The Buddha and the Badass (2020)

4.9

Verdict

4.9/5

Pros

  • Practical entrepreneurial hacks
  • Find peace during stress
  • Learn to transform self and work culture
  • Get inspired to work on your unique value proposition

Cons

  • Not too different from his bestselling book
  • Mindvalley over-promotion
  • Techniques are new, but some insights aren't
  • Exclusive content not-so exclusive

This is a review of The Buddha and the Badass, which is Vishen Lakhiani’s latest book, released in June 2020. Vishen Lakhiani is the visionary and transformative founder of Mindvalley, a powerful learning platform that integrates insights from the game-changers themselves. It is a global education movement that revolutionizes business while advancing humanity.

Vishen’s 2016 New York Times bestseller, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, resurfaced in the spotlight when the 19-year old Bianca Andreescu revealed that it was one of her conditioning secrets when she defeated Serena Williams in the 2019 US Open. She is now the reigning champion of both the US Open and Canadian Open.

Before we continue unearthing some magic, allow me to manage some expectations. The first part is my book review, followed by my takeaways. Those are the top 5 CEO traits I resonated with (even as a non-CEO) as I devour this page-turner.

Quick disclaimer: some links here are affiliate links. That means, shall you decide to get the book through this post, Amazon will give me a small commission for promoting this book. This book doesn’t actually need my promotion because I’m pretty sure this will gain traction in the months ahead. So, get it now while it’s fresh. Also, continue reading to know how to get it free! Win-win, fair energy exchange, if I may say. So, let’s begin!

The Buddha and the Badass Review - image from Mindvalley.com

Pros and Cons: The Buddha and the Badass Review

The cons

The book comes from the perspective of a CEO. So, we could surmise that as one of the book’s disadvantages. While it generally is about self-transformation and practical hacks to cultivate a growth mindset, Vishen seems to overlook the fact that you must be in a managerial position to be able to implement innovation within the workplace. Moreover, he utilizes a case study approach that highly promotes his own company, the Mindvalley (that’s why I recommend that you get it free if you want to uncover the secrets, but you don’t like upsells).

Another drawback I see from this book is that it comes 4 years after a bestselling book. So from that context, we are expecting a much greater comeback from Vishen. However, this book may fall short of that “bigger and better” expectation. While content is exquisitely revolutionary, it may not be for those who have read the Code of Extraordinary Mind. Also, Vishen loves quoting great thinkers–they are so popular it may not sound so novel to you at all.

The Buddha and the Badass Review by Vishen Lakhiani
Saving the best for last: The Pros

The book’s subtitle is The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work, so it’s selling proposition is how to transform your workplace into a highly efficient working group where collaboration, creativity, and appreciation thrive. The book will teach you how to optimize work habits and will teach you step-by-step how to cultivate an innovative work culture ala Google, that has nothing to do with how well-compensated your employees are.

The Buddha and the Badass, however, would still work best for the budding entrepreneur, or to those experiencing creative blocks in growing the business. The book offers unconventional ways to start a community of badasses, as you become the intuitive entrepreneur who does it like nobody else. So, quite interestingly, Vishen offers a “formula” that would be uniquely your own. Sounds paradoxical? Why don’t you just find it out yourself by signing up to Audible.

Vishen will give you an idea about the CEO mindset. Moreover, startup executives can execute these. Even a non-CEO can actually benefit, because these are practical insights for self-growth. You are your own CEO, to begin with.

While this book seems similar to The Code of the Extraordinary Mind (only with icing on top), allow me to enumerate the top 5 revolutionary takeaways I found from The Buddha and the Badass. I am a non-CEO, but I found every inch of Vishen’s insights helpful, as if I already am a CEO. This list too is just the tip of the iceberg.

The 5 Best CEO Traits I Learned

1. On being ‘unfuckawithable’

Unfuckawithability is equanimity. Vishen defines it as being “truly at peace and in touch with yourself, nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity can touch you”. More or less about self-awareness and growth mindset, but he writes a whole chapter about this, which thoroughly enumerates the rules and the means on how to be unfuckawithable.

2. Talk about not what you are doing, but what you plan to do

This resonates well with me, simply because this is what I do when I want an ambitious project to be done. All of my creative projects were successfully executed using this way of thinking–having a vision as if it already happened. While I was just reading between the lines about this as a manifestation technique, Vishen clearly explains this as creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy.

While “do not play small” seems like a vague lecture from a mentor, Vishen articulates his point so well by introducing (at least to me) the importance of aspirational goals, just like how Google does it. Above all, Vishen fluently reiterates how failure is a wonderful ingredient to success. 

3. Don’t infect the mind of others with disempowering beliefs

Vishen relays a story about a Mindvalley newbie who wants to pull off an “I want to speak to the manager” and converse with him personally. She was dismissed and was told by her colleagues that Vishen is so busy, it would never even happen. So, Vishen debunks the myth that CEOs are unreachable, and yes, he does “coffee dates” with a new employee. 

