Even Olympic heroes face life’s tests. In this episode of The Mindvalley Show with Vishen, discover how Greg Louganis steered his with the help of The Silva Method and the power of kindness.
Watch the full 37-minute interview:
But First, Who Is Greg Louganis?
If you’re familiar with the world of competitive diving, then the name “Greg Louganis” is one among the legends. With gold medals from the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, Greg set the bar high for Olympic male divers at the time.
However, the wins weren’t the only thing that put him in the spotlight. His life journey became a focal point for the public due to his HIV diagnosis and as one of the few openly gay divers in the Olympics during a less accepting time. Far from seeking this attention, it was his circumstances that brought these issues into public view.
Adding another layer to his story was a highly publicized diving accident in 1988. During the Seoul Olympics, Greg hit his head on the springboard during a preliminary round. What made this event so impactful was not just the physical injury but also the concern around his HIV status, sparking a media frenzy and public discussion about the disease during a period of widespread stigma.
Where is Greg Louganis now?
After retiring from competitive diving, Greg has found a new passion in dog competitions. Telling Vishen, “My Hungarian Puli, we’re working towards potentially making World Team in dog agility, and so I’m really excited about his progress.”
Beyond this, Greg is deeply involved in activism, especially focusing on gay rights and HIV awareness. He’s worked with organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and has openly criticized policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Most recently, in 2023, he decided to auction three of his five Olympic medals to support Indiana’s Damien Center, an AIDS service center. According to him, it’s his way to help the community “grow and thrive.”
From facing life’s hardships to giving back to the community, Greg has continually used various methods to stay centered and positive. And among them is The Silva Method, a unique approach to personal development that has helped him navigate challenges with unparalleled grace.
How Greg Louganis Uses The Silva Method to Navigate Life’s Hurdles
Greg found The Silva Method long before he even knew what it was called. At just 11 or 12 years old, he discovered cassette tapes and a book that introduced him to visualization techniques. This wasn’t just about seeing himself nail difficult dives; it became a lifelong practice that touched every aspect of his life.
“I learned visualization so early; it was almost like reflex, you know, if I’m going into any situation,” he says. In fact, Greg credits The Silva Method for helping him through his social anxiety.
What’s more, the same mental screen visualization helped him through emotional healing and self-forgiveness. During his meditations, he used visualization to process and forgive difficult relationships, especially those with his mother as well as his abuser.
According to him, the act of forgiving is a visual as well as an emotional experience. In fact, one study shows that guided imagery improves relaxation, both mentally and physically. This finding supports the versatile visualization techniques in The Silva Method.
So what’s the key takeaway? Whether it’s mastering a difficult dive or learning how to forgive, The Silva Method offers a practical toolkit for life’s challenges. It gives you the ability to let go and move forward, just like Greg has done through the twists and turns of his own life.
Greg Louganis’s Practical Tips to Build a Life of Kindness
“What if you could leave a legacy or a message? What would that be?” asks Vishen to Greg. His reply? Something rooted in kindness.
The thing is, kindness isn’t just a mantra for him; it’s a guiding principle. It shapes his everyday actions and major life choices. And he encourages the world to leave every place better than we found it.
So how can you build a life of kindness like the great Greg Louganis? Here are three tips he shares in his sit-down with Vishen:
1. Always ask, “Is it kind?”
“I’m always asking myself before I say anything—is it kind?” says Greg. So take a page from his book and take a moment to pause and be conscious of your reaction.
Doing so not only enhances your emotional intelligence but also enriches your relationships with others. In turn, it creates a more thoughtful and caring environment around you.
2. Do small acts of kindness
You don’t need grand gestures to make a difference. Greg suggests starting small. For example, pick up a piece of trash or hold the door for someone.
These acts might seem insignificant, but they send ripples of positivity into the world as well as your life. One study even found that people who performed acts of kindness for just 10 days felt happier and more satisfied with their lives.
So, it’s clear that even simple actions can have a big impact. And when you do, you contribute to a cycle of kindness that makes a lasting impact.
3. Recognize the power of a simple smile or touch
Don’t underestimate the transformative power of a smile or a touch. Greg emphasizes that these simple gestures are easy ways to show kindness every day.
“I remember being in Malibu and feeling just so alone and depressed,” he recalls. “And this woman smiled at me. She saw me, and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I mean, that totally changed my day.”
That’s the power of a smile or even a touch. And it’s something that’s so easy to, as Greg points out, “incorporate them in our lives as a practice.”
Take the Next Step
The Silva Method plays a big role in Greg’s emotional well-being, helping him stay focused and kind even when life gets tough. So, if you’re looking to do the same, Mindvalley’s The Silva Ultramind System Quest could be your answer. With Vishen as the trainer, this program can help you live a life of inspiration and resilience.
And here’s some good news: When you sign up for a Mindvalley account (at no cost), you can watch the first class of The Silva Ultramind System Quest for free. So, you have a chance to try before you fully dive in.
As Greg’s mother, Frances Luganas, had told him, “Make everywhere you go better because you were there.” And that’s a great way to step into your greatness.