coming coming to
them with ease and a friend of mine
recently shared with me a quote and I
wanna I want to share this quote with
you sure give me one
any one second to just pull it up okay
yeah no problem because this quote
really best explains extraordinary
people and this quote actually comes
from an Afghan refugee which is really
interesting many people have heard of
this quote but they didn’t know that the
guy who shared this quote was an Afghan
refugee from the Mongol invasion of the
thirteenth century AD the Afghan
refugees name we know him in the West as
Rudy and today Rooney is to probably the
most I think he’s the best-selling poet
in America hmm how interesting is that
right that the best selling poet in
America was an Afghan refugee so Rudy
said this when I run
after what I think I want my days are a
furnace of distress and anxiety if I sit
in my own place of patience what I need
close to me and without any pain from
this I understand that what I want also
wants me is looking for me and
attracting me there’s a great secret in
this for anyone who can grasp it yeah
wow what a profound profound quote what
this means the way I you can perceive
the poems of Rumi in many different ways
how I say this is to understand that if
that what you want also wants you I
believe that is a life force’ the
ancient Greeks called Gaia a energy
force around the world and if we want
what is best for Humanity that thing
wants it to and will cooperate with you
and set in you keep it set in motion the
wheels and the mechanisms the Kaizen and
the Satori moments to help you get there
but you don’t have to chase it because
as soon as you chase something you
become in the words of Rumi a furnace of
distress and anxiety and this breaks
that flow and this is why it’s so
important to be happy in there now to
have those things that do not be
attached to them to know that where you
are right now is good you are complete
you are you are enough you have it you
have everything you need to be happy
right now and you can put yourself in
this state
that’s when magic happens wow what a
what a beautiful note – I think close on
here vision I had I really think it’s
remarkable what you’ve done
it actually there’s there’s one last
thing and I think out of everything in
your book I think this was one of my fit
most favorite things that you that you
kind of suggest and talk about you talk
about um future dreaming and kind of
daydreaming and seeing ourselves doing
things we love seeing ourselves
succeeding seeing ourselves and using it
as a type of affirmation in which we
have already attained the things that
you know we are seeking and using it in
a way in which we kind of float you know
with it in a daydream
and it’s it’s very eloquent the way you
put it right well it’s it’s an exercise
I do every single day future dreaming is
actually Stage four in the six phase
meditation and what I do is I think
about one aspect of my life and where I
want that aspect to be in three years
right now for me it’s burning a really
beautiful hole that I can share with my
kids and my wife in California facing
the sea and I see myself standing in my
balcony reading a good book a sari
sitting in my balcony reading a good
book or gazing out at the sea listening
to the crashing waves and I just
experience that for a moment that’s my
vision that’s my goal
I have no anxiety I’m not chasing it
it’s just something I want to see and
have in my life in three years and I
find it as I start doing this
opportunity start emerging that get me
there and this is really been the story
of my life I would start by thinking
about where I want to be three years
from now in a in a non-attached
sort of way and then the opportunities
would unfold as long as I was in a state
of happiness in the net
so that’s future dream yeah yeah Wow
I mean I don’t want to keep asking you
questions vision I’m learning so much
from this conversation I mean it is
there it is there one thing that you
have personally struggled with is there
any single kind of idea or thought or
just anything that was part of the grind
yeah I I I struggled with self-esteem
like most of my life I I thought it was
unattractive I thought I was a geek I
didn’t think I was I was worthwhile I’m
a guy who never actually you know had a
girlfriend until I was 22 because I was
just so I just have poor self-esteem and
I grew up I I grew up with bad eyesight
I was legally blind without my glasses
until I had surgery I grew up with a
skin problem so my face was just covered
with acne I had chronic acne and all
these things just really gave me low
self-esteem for the first half of my
life until I was maybe 23 24 and like
many other people I knew many other
people out there even people listening
right now may face this
it was a Kaizen moment it was
opportunities for me to grow to learn
for example that skin problem exposed me
to books on healing on energy healing
and visualization and I learned that the
skin is one of the most responsive
organs to imagery therapy this taught me
experimenting with meditation and
visualization and after five years of
chronic skin disease I healed my skin in
five weeks using a visualization and
were that mom opened me up to the power
of visualization which is stuff I now
share in my book so if I hadn’t had that
skin disease perhaps I would never have
written this book because I would never
have started exploring all of these
different options so I really believe
that everything in life happens as a you
know as a way to push you forward it’s
just how you choose to be with ya man
Wow I mean how long did it take for this
book to get hit the bestseller um it hit
it hit the list in about a week from
being released yeah I mean it’s that
good I highly recommend it everyone
everyone who’s listening the the book is
called the code of the
extra-extraordinary mind the author’s
fish in la la kyäni am I saying your
last name right right
fishing look yeah and vision where can
where can people find your work get to
mine Valley well you can let about mine
Valley on well the first thing I
recommend this go to mind Valley Academy
calm that is a main website that’s where
we we bring you all of these amazing
teachers and such and um you can get the
book from Amazon you know just go to
Amazon and search for it code of the
extraordinary mind that this is a human
experience vision thank you so much for
being here what a wonderful amazing
conversation truly remarkable to have
you in my presence er it’s really an
honor to to speak to you and your and
your work is really remarkable and I
think it you know it’s hitting the
bestseller list which you know which
might not mean anything but I think it’s
helping a lot of people already so yeah
thank you so much this is the human
experience guys thank you guys so much
for listening we will see you guys next
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