His advice: never allow a simple assumption to hold you back. Complaints are healthy, and assumptions are deadly. Above all, never interpret an action or a thought that is disempowering to you. Why? That brings us to lesson #4.

4. Beliefs are one’s important assets, not skills

Beliefs are important in building an environment of a beautiful collaboration. Vishen is a hardcore proponent of self-innovation. Change is his utmost priority. Consequently, the changes he implements towards the growth of self and organization are always anchored in personal beliefs. Skills can be learned, but beliefs hold so much power it can revolutionize a whole community. In the same vein, Vishen reiterates the importance of what makes their hiring process unique.

5. Learn from Richard Branson

Vishen is an enthusiastic storyteller. While he loves sharing anecdotes about his funny habits and vulnerable self, he is never adamant about sharing his thoughts. And his experience with other visionaries is never kept a secret. That includes sharing his multi-billion question to Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, during a trip to the Necker Island.

And so he asked Branson: If you could sum up your success in one paragraph, what would you say is the secret? Branson answered this with a pause, and it has something to do with the value of the community.

Hey, this is one of the most exciting chapters of the book that deserves your own experience of it!

Final thoughts

Badasses are all about humanity, community, advocacies, and self-growth. While entrepreneurs may care about money, the world is now at an evolutionary period where service, compassion, love, and equanimity trump financial goals. Badasses do not concern themselves about petty stuff, because in the greater scheme of things, love conquers all. This is not what we learn from business school, and this is what a successful CEO offers us step-by-step in The Buddha and the Badass. 

A Mindvalley exclusive content supplements the book. These are how-to videos, from questions to ask yourself as you commence, to a fun and unique activity you can actually implement in your own organization. While I think those links are around the web, it’s a cohesive list for your Buddha and the Badass self. So, all you have to do is click, and then take it from there.

Be ready to come out of quarantine with your most badass self yet! The book is so new I’m not quite sure if it would stay in Audible for free forever. So, if you’re still not convinced, sign up to Audible and use your credit for this book. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. You may also click on the image below to check the price and format options via Amazon. 

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38 Comments

Linda · August 16, 2020 at 3:24 am

Well written with  great flow of knowledge of the book itself with added self definition for the individual reader. Having not read the book I am inspired to do so given the reference to the present evolution of our world and our eventual budding from the present circumstances. We can’t have enough self introspection to grow from, change and share as there are numerous ways to implement workplace change  but there’s not a one size fits all for such. So having said that and coming from a previous career of medical management of 60 or so people to experiencing an entrepreneurial level now of just me, maybe this book can give me the insight and communication I need to advance and enjoy my new found freedom.  

    A · August 16, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Yes, go try it. It’s 1 credit via Audible, but free if you sign up for an account. It’s easy to understand, and even if you don’t have a team to revolutionize yet, it’s very helpful for self-growth. Vishen teaches optimization hacks that are actually life-changing, if not foolproof ways to success. Thanks for your interest. Cheers, A

Justin · August 18, 2020 at 8:33 am

Hello there, I am a love of books and I get drawn to any book where you are thought to control your mind and how to be the best person you can ever been. This is the first time I am coming across anyone of his books, and I feel really excited about this one getting to see what it deals with and it will be really helpful to me. Cheers

    A · August 19, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Hey, I hope you do try it. I’ve been following Vishen’s books and philosophy, and not only his insights are practical, but so inspirational too. Very down-to-earth CEO and that what’s makes him so relatable, methinks. Anyway, thank you for dropping by. Try it via Audible so you won’t even have to spend. Cheers

Jay · August 18, 2020 at 4:14 pm

I have instantly fallen in love with this book just from this simple post that you have put together here and I think you wrote this review very well. I think it would be nice to check out this book and give it a read. I want to also learn about those leadership qualities and entrepreneurship qualities. 

    A · August 19, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Thank you for dropping by. It’s actually worth the try, go for it. You’re welcome 😉

Rosalia · August 19, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Hi, I’ve read your article “The Buddha and the Badass (2020)”.

Very well written with great flow of knowledge of the book itself.

I have fallen in love with this book just from this post and I think you wrote this review very well.

Thank you for specifying the pros and the cons. 

Yiu did a good job! 

Thank you again for this amazing article. 

Congratulations! 

    A · August 19, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    Thank you, Rosalia, for the kind words, and for dropping by. Cheers!

