What Type of Life Do You Imagine?

by Janie J

Now is a great time to reevaluate our lives! During the summer of 2019, I did just that when I spent nearly a month in Pula, Croatia. The purpose of my visit was to immerse myself in another culture (my paternal family’s culture) and experience the life-changing experience of attending Mind Valley University (MVU).

My expectations of listening to great thought leaders and mingling with other like-minded individuals were totally met! It was beyond wonderful to experience the wise lessons of Marisa Peer, Eric Edmeades, Srikamar Rao, and others, along with our fearless leader, Vishen Lakhiani and MV co-founder Kristine Mand-Lakhiani.

But it was surprising to learn so much more! Something totally unexpected: Not only do other people envision a different type of lifestyle for themselves and their family, but they are brave enough to actually follow through with their dreams! They showed me through their individual actions that anyone can truly design and live a life they have imagined!

Everyone’s traditional expectations of how to live are pertinent to their part of the world, their culture and their upbringing. In my corner of the world, it’s expected to live well financially by having a career. It’s expected you will be married, have children and live in the same home or community most of your life.

Growing up (at least in my household), there was no mention of following your heart, listening to your soul, or asking God what you were to accomplish or do in your life.

The closest nudge I ever had in that direction was my father saying he just wanted me to be happy.  His advice was pretty much ignored until recent years because I had been busy working on the rat race of life vying for financial success.  It was only after realizing that money itself didn’t make me happy that I began to search for answers. Only then did a quest for happiness (or joy and fulfillment) even hit my radar.

To understand further, one needs to know a bit more about Mindvalley University and just what we are learning. Vishen Lakhiani, the co-founder, explained it best by saying MV teaches what our traditional schools do not. Yes, MV teaches business and marketing and other types of self-development, but they teach much more. They teach how to connect with others, embracing ourselves, soul development, spirituality, finding purpose in life, how to be better parents, and how to create the life we want. They expose our cultural brules (bull-shit rules). MVU shows us that life is ‘limitless.’

My description would be that Mind Valley creates people from the inside out.

Once you understand the MV Community, you can better understand the possible lifestyle choices.

Take, for example, Martin Daniels and his wife, Sally, from the United Kingdom. Martin was an IT Consultant by profession. They lived in Swindon and had seemingly the perfect life.  Boredom and unease triggered a move to Croatia to find a new way of living, but this only changed their outside world.  The real changes started a few years later when he was lost and depressed and he set out to search for more.  He spent tons of money on personal development and threw caution to the wind. He stretched his boundaries, literally and figuratively.

For three years their life was in turmoil including a near-miss divorce.  Over the last two years they moved back to the UK, and after only three months decided to embark on an adventure. They sold all their possessions and went to see the world, taking their teenage children out of mainstream education.

They lived as one might call ‘vagabonds’ living in countries like Estonia, Croatia, Greece, Bali and Australia.  Martin built a coaching business that he can enjoy (and still make money) while not being tied to a desk. They immersed themselves in the culture of learning, growing and connecting. This included the children as well. He is much happier now and the family has grown in ways that they could not have imagined. You can find out more about Martin at www.reallybeingyou.com.

Then there is Jeanene Tracy, who is a New Zealander, currently living in the Gold Coast and working in Melbourne, something she jokes it is the real ‘Tale of Two Cities ‘. She is a self-described ‘wanderer.’

She co-created and facilitated for the MV children and teen classes during our time in Croatia, but her main purpose is to experience life – through embracing and inspiring as many people as possible and immersing herself in the local culture. An example of this was a bus trip she took out of Pula. She asked for a ticket on the next bus going further than an hour and had no idea ‘where’ the bus was going.  To challenge her introvert by connecting with the locals, she asked friends to contribute some words and thoughts which she needed to find within the community, creating an instant adventure. Talk about a positive attitude!

She has always instilled this sense of living and loving life to the fullest in her children who are now young adults and also embrace world adventures. Feel free to check out Jeanene’s current escapades here.

Another bright light was Jade Green – the always bubbly persona from New South Wales, who is constantly on the go – through Europe and Asia – taking her leadership and marketing skills, as well as enthusiasm with her. Her office is her laptop at the local café or bistro. She has a consulting and marketing business that she manages on the road. She in undaunted by the noisy traffic, money exchanges, frequent moves and meeting new people constantly. In fact, she’s energized by it! You can connect with Jade here. 

These are just a few examples of alternative lifestyles presented to me while at MVU.

I hope I have enlightened others to live outside the box, or at least outside the traditional scenario of their home of origin. There are many ways to carve out the life you have always imagined.

Let there be no barriers to the life you want to create!

Remember: It’s never too late to start living your best life!


I want to personally thank all the new people I met at Mind Valley University in Pula this summer. You are truly a wonderful group of souls! It helped me tremendously to know there are other folks out there with the same vision – to contribute to raising the consciousness of the planet in our own ways. Back home in Central California, sometimes it seems like there is “nobody like me” and I must admit it has been a difficult thing to absorb/understand. Now that I have met many similar souls, it gives me the courage to be more authentic in my everyday life. I know life is a process, and now I feel much more aligned to my truth. Thank you for that!


Janie Jurkovich, known as Janie J, is an author, poet, world traveler, and four-time published author. Her first book is “Live the Life You Have Imagined,” followed by a Companion Journal. Her third book, “Single and Sixty- A Reflective and Sometimes Humorous Journey of One Women’s Quest to Deal with Divorce Later in Life,” hit #1 on Amazon Kindle. Her last book, “Ignite Your Adventurous Spirit,” made #1 International on Amazon. She is actively living the life she’s imagined. Find out more at www.JanieJ.net


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