Your energy is everything: it is the fuel that drives your success and it gives you the power to achieve your potential. So how can you be your best self if you’re always tired, stressed and burnt out?
We’re thrilled to host award-winning life coach Simon Alexander Ong to tell us all the tips from his new book, Energize.
Energize introduces us to the art and science of energy management. In a world where we’re “always on”, Ong coaches us to work with our natural energy resources to recognize our most energized state – when to push and when to recoup – so that we can work sustainably towards our biggest goals.
Simon will teach us how to master simple practices that we can build into our day to revitalize and preserve our energy levels so that we’re ready for anything.
When Simon Sinek, Marie Forleo, and Marshall Goldsmith are praising a breakthrough new book, you know it’s going to be life-changing! Energize is available for pre-sale now and officially launches 21 April.
For the full transcript:
Jan Muhlfeit 00:02
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends very good evening.
Lisa Christen 00:05
Jan Muhlfeit 00:06
Yeah, we have our you know, discussion about fantastic new book energize with our friend Simon Alexander on a he did some podcast interview so he will be a little bit you know late but he’s going to join us if you can we see our friends you know, mica from Finland Good evening from Finland Good evening to Finland. You know, if everything goes well, we should have today bridge like New York, New York, I’m in Prague, and Simon Simon is in London. So three most important cities in the world, you know, should be represented. So if you see me so guy, because we are broadcasting on LinkedIn, and on YouTube, if you can put in the in the comments that you can see us and hear us. And I will also put my LinkedIn on on the phone so I can you know, check if everything goes you know, well, because last time we had some problem with you know, our LinkedIn connection.
Lisa Christen 01:06
Exactly. And and yeah, and we had a few people let us know that even in the replay. The video wasn’t there. So I’m hoping this time I’m hoping I didn’t break because
Jan Muhlfeit 01:16
I bought link to YouTube. YouTube was perfect. Everything should be okay. Also on LinkedIn. It looks like it’s working properly. Oh, David. It’s working perfect.
Simon ALexander Ong 01:40
Lisa, I am doing fantastic. Thank you very much. Hope you’re both having a beautiful week so far.
Jan Muhlfeit 01:46
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Lisa Christen 01:49
Perfect. In New York, April, spring has finally come. All of the flowers are blooming, everybody’s ready for Easter. So everybody’s in a really great mood. I wore this color orange because my nails were all the rage last week. So I’m talking about the nails. So I thought I’d really bring the color here today, because we’re talking about energy and energizing. And I think some colors and some fun can also bring a little energy to the conversation.
Jan Muhlfeit 02:15
Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ll just because I have my, you know, a logo of my book there, and I’ll make sure that you know, it will it will go out but I don’t know how to do it. Either logo, you know,
Lisa Christen 02:32
while you’re working on that, yeah, maybe I can introduce everyone, to our good friend Simon, who’s here with us today. So I’m sure many of you have already heard of Simon. He’s a fantastic coach. But I want to tell you a little bit more about him and why he’s on here today. So I’m gonna read his bio first so you get the full sense. Simon Alexander Aang is a personal development entrepreneur, coach and public speaker. And his clients are from all walks of life, but they share one trait What do you think that is? They all believe that the greatest investment you can make is in yourself. Sound familiar? Sounds like something a coach would want to do. Right? And his work has seen him invited onto Sky News, BBC Radio, London, Barclays UK featured him in a nationwide campaign. And guess what, we’re not the only ones who want to have him talking. He’s been featured in HuffPost, Forbes, Virgin, Guardian. And he’s working with companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, we know a thing or two about Microsoft, and Unilever. And we’re so excited to have Simon on first and foremost, because he shares all of our same feelings about that we really need to do physical, mental, emotional, spiritual energy work that we don’t manage our time we manage our energy. But the question is, how do we energize? Right, so Simon has a new book that’s coming out very soon, next week, in fact, and we’re gonna put the link into LinkedIn here in just a moment. And it’s called Energize. Right, very easy to remember. And it’s a great starter for what we want to create here today. So that was a lot of me talking, Simon, anything you want to share before we jump in and start asking you some questions?
Simon ALexander Ong 04:10
Well, first of all, Lisa, I think you did a fantastic job of that introduction. So thank you so much for the very kind words. And I’m very excited to discuss the new book as you as you share just now energize, which I put together over the last two years, which in hindsight, has been one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced because not only was I writing this book, the world was in lockdown, and I became a parent for the first time. So balancing my personal life with also writing a book was a little bit of a roller coaster ride in the last couple of years.