Rob S. · August 20, 2020 at 2:38 am

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I read your review. I didn’t know what to expect. But you presented the information in a well-rounded precise way and I enjoyed reading it.
It does entice me to want to read (or hear) the book in it’s entirety. Thank you for a great job 🙂

    A · August 20, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for those kind words. Go ahead and try it, there’s nothing to lose. You wouldn’t even have to pay for anything, really. I’ve been listening to Vishen for years and he’s such a modern mystic (at least from my perspective), but very relatable. Cheers, A

Kimberly · August 22, 2020 at 8:40 am

Well, I would say that the name of the topic actually drove me to read this and actually it is a very good course or program that actually still lacks in some very basic areas room, however, it is actually good because it seems they offer something worthwhile in learning it. Actually I do not know much about this before and this is very good to see here. Hence, I value all you have shared here and thumbs up to you.

    A · August 22, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Hi, Kimberly. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you read it and discover its magic too! Cheers!

Tony · August 26, 2020 at 5:29 am

This is definitely not the kind of book I’d normally find on my “recommended” bits of Audible or Amazon, so I’m glad I found such a balanced review of it on your site!

I’ve added it to my list for near-future reading as it definitely has content I’m interested in. I’m glad you made the review balanced and also made it clear that there’s not much difference between the author’s previous best seller, that saves buying something very similar twice!

Thanks again for such good content, looking forward to reading more!

Kind Regards,

Tony

    A · August 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    You’re welcome. Cheers! – A

Edwin Bernard · August 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Any book that can help me become better at implementing my Affiliate Marketing business is welcome It appears that although this book was directed to the work place, it can be adapted to working from home.

I fully believe and also teach that we are the CEO’s of ourselves, Even if we have a day job and are not the CEO of the company we work for. These traits you outlined can be applied to someone who has the aspiration to be a CEO of a traditional company, as well as an entrepreneur. 

The CEO of a company needs to think like an entrepreneur to keep their freshness and relevance. 

Thanks for sharing this book report. 

Edwin

    A · August 27, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you for dropping by (once again), Edwin. Glad that you have found value in it. Cheers! A

Lucas Moore · August 28, 2020 at 8:01 am

Thank you for these tips that you have shared here. It is very important to watch the comments we make to other people as most of them go a long way to affect how they think. I am trying to guard my beliefs and then Richard Branson is my target as I want to learn everything possible.

    A · August 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you, Lucas, for dropping by. I love that particular part when Vishen narrated his trip to Necker Island, and when Richard Branson answered his million-dollar question about success. I liked The Buddha and the Badass in audiobook because I can do other stuff while listening. Anyway, I hope you try it! Cheers, A

Bill · August 28, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Have you been utilizing the teachings of the book if so have you been impressed with its teachings I’ve never been one on this subject that might be why I was only a welder for 35 years and that mousy piece of crap that laid me the veteran off on veterans day in front of guys that had only been there 2 months?

I haven’t any knowledge at all on this because I’d never been one to even read this kind of material but I have truly enjoyed your post so maybe I’ve gotten older.

I do believe in my heart that your article could and will improve people’s lives.

Thank you for such an informative and captivating post  

    A · August 28, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you for dropping by, Bill. And for your kind words too. I also hope that this article could improve people’s lives, even if they don’t try out the book. But imagine the possibilities if you do.

    It’s not your thing but it seems like you still took a chance to read through, so thank you for that. 

    One of the important insights Vishen mentioned in the book is to follow your intuition. And from the article, free other people (and yourself) from disempowering beliefs. So let me do that. 

    Being a welder is a decent job–you have a skill set that a person like me doesn’t even know. Embrace it buddy, and life hurdles are always the universe’s way of pointing you in the right direction. Perhaps it’s time to close that chapter and allow yourself to be surprised by what life has yet to offer. It’s never too late! Your years of work is just my age, but sometimes I wish I am your age! You’re greater in ways you don’t usually see in front of you because it’s within you! Cheers buddy.

Aparna · August 28, 2020 at 5:41 pm

This is the first time I have seen someone review a book and start with the negatives. But that’s the thing! I absolutely loved your review and I am sure the book is fabulous as well. Vishen is a known name and some of his videos are really worth watching. 

I have bookmarked your site as it seems to offer much more than the average book review website. great work and keep writing passionately as ever. 

Aparna

    A · August 28, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, Aparna, thank you for your kind words. That would definitely keep me going. I appreciate the feedback, and maybe that’s how I would do more often (to start with the negative first). Thanks for the bookmark too. Have you read about Vishen too? He’s inspirational, right? I hope others may hear more about Vishen’s talks! It’s empowering too. Anyway, thank you for dropping by and cheers! – A

Innoe · August 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Thank you for this review, i had never read any of Vishen’s books but after reading this review I have fallen in love with the author and will definitely try this book. What do you advise should i read the new book before The Code of the Extraordinary Mind? or first read his best selling book

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    For me, it’s this book of course! The Code of the Extraordinary Mind for me, is more of taking action (yang energy) and changing mindset. This one is both–yin and yang–how to be a Buddha (yin, calm) while being a Badass (yang). Equanimity is quite a challenge to cultivate, and he teaches it here. Plus some of the Code’s teachings are mentioned here too. But if you have time, get both because anything Vishen is worth consuming. Enjoy!

