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The Buddha and The Badass Vishen Lakhiani Book Summary

You’ve probably heard people saying that you need to work really hard to make it big. Well, in the book "Buddha and the Badass", Vishen Lakhiani says the opposite.  His point is that we shouldn’t waste our time and energy doing jobs that we don’t even like. He suggests a better way. Imagine being really happy and fulfilled in your work and life. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Vishen says, the trick is to activate two sides of yourself—the Buddha and the badass. The Buddha is all about connecting with your inner self and letting it guide you. The badass is the go-getter, always working to make a positive impact. When you bring these two forces together, you can set exciting goals and work towards them with joy and ease. In his book, Vishen gives us a guide on how to unlock our inner Buddha and badass, so we can master every part of our life. In this summary, I’ll share with you three key lessons that I learned from the book.


Key Lesson #1: Knowing your foundational values brings clear direction and meaning

You know how everyone has a unique fingerprint? Vishen says we also have unique soul prints. Unlike fingerprints formed before birth, soul prints come from our early life experiences—good, bad, and ugly—leaving a mark that shapes our foundational values. These values guide our decisions and actions, often on autopilot. Here's the key: Knowing these foundational values gives clear direction and meaning to our lives. They're like a personal compass, mostly set in childhood, changing only with significant life-altering events. Why does this matter? Because being aware of these values helps us connect with our true desires and needs, making it easier to decide the impact we want to make in the world and choose roles that resonate with us. If we're unaware, we might end up in a career that makes us miserable. When you become aware of your foundational values, you can use them to guide decisions, set goals, and take on projects. It's like having a personal compass for a fulfilling life.


Key Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid of bold visions; they help you accomplish great things

In the book, Vishen talks about dreaming big and the power of bold visions. There is this interesting scientific experiment where scientists put fleas in a jar and then close the lid, As you would expect, the fleas do everything they can to escape. And when the lid is removed, they happily jump out of the jar. But the scientists decided to play a trick. They seal the jar for a while, so when the fleas try to jump out, they can’t. After a while, they open the jar, and something strange happens—the fleas that once desperately tried to jump out of the jar, don't even bother anymore. They stick to the height of the jar's lid as if they've forgotten they can jump higher. It's like as if they have set an invisible limit for themselves. The lesson? Like those fleas, we often limit ourselves based on past experiences. Bold visions are like lifting the lid off our own jars, breaking free from self-imposed limits to achieve more. It's a reminder to dream big, challenging the boundaries we've set for ourselves.



Key Lesson #3: Aim for constant and deliberate growth in all areas of your life

Vishen says that focusing on success or failure is nonsense. He says that what matters is whether you are growing or not. Whether you learned something or not. Remember when you first chased success? Maybe it was pressure from parents or just wanting the admiration successful people get. Vishen flips that, he says that life isn't just about reaching a set level of success; it's about always growing. Think of life like a garden. Success is harvesting fruits, but growth is the ongoing process of nurturing, watering, and cultivating the soil. Aim for growth, and you're not stuck at one point—you're creating an environment to keep blooming. So, when success seems like the ultimate goal, remember the real magic is in the journey of growth. It's about evolving, learning, and becoming a better you every day. That's the real deal for a fulfilling and meaningful life.



So in summary, Vishen challenges the idea of working hard for success and suggests focusing on fulfilling work instead by activating both the Buddha and the badass inside of us. But to really bring meaning to your life, you first need to know your foundational values. You also need to dream big and go beyond your self-imposed limits. And finally, what matters in life is not success, it’s making sure that you are constantly growing.

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