A community of high-achieving free thinkers


July 2018

Chrissy and I recently attended A-Fest Sardinia themed around health and longevity, in both a personal and organisational context. A-Fest is a bi-annual meet up for a collection of some of the world’s brightest and seemingly most successful alternative thinkers: entrepreneurs, educationalists, coaches, musicians, writers etc. It’s organised by Mindvalley, a business that ‘delivers transformational education for all ages’ set up by Vishen Lakhiani, currently riding on the success of his recently published book “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind”.

Vishen is certainly not shy of using the glitz, glamour and fame of some of his ‘tribe’ to market A-Fest, and create an atmosphere that balances the exclusive with the inclusive. Speakers were predominantly from the higher echelons of life coaching, medicine and entrepreneurship, people like Jim Kwik – memory coach to Hollywood A-listers, the charismatic Jay Shetty the former monk and wise 29(!) year old social media phenomena and Eric Edmeades a motivational speaker/coach with a golden tongue “We’re wired for service and educated for greed”.

But the talks were only part of the story.

The other aspect of A-Fest is the networking or community side. Not the business card swapping sharp suited variety, but a motivating mingling of a group of highly developed human beings, some as young as 17 and others in their 70s. The vast majority of whom were engaged in the most extraordinary range of brave, inspiring and fascinating ventures from around the globe. Only the open smiles and easy conversation saved me from complete intimidation from this group of free thinkers who appeared to be taking action and living their beliefs and values.

Our mingling was encouraged through a range of group exercises covering everything from communication to dance, through to the spectacular late night fancy dress parties and beach dance-off’s – As one of the speakers said:

Don’t we all have the same purpose? – To enjoy life.

Enjoyment however is not all about hedonism, the simple act of gratitude and asking the question:

Who am I going to serve tomorrow?

is all part of the Mindvalley philosophy.

The idea of re-inventing the workplace was also central to the event.

Beware of the ‘brules’ (B.S. rules)

the belief that work must have a greater purpose, be a hub of social connectivity and personal growth as well as an environment of generosity. As Vishen elegantly stated:

Your life is not about you. Rather, it’s about the lives of everyone you touch.

One of the final talks by ‘mind coach’ Jim Kwik contained several more nuggets that made me scribble

If you want to live a long life, pay attention to it.

and finally if you want to keep your mind alert

Sell your experience for bewilderment every time.

So what is the secret to longevity? The clue was in the range of speakers and their subject matters from nutrition to mental and physical flexibility. But it turns out the secret ingredient to all of the world’s ‘Blue Zone’ communities where life expectancy is substantially higher than average is just that – community. No surprise that we are now signed-up members of the A-Fest communit