I’m late for my interview with Peter Crone, also known as The Mind Architect — or, as Chicago Cubs World Series winner Miguel Montero puts it: “The best mind guy out there.”
My Zoom is playing up. I text his assistant. “It’s ok,” I tell myself. Among his clients areâ¯world-famous celebrities and pro-athletes. He was Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s personal trainer.â¯I’m not A-list but this can’t be the first time he’s been kept waiting. Finally,â¯I’m in. He’s unfazed. “There she is!” Afterwards, I’m sent the Zoom recording, including the delay. Aâ¯behind-the-scenesâ¯moment, if you will – and it’s probably this that tells me most about him. More on that later.
Crone specialises in revealing and then dissolving the “limiting beliefs and subconscious narratives” in people that in turn “dictate and shape behaviour, health, relationships, and performance”. He’s like a therapist and spiritual guru rolled into one.
It’s not just for the A-listers, all sorts of people flock to him, “from the 60-year old billionaire to the stay-at-home parent” for myriad reasons; either the “possibility of becoming someone or something new,” or to “overcome problems,” be they “anxiety, depression, chronic sickness, or addiction,” or “athletes or entertainers with unfulfilled expectations”, who are perhaps wanting to overcome “past failures”.
And boy, does Crone have fans. Gwyneth Paltrow says he can “help unbridle your potential”. PGA Golf champion Charles Howell III says Crone is “without a doubt the person who has had the biggest impact on my day-to-day life”. And one of the most famous faces on the planet recently gave him a shout-out to a packed stadium. (He won’t say who. “He’s a dear friend. I wouldn’t want to compromise that.”)
Most things you want are simply a reaction to something deeper you don’t want
He’s also appeared on the 2017 Netflix documentary Heal, a Goop podcast, and Rangan Chatterjee’s Feel Better Live More podcast, with Chatterjee asking him back a second time, calling their conversation “really powerful”.
The good news: Crone’s sought-after wisdom has just been opened up to a much wider audience, with the release of the ‘Freedom Community’, an online private members’ community and app, where disciples can access exclusive, “mind-blowing” content and insights, along with monthly “Ask me anything” live streams with Crone himself.
And so what exactly is it about the man that causes such rapture? And how has he become the go-to coach for high-end performers around the world? Crone’s Instagram shows his 309,000 followers a curated montage of his life (golf, workouts, mountain views from his outside tub) with videos and stills of head-scratching wisdom: “Most things you want are simply a reaction to something deeper you don’t want,” and “the mind operates in probability. The soul operates from possibility. Big difference.”
Over Zoom, he looks exactly the same as he does on his social media: all chiseled cheekbones, large blue eyes, gleaming white teeth, and an energy that seems both serene and buoyant. Meeting Crone has been described as like meeting Buddha, Einstein, and Austin Powers all at the same time (author and journalist Edwina Ings-Chambers) and it’s exactly right. I am instantly a convert.
I ask him what the people who come to him are looking for? “Freedom …” he replies instantly. “They think they’re looking for a better body, more money, better circumstances. But… they want to experience freedom from suffering.”
He goes on to say, “I’ve realised there are these fundamental, what I call, subconscious constraints I assert every human being is born with.” Like what? Someone might feel “not enough,” or that they are “not safe,” he explains. He goes on to say that “we’re here not to amass more money, status, fame, a beautiful family. These are all wonderful, but we’re really here to emancipate ourselves from these constraints, so that we can recognise… the depth of our magnificence.”
I first saw Crone on the Netflix Heal documentary and was struck by the power of his words and his charisma. I tell him how impactful I’ve found his work. “It’s very humbling to know that a little kid from St Margaret’s Bay, South Kent, who was orphaned by the age of 17, is sharing content that is really moving people.”
Crone’s mother died of cancer when he was seven. His dad had to “provide for a son he just completely adored”. I wonder what he was like then. “On the surface, I was a good boy, I was very well-behaved,â¯I was shy, Iâ¯was very quiet.” And what about underneath? I ask later on. “I just tried to do everything I could to make sure I kept my Dadâ¯happy.”
When Crone wasâ¯17, his beloved father Bob went to work one day and never came home. He was lost on the 1987 Zebrugge ferry disaster. Crone remembers standing in his bedroom, “completely alone”. And he then goes on to say, “I think one of the reasons I’ve become as influential as I have in my space is because of the depth of compassion I have, which I would attribute to the fact that I went to the depths of despair with loneliness.”
How did he get from these depths to where he is now? He gives me a run-down. “Immense amount of skill at football… smart and, you know, a decent student…”
Despite being an outstanding athlete on a fast-track for Oxbridge, after his father died, one of his “biggest achievements was that I failed to get into every single one of the universities I applied to,” he laughs. It was only after a gap year, another failed attempt, and a subsequent phone call (by him) to Dr Ward in the human biology department, that he secured a place at Loughborough – which “felt like home”, and where he also did a Masters. Here, he was awarded the Sir Robert Martin prize for being an outstanding all-round student. “That was a nod to Mum and Dad up there. You know. Like, you did it.” â¯He wells up. “I haven’t told this story for a long time.”
After university came a steady stream of jobs in the US (tennis coaching, bartending) before he was certified as a personal trainer, where he “kind of outdid himself”, often working 13 hours on the trot. He ended up with Cruise and Kidman, for an “incredible five years”, honing their bodies. But he always felt “as human beings, we had a much deeper set of constraints that needed architecting”.
I’m keen to know about the actual process he goes through with his clients? “The individual has what they believe is a problem or issue,” he tells me. “I first see that as purely symptomatic. Meaning any problem is a by-product of their perspective. So once I hear their ‘problem’, I know, usually immediately, what subconscious constraint that is an extension of, or ‘sits within’. So then I ask questions about their past and childhood. Usually, that correlates to that same constraint, so I can see where and when that particular relationship they have to life was triggered.”
Someone might be dealing with anxiety. That, to me, is invariably a bedfellow experience of the constraint of ‘I’m not safe’.
He gives me an example. “Someone might be dealing with anxiety. That, to me, is invariably a bedfellow experience of the constraint of “I’m not safe”. I then enquire about their childhood to see where and with whom they first felt that. This allows them to marry their current life experience with past hurts. That is the genesis of that perspective. I then have them investigate the validity of that view. It’s never a truth - and, when they see that, the contents of that world (in this case, anxiety) dissolves.”
Given all Crone has been through, I wonder if he ever struggles. “For sure,” he replies. “Yeah, I mean, less and less over the years. I’m kind of blessed in as much as I get to do this work every day. And so there’s a form of reinforcement.”
On to the lighter stuff. What it’s like working for celebrities and global sports stars? “Perhaps a fundamental reason I’m able to work with so many of them is that, in the most loving way, I couldn’t care less who they are in the world. I care who they are as humans.” And as for the countless sports stars he works with – “Ironically, when they’re okay with more failure, it (whatever it is they’re trying to avoid or overcome) tends to not happen.”
Back to the Zoomâ¯recording. Whenâ¯I watch back the delay, Crone’s so zen I repeatedly press ‘play’ because I’m convinced the recording is stuck. I speak to Cambria his assistant. “Have you ever seen him angry? Stressed?” I ask.
“No,” sheâ¯laughs. One of his quotes comes to mind.â¯“Whenâ¯you live from a place of freedom, life tends to flow in the mostâ¯harmonious way.”