LineCowley · August 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm

You have written a very helpful review on the Buddha and the Badass and have left me with the feeling that this is a book that I should read, or listen to, as soon as possible. 

I have not previously come across the term “unfuckawithable” (a bit of a mouthful) so found the concept very interesting. And yes I might not be a CEO, everybody can learn from a book like this.

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for finding it helpful, Line. Thank you for dropping by. I agree, anybody can learn from this. Cheers – A

Arvin · August 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm

Excellent review! I read a lot of books but I’m very particular to what kind of book I want to read. I am interested for Self-help, History, and Business books. And I’m sure that I will find some nuggets of gold in this book based on your very well detailed review. The book talks about leadership and focuses on how to run a successful company with a harmonious community. Thank you for this wonderful article. I guess I will give it a try.

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    You bet, it’ll help you especially if you like both self-help and business. Cheers and thank you, A

Lucie · August 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm

Thanks so much for your detailed review of Vishen’s book, I jumped straight at it because I was very curious about what it is all about. I’m signed up to Mindvalley newsletter so I’m aware of the book. But on my shelf is also The Code of Extraordinary Mind, which, I have to admit, have not read yet. (I’ve been reading Jim Kwik’s ‘Limitless’, so I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by too many life-hack books). But you motivated me to get into it as soon as possible, as it seems a powerful, super-motivational book. Cheers again for such an in-depth review, A!

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Great! I am honored to have a Vishen follower too as my site visitor. I learned about Jim Kwik through Vishen, I just can’t get the hang of speed reading yet. How’s Limitless going so far? Write a review! I would love to read it! 💛Anyway, thank you Lucie for dropping by once again, and I love that we follow the same visionaries! Cheers, A

Michel · August 28, 2020 at 8:16 pm

This book has a very catchy title that makes you want to read more about what the content covers. I think you can never read too many mindset books, as the mindset is something that needs constant work so reading books like this every day can only empower you to be your best self over time.

Being a CEO is maybe a disadvantage, but on the other hand, most of these types of books are written by people who have suffered in life, so maybe this will be a fresher and different perspective to look at.

Thank you for sharing this post with us. Is the book only available online?

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    It has a paperback format. I would recommend that too. I am a book lover too. But I recommended the Audible format because I live outside the US, so delivery might take too long and it’s expensive. Maybe it will work for people multi-taskers too (like me 😬). You’re welcome and thank you too, for leaving a comment. Much appreciated. Cheers, A

Alejandra · August 28, 2020 at 8:34 pm

Thanks so much for sharing a review on a new book to add to my must read books list: The Buddha And the Baddass, as I’m always looking for new books to read, your article got my attention.

After reading your review, which started with the con points, it looks like I would love to read it, I also loved to read the pro points which are good to me, I also love to follow Richard Brandson as I think he is an outstanding person who cares for his employees and everyone on this planet.

I bookmarked your website as I would love to come back to read more reviews. 

    A · August 29, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Wow, thank you so much for your kind words. I feel motivated to write better. Also, I hope you would find value in the book. Cheers, A

Antonio · August 28, 2020 at 9:25 pm

Hi

It is always good to get a summary of a book before you actually purchase the book. It is great to get to the mentality of what make people successful.  There are a lot of books that come out, which says you can improve your life if you follow and do this and you wonder do they live up to the promise. I think some books on self improvement do tend to promise too much and you wonder why you bought it, but you review has highlighted all the pluses and negatives. I may need to add this book to my collection.

Thanks

Antonio

    A · August 29, 2020 at 2:06 am

    Yes, please do. You don’t have to click through the link! Just get the book! Haha, I’m that serious about the benefits of this book. Cheers and thank you for dropping by. A

Chuna · August 28, 2020 at 10:34 pm

Hello A,

This another great article of yours.

I agree with you about us being the CEOs in our own online businesses. So we need the wisdom form Vishen’s book ‘The Buddha and the Badass‘.

I clicked on ‘Audible’ to catch the free book, but Amazon asks for Credit Card details, so I did not continue the registration for the free audibook trial. I’ll have to postpone the Audible registration for some time. 

I enjoyed reading through every detail of your review. My curiosity about the whole content of the book will push me to buy it no matter what…hehe

Thanks again for sharing this post.

God bless you,

Chuna

    A · August 29, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Thank you for your kind words, and for dropping by. Yes, Amazon asks for credit card details. I have successfully signed up to Audible using my Paymaya credit card (prepaid) first that has no amount in it, so no strings attached. That’s what I do with any online transaction that I’m not sure of. 😉 No worries, only when you’re ready. Cheers! A

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