Your Life By Design
Pivot to Opportunity
August 21, 2020
I was just recently interviewed by one of my retreat participants Glenn. He did my premium retreat “Success Mastery” almost 7 years ago and it totally changed his life. He is currently running his very successful coaching and mentoring organization now. Glenn decided to interview me firstly to catch up and secondly to get my sense of the COVID 19 situation. He had started to pivot his business to do more coaching online as well as do more webinars and Facebook live interviews.
So we started chatting about what I was doing and I told him that I was in the clinic on certain days. In Singapore during this period only industries that were considered essential could open on certain days. 

So Glenn had decided to do a similar pivot. He was interviewing authority figures in their niches and checking out how they were managing themselves, the people in their lives and their businesses. So he asked me how I had pivoted my business and my life to opportunity.    

So I spoke about how this was the third recession I was going through. Having been in business for 31 years I had become somewhat familiar with what it took to go through a critical financial period. This is the third round. There is a state of psychological preparedness. You have to get your emotional state ready. You need to see the bigger picture and be ready to be more proactive rather than reactive about possible opportunities. 

You also have to manage yourself on a daily basis. This included the daily routines. When you are working normally either at your job or your business you have your daily routines. This actually sets your day up.

If you have a larger meaning and purpose in your life, you don’t get totally derailed. So I asked myself how do I look after my mentorship coaching clients given that we could no longer meet physically? 

So the moment the authorities came up with the guidelines for limiting the number of hours and contact time I started rethinking. Since I was already doing online coaching, moving all the offline seminars to online was a relative no brainer. I started moving all my coaching and counselling session to calls online.  

When something comes along that disrupts your daily routine, until the daily routine is set up, it’s hard to think, plan and move forward. Since I had encountered time periods before in my life that were very disruptive I was familiar with the need to set up a new routine as quickly as possible.

