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Goal-Setting With Intention: Lessons from Mindvalley’s Extraordinary By Design

Do you love goal-setting, have all your life mapped out, but feel like you’re just waiting for your next achievement to actually feel happy?

There are so many who go after their goals and achieve them, only to feel a bit disappointed that their achievement didn’t leave them feeling happier.

Do you actually know where your goals come from? Are they really coming from your heart? Are all these goals really yours? Or maybe you are completely lost in all this goal-setting mindset and don’t even know what you want for your life.

Well, that was exactly where I was back in 2013.

The breakdown

In that year, I reached rock bottom and I saw myself completely hopeless in the middle of severe depression, had gone through a traumatic breakup and lost the love of my life to whom I was married at the time, didn’t have the comfort of a parents’ home to go back, got fired from my teaching job of almost 7 years, had to send my 11-year-old daughter back to her father’s home 300km far from me. And on top of all of that, I was sleeping on a mattress in a friend’s living room. I didn’t know at the time, but I was about to live the most painful, saddening, and depressing years of my life.

The duality here is that those years ahead were also the ones in which I experienced an exponential personal growth level.

You may ask how and why I ended up in that awful situation, right?   

Answering that is not simple at all, but I can shorten it to these two sentences : 

  • Lack of alignment with who I truly was.
  • Not having a clue about what goal setting was really about.

A life with no vision 

People around me always called me “a total dreamer”. At the age of 18 my dream was to become a writer and travel the world.

I knew writing was my passion in life, but I simply didn’t know what to do to really transform that passion into something real and I lacked incentive by the ones around me at the time. 

They would always say things like:

Nobody can make ends meet writing.

You Need to be realistic and accept that you gotta find a regular job like everyone else.

Our family is poor. You gotta understand that. You will never travel or live abroad. You are studying English but you gotta understand that it doesn’t mean you will be able to write books in English or even travel.”

Sometimes when you are young, naive, and inexperienced, you allow those with no vision at all to cloud your judgment or even destroy your dreams in life. My dreams were not destroyed but rather stayed dormant while life happened and I accepted the fate of just getting by, instead of living fully. I started teaching English since this language is my second passion in life, but my inner self was always craving for more.

The breakthrough and getting to know Mindvalley

Life cannot be just about paying bills, right? I just was not able to figure out what I should do with my life so all that sparkle would come back to me. I was living in autopilot – surviving. Little by little, I simply got so far from who I really was that I couldn’t even wake up to go to work in the morning. I knew the day ahead would be so draining. So the ending of my marriage and that depression were the ultimate wake-up call.

I needed to find myself again. I would bring myself back to life no matter what.

That’s how I came across Mindvalley. One of the most influential personal growth companies in the world at the moment. Its founder Vishen Lakhiani has these sets of bold visions for humanity and a mission to create a personal transformation that raises human consciousness.

As said at Mindvalley’s website, “Today, Vishen is on a quest to remake how the world works in terms of business, politics, education and spirituality.”

When I read their content, I immediately knew I had found what I didn’t even know I was looking for. Tools to not only take me closer to my true self, but also to shift my identity to be the best version of who I really am.

The very first online course I took at Mindvalley couldn’t have had a better name: Extraordinary By Design.

Understanding the idea of the ‘culturescape’

One of the first things Vishen makes us understand in this course is how most of the time goal setting is done wrong and a lot of us end up choosing careers or chasing dreams that are not truly ours and how the environment we are in affects our decision-making.

Some of us are conditioned to believe that we cannot change our reality. And others are conditioned to believe they need to achieve certain things to be successful or even happy. But just a few of us really listen to our inner self.

In Vishen Lakhiani’s words, “Most of us are being taught to set goals in a way where we end up chasing the wrong things – not things that truly lead to our happiness but things that the culturescape models as needed.”

The culturescape Vishen mentions, in his words again, “that tangled web of beliefs, practices and ideas that program us in terms of how we should see and function in the world that the rules of society, outdated education systems, your culture, company, family, and friends might impose upon you.“

Identifying  Brules and going through “The 3 most important questions “

Brules are “bullshit rules” created by the culturescape that often times hold us back from doing what we really want to do. During this course, Vishen takes us to a deep dive into our own life story and asks us to reflect on what beliefs may be holding us back. Through journaling and reflecting, we are supposed to write down all the “brules” that we follow and are not helping us to live up to our best selves.

After identifying and understanding these brules, we then are able to start the most creative and transformative part of the process: Going through the three most important questions (The 3 MIQs) 

Vishen created and designed this technique to help you identify what really matters to you, so that you have a clear vision of what you want your life to be and the experiences you really want to live. 

They are based on 3 categories: Experiences, growth, and contribution.

You go through them asking yourself questions like: What beautiful experiences do I really wanna have in this life? What really matters to me? And to have all these experiences who am I supposed to become? What skills do I have to learn? Then to go over the third category, you ask yourself how you can give back to the world once you become that person, having all those experiences and skills.

This course proved itself to be a beautiful journey inwards and after taking it I could finally understand my purpose in life.