Friday, December 09, 2011

Mondo Beyondo Online Class Review and Wrap-Up - Handcrafted Life Plan, Part 6

It occurs to me that I never wrote about completing my Mondo Beyondo class.  If you've talked to me in person, you know that I'm all "OMG, life-changing!" about it, but I wanted to write up a summary here to help folks who might be on the fence about taking it.  I searched for reviews online before I took it, and while I found several dream lists, I didn't find much about the class itself.

So my first leap of faith was going on my friend LauraC's recommendation and what little I could dig up online, and signing up for it anyway.  That was the first of many times I was encouraged to put my natural skepticism aside and try something new.

First, let me tell you what it was not:
  • A time-management or to-do-list prioritizing scheme
  • New age, hippy-dippy, crystals/chakras/healing energy nonsense
  • Time consuming (lessons were short and sweet and totally self-paced)
  • Forced interaction with strangers (there was a community but you could do it all on your own)
  • Supply, tool, or technology-intensive (most lessons were simple reading or audio or journaling)
My quick take on what it was:
  • A structured set of lessons to help you discover your values and dreams
  • A safe, reassuring space/time dedicated to YOU (ie. not kid time, not errands, not work...)
  • Tools and skills that you can reuse as your life changes
  • Magic juju to get you motivated to make those dreams happen (seriously. weird, I know.)

How it worked:
The lessons arrived via email, usually in the morning.  Due to my work and mama schedules, I completed them in the evenings, so it was a nice little treat to look forward to all day.   On my busier days, I could skip the lesson and do a few together when time permitted.  Everything was also handily archived on their website, in case I misplaced an email.  There was also a separate site for class members to interact with each other, if they chose to, and this community lives on after the course session ended.

My thoughts:
What I loved about the lessons was their mix of "assignments".  Some were just thoughts and stories to read about and absorb.  Some were audio interviews with inspiring people.  Some were concrete assignments to make lists or write down thoughts about a specific subject.  For the free-writing ones, the instructions had a lot of encouragement and prompts to get us started, so I didn't ever feel like it was too hard.  The lessons that required the most courage (and abandoning of skepticism) were the "Secret Missions" to reach out to others.  I'll write more about one of them later (it ended up being a Not-So-Secret Mission when my friends figured it out.)

There was a definite progression in the lessons, so they eased us into the ideas before asking us to do the really detailed, introspective work.  While we were invited to share our insights with others in the class, we were never required (or even cajoled) into doing so, so it was definitely a "safe" space to dream really outrageous things.

My biggest fear was that I'd waste money on something that was super airy-fairy and just not that useful.  I'm trained as a scientist. I'm logical and practical.  I'm a project manager by trade, so I like lists, schedules and plans.  This course satisfied those parts of me as well.  The lessons were *useful* and the assignments were concrete and built upon each other.  I could see just enough of the roadmap to know we were going somewhere, but was pleasantly surprised as each lesson arrived and taught me something new about myself.

I'm not typically a "joiner" so I didn't participate much in the community with the other students, but I liked that it was there.  Others probably got a lot out of interacting with their classmates. 

It's now been a few months since the class ended, and I'm still seeing its positive effects.  I've signed up for a photography class to improve my skills in documenting the fun things we do as a family.  I'm making more time to be crafty. I blog more, and people read what I write.  I radically overhauled the way we eat.  I'm simplifying our "stuff".  I love my job now. 

Here's where it gets weird:
The course gave me both the insight into what I really want, *and* the motivation to go after it.  The strange thing is that I can't explain why this worked.  There's something sort of magical about figuring out your dreams and writing them down as concrete items - I've found that they just start *happening*, through no major effort of my own. I start to believe things might be possible, rather than dismissing them out of hand before they have a chance to form. And that's about as new-agey as I'll get here.

Mondo Beyondo Dream BigIf you're thinking about doing this yourself, I HIGHLY recommend it.  There's a new session starting in January, which I think would be the perfect way to start a new year.  If you click any of the links here to register, I'll get a small referral bonus which I'm happy to split with you if you email me.

Got questions?  Leave a comment.  Or if you know me in real life, buy me a coffee and I'll talk your ear off about it.


  1. I KNOW, right??!!

    It's so hard to sum up why it works. It just does. I mean seriously Anandi, I would never have taken the leap to start the photography business if it hadn't been Mondo helping me say yes to my dreams.


  2. Ooh, thanks for this summary. A friend of mine wants me to sign up for this but I was waffling. Good to have a review :)

  3. @LauraC - I'm still weirded out by the whole thing, but it's gotten me unstuck in so many areas. Crazy.

    @Shalini - DO IT! If you put in the time, it's totally worth it. Maybe you too could become famous like Emily Giffin, or Stephenie Meyer ;)

  4. This is such a great review, such a great idea! Thank you for doing this, and you have inspired me to write one of my own, to process the class more directly, try to put into words what happened, and do something to thank Andrea and Jen for the complete and utter upheaval and transformation that this class inspired.

  5. @Jill - I look forward to reading yours!! Post a link here when it's ready?

  6. Thank you for writing this review! I discovered Mondo Beyondo in a chapter of Chris Guilleabeau's latest book, _The $100 Startup_. I was searching for reviews of the program online, and found a nicely detailed description in your blog entry. Fortunately I joined the program just in time for the Fall 2012 class.

    Here's some of what you've written which helped me make a decision in purchasing the program:

    "My biggest fear was that I'd waste money on something that was super airy-fairy and just not that useful. I'm trained as a scientist. I'm logical and practical...The course gave me both the insight into what I really want, *and* the motivation to go after it. The strange thing is that I can't explain why this worked."

    I am also a logical thinker, but I know that sometimes I need to get out of my head and take some action! This blog entry inspired me, as well as some of the others you've written related to Mondo Beyondo. I begin the class tomorrow (Sept. 10), and I am very hopeful that a program like this can help me shift from a place of being "stuck".

    Again, thanks for your review.

    1. @Misty - Glad to help!! If you read my posts with the tag 'Mondo Beyondo' you'll find my list of dreams and a 'status update' from March where I talk about what all I've accomplished on that list since then - it's been a crazy ride, to be honest, and one that I didn't expect!

      Good luck, and the only advice I can offer is to keep up with the lessons and devote some time to it :)


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