I became COO of a MedTech startup group during this period. This was to help those in the area of dementia and memory issues as well as helping younger people and students develop a super memory.
I also started planning for the four books I intend to release over for the next 10 years .Given the extra time, I had the opportunity to do things that might have taken me four to six months in three weeks.  I decided to start planning to start a new podcast called the GutBrain Healing. 
Then I started doing more webinars and podcasts and started sharing messages over different platforms.  I also used this opportunity to rest more, cook more with my wife and start learning a new martial arts form to retrain new brain pathways and keep fit.  
So Glenn was quite taken by all this and commented that I walked my talk. That very few people could do all this comfortably under these circumstances. That I managed to be very productive and focused.
Some years ago, Glenn started to work with me to explore the impact of his early childhood programming on his life. He began to realise after a while that many of his choices and decisions were based on his early childhood programing and the trauma that he had endured. He started recognising it in his clients. So they make choices based on these childhood programmes.
So many of us are reenacting these childhood patterns and scripts about life and relationship choices. We believe that we have a choice. Often that belief of having free choice is an illusion. 
So you need to have a vision for yourself. That vision is what drives you to make the necessary changes. So when someone thinks like that they are looking at life like a marathon. They are not looking at a hundred meter sprint. So when you are young you can sprint. And you can do this up to a certain age. Once you cross 35, physiologically you can only do marathons. If all you have prepared for are sprints, then when you cross 35 you do not have the skills sets or mindsets to do a marathon well.
That’s when you can get burnt out or derailed. You simply do not have the skill sets. You also may not have built up or acquired the resources to do a marathon. Half way through you run out of gas and have problems. Those who actually recognize that they have run out of gas and cannot cope are the ones I see in my practice. 
There will be others who do not recognise this and keep looking for quick fixes. Every quick fix will lead them deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole. They don’t get  it that they are facing the results of choices that were made years back in their past. They are finally facing the consequences of these choices.
So if you have the regular practice of doing regular physical emotional and spiritual maintenance and going after their goals .. they have prepared for the marathon. Others do no maintenance and when they are going after their targets something breaks down. 
For some, they begin to recognize the needs to develop a regular practice of self-renewal. Others only react when something breaks down and they will only do a pit stop. Like what happens when you have cars racing and something breaks down. Then you have to stop to fix it.   
Considering this as a systems relationship, the quality of your life and health , your work environment, your relationships both personal and work or business wise are a reflection of what is going on in your microcosm inside.  So this breakdown can either be a health related, relationship related or financial related. It is letting you know that part of life is unsustainable.       
When something like the current challenging situation with the COVID-19 virus and financial meltdown comes up, you can either see it as a curse or a learning opportunity that whatever you are doing is not sustainable. Those who fail to take the opportunity to learn and grow will keep encountering more obstacles. 
Those who use this as a learning opportunity will develop new skills, become more resilient and adaptable and be able to thrive in the emerging new environment and economy. So a crucial practice is that of some kind of practice of contemplation and reflection on your life. An emotional practice of stepping back and reflecting.
When I started doing this, I realized I was reflecting on the patterns of my great grandfathers both paternal and maternal. I come from a family where after my grandfathers everyone worked for others. Only both my grandfathers (one was a medical doctor, the other was a business man) were self-employed and I was doing what they both did.
So do you reflect on your life? Only when you have awareness can you truly choose. Otherwise we only react.
So Glenn asked me, “What about my clients who find themselves really stuck. Yes they go for mindfulness course and all that. They are still stuck. They find that they get into this self-sabotaging patterns and they feel they have no options”.
Sometimes they have made choices in the past that keep limiting them. The first step is to accept responsibility and accountability for that choice they made. So often when people feel stuck in this situation they are not prepared to accept responsibility for their actions and choices they made. They go through rage, anger and they want to blame someone else. 
So long as they do that they are not accepting accountability. They are not prepared to pay the price for the choices you have made. And therefore they do not want to pay the price for the new choice that they have to make. They are not accepting “This is who I was”. “
“I want to be someone else. I do not want to accept where I am. I want to magically be  somewhere else” So whether they are struggling with addiction, debts, failed or abusive relationships, this is the core issue.
Imagine you are 20 years old, you borrow $10k from the bank. You don’t service the loan or even pay the interest for the next 10 years. Then at 30 after you have finished your education and you have a good job, you borrow another $10K from another bank. This one you service propely Then at when you 32, both the banks get together and you are faced with a whopping bill. Then you say to the bank, “But I was servicing my loan?”  
They remind you, this is the loan that you took when you were 20. So you are now left with the prospect that you may need to work hard for the next 10 years to make good on all that. Here we are only talking about money. 
Very often though the choices we made in the early years of our life would impact our life choices in the area of our health, wealth and relationships. These choices would also involve investments of time, effort, money, sweat, blood and tears. If they were great choices by virtue of the return on investment, all is well.
I remember going after my father who had been a pharmacist to change his lifestyle and habits, lose weight and manage his diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol for 20 years. He would always reply that his doctor had told him he was doing well on all his medications.
Finally when he was sixty-nine and had just narrowly survived a cardiac arrest, he looked at me and said “You know, I used to think that you were always making life difficult for me by going on about my lifestyle. I never really appreciated how difficult your early years had been because of all your medical conditions and you were trying to make sure I remained healthy to the end. What do I do now?”  
 I shook my head sadly and said, “Its too late’’. He died three years later from the complications of chemotherapy for his prostrate cancer.
So if you made poor choices like we all have made occasionally and you find that you have to fix the situation, you can choose to accept it, do what it takes and move on or  try to resist doing what needs to be done. Unfortunately the longer you deny the reality of the situation the more expensive it becomes. That is when you get stuck. 
This is however easier said than done. In a far earlier podcast I had spoken about the stages of change. For some recognizing and accepting the consequence of that choice can take a lifetime. Sometimes they may even accept and recognize the situation far too late like my father to make a new positive choice.  The solution is to accept the consequences of your choices, make a new choice, develop new skills, resources and attitudes to deal with the situation and move on. All of this takes time. 
On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. 

The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? 

You can always download a summary of my book Life by Design at 
“Life by Design” Lite:  The summary e-book of the full "Life by Design" version that gives you the overview of the core steps required to design an incredible life and business. Based on 20 years of research from working with 15,000 people. The golden nuggets to a transformational powerful life. At

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Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams.  I am Dr Sundardas. Join me on Your Life by Design