Lisa Christen 04:46
Even to take your own advice for how to stay energized because a newborn will really take your
Jan Muhlfeit 04:50
Lisa Christen 04:53
Good. I’m adding your link here.
Jan Muhlfeit 04:55
It is a is a is a funny story. Me As I’m on, I mean, we knew each other, since like clubhouse, and I remember that like every day, but we are seeing face to face each other for the first time, we were always like communicate to each other. So this is also. But anyway, Simon, it wouldn’t be good if you can talk a little bit about the book about the structure of the book and what inspired you to write the book. And then we have a lot of, you know, questions and discussion. And hopefully our audience will also ask somewhere,
Simon ALexander Ong 05:31
definitely, definitely. So first of all, I’ll start with the structure of the book. So I broke the book down into four parts, and it very much mirrored in mirrored my own journey, my own life journey from working in the corporate world, to breaking out of that to running my own business, and developing that into where it is today. And so the first part of the book is called awaken your power I had, we begin to discover the energy that we have within us to accomplish some of our biggest goals, right, the second part of the book, talks to how we can rewire our energetic state, so that we can have the mindset that is going to help us achieve those steps towards our goals and visions. The third part of the book is one that I think is, is a challenge for many leaders, and those who have high ambition, which is protecting your personal energy, when you’ve got a lot of
Jan Muhlfeit 06:27
leaders are not able to say no, right?
Simon ALexander Ong 06:31
We may have a lot of energy, but how do we protect it for the things that matter the most? And the final part of the book, I could supercharge? And it’s well, how do we supercharge our legacy? Once we’ve got these foundations in place, so that we are able to live a life of meaning? Because I’m a believer that our value as a human is determined by how much more we have given to the world than we have taken from it. And so I wanted to speak into that. And on the question of how did the idea come about? Yeah, you know, if I look back on my journey, there was a pivotal moment in my second job. Now, just to give context, as to the career I began in, I started in the middle of 2007, in the financial services industry at what was probably the worst possible time to start. Yeah, this was a year before the crisis. And just to make things a little interesting, the first company that I signed on to as a graduate was Lehman Brothers. Of course.
Jan Muhlfeit 07:34
That’s a great start. At the beginning of my career, absolutely.
Simon ALexander Ong 07:39
It was a very volatile start to my career, I was looking for a job within just 14 months of starting my first job. And that led me to work in the hedge fund industry. So my second job was was was within the hedge fund industry. Now on the outside, it sounds glamorous, you know, Simon is working in a hedge fund. He’s trading equities. He’s trading in the stock market. But I was only a junior in this company. And if you want it glamour, you had to be one of the senior managers you had to be the person at the top. The portfolio manager was was where the glamour was really at. And so I was working long hours I was working punishing hours, I will be often in the office around six or seven in the morning. Very often, because we had a New York office, I was physically in the London office until around 10 or 11 at night. And there was one Christmas where I went to a client event straight after finishing work. And I remember texting my girlfriend at the time saying that I will be getting the last train back so I should be seeing you around one or two o’clock in the morning. Now that was before I went downstairs into the club. And of course my network gets cut off. I hand in my jacket, I handed my belongings to the cloakroom, and then the alcohol because it’s free flowing, it’s just on tap, the night just takes hold. And before I know it, I’m stumbling into a taxi. And I’m heading back home early morning. And my girlfriend, as you can imagine, is worried sick, because she is expecting me to come home after the last train, she cannot get ahold of me because I can’t respond because my phone was off because it lost signal. And I arrived home collapse in the bathtub. Just didn’t know what I was doing. I was like in a complete mess. And the day after, when I was a little a little bit more sober. We sort of had a heart to heart conversation. And she brought up some very harsh truths. You know, she was telling me that Simon, since you left Lehman since the crisis happened, this job is just killing you. It is killing you physically and mentally. And I don’t know if if this job is going to help you move forward. I mean, I don’t see you doing well in this job if this is what you like, why now? And she was right. You know I didn’t, I didn’t like to be taught that I think that I wasn’t comfortable sharing what was going on. I mean, you probably relate Yeah. And you know, when I was young as a boy, and when things happen to you, you’re often told back then in society man up, move on, suck it up, you know, bounced bang. And so I was very uncomfortable sharing what was really going on emotionally, inside of me, with my girlfriend. And I really was grateful that she gave me the space to openly share what I was actually going through. And I was, I was lost at the time, because I had this ambition of developing my career in the financial industry. But because of the crisis, the job I thought I was going to do well and didn’t exist anymore. The company I am wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. And I was just aimless. You know, my weekends were spent binge watching TV series, I used alcohol and partying as things to escape the reality of where my life really was. And so, where a lot of the idea for the book comes from, it’s the fact that when I started to prioritize my health, then things started to really change. And so what I did, is within just a couple of days of that incident, I handed in my resignation, and I decided to still look for job within finance, because I couldn’t get any other job. My background was in finance. But I deliberately started to look for a job in finance, that was much more than nine to five, and less stressful. So it would give me the time to start prioritizing my health again. And that was when for me, my life started to change for the better. Randy gave me the time to also think about what I really wanted to do.
Lisa Christen 11:43
And that’s it time and I can’t tell you how many times I ask clients, what do you like to do for fun? What do you enjoy? And they’re like, I, well, let’s see, I work and I have family obligations. And you know, I do yoga, and I’m like, but do you do yoga? Because you like it? Or because it de stresses you from all the stress you have at work? Oh, okay. Yes. What do you do for fun? What do you like? People don’t know that we’ve arranged our lives completely backwards, getting to prioritize Hi, my
Jan Muhlfeit 12:16
question for you. Because I went, as you know, I was depressed when I was 50 years old, very difficult depression. I share it at a clubhouse at this time. But why do you think people feel guilty? If they do something they like just for your enjoyment? Because we really feel like guilt, it looks like we are born to suffer. And so why do you why do you think we have this notion of hey, I do something I should not do it that long? You know, right?
Simon ALexander Ong 12:49
Totally. And I think many, many people have probably gone through that experience. Yeah. And that that you were sharing. So we have grown up focusing on doing things that we believe will make us happy and successful, but not actually the things that do because we’re going against who we are. For me, I grew up with the mistaken belief that success would be defined by my job title. So be a banker, be a doctor, be a lawyer, be an accountant. Now, what I quickly came to realize through my own experience that I shared just now, but also in my own transformation, from where I was to where I am now, is that many of us are exhausted, not because we are doing too much. But because we’re doing too little of the things that bring us joy that make us feel happy. And because we are learning someone else’s race. And we’re measuring our definition of success and progress against metrics defined by other people. And I think when we when we do that we are in a race that we can never win, we can never win that race. And that is why if you’ve read the book, the top Regrets of the Dying by Bonnie where you will note that the number one regret that she wrote down was that I wish I lived a life more true to myself than a life lived for others. And that is why that is why you may have heard the saying that the longest journey we humans make are the inches from our heads to our hearts. That is the longest journey that we as humans make. Because as you say, we tend to go with our head when we make these decisions. According to my family, this will make me successful society tells me this will be successful. So I think with my head and I go for that. But actually when we do that we ignore our heart. But when we start to listen to our heart, we begin to understand that while it may not always lead us to where we want to be, it will always lead us to where we need to be.
Lisa Christen 14:36
Assignment it’s so so true because if you I when I started my career I did the same thing I really wanted to go the corporate path I wanted to be successful I wanted to you know, in my mind I would say if you do look at my Clifton Strengths Finder strategy is not high on my list right? I’m much more the intuitive feeler type, but I don’t I didn’t want this skill set. I fought it tooth and nail I took x Your project management classes I wanted to I got an MBA, I wanted to do what I thought success was. And until I learned to just listen in and say, you weren’t born that way, Lisa, you got it? What you do have, that’s when I could really say, Okay, I’m meant to be a coach and I could accelerate and I could fly. And it is exactly that where people have to give up. What do we think we need to be? And what how can we just use? What are our strengths? What are our natural energizers? And how do we go from there? Right? And then you wake up every day wanting to go to your work?
Simon Alexander 15:35
Totally, totally. I for me, like getting questions going in. Wait, go ahead. Go ahead. Yep, you
Jan Muhlfeit 15:40
need the questions
Simon ALexander Ong 15:42
that really helped me to understand that was reflecting on Well, what what did success mean to me? And then what sort of impact that I want to have in the world? And I think once we have sat down and answered these questions, which often are not easy, because we rarely have sat down and done this, you know, I think many of us have done it for our company, or our bosses or managers, you know, we’ve put together a project of how we’re going to want this to the end, how we’re going to deliver it for the client, or we put together a project for how we’re going to win this next deal. But when was the last time you sat down and put together a plan for your life? And I think many of us haven’t done that. So when we do that, and we come up with the answers to questions such as what success means to us, what sort of impact we want to have, the greatest challenge is to then design our life around those answers.
Jan Muhlfeit 16:31
Here it is the it is a question, Simon, you have like two of us, Lisa is American. I’m like, I’m brainwashed by Americans like epigenetics, like Americans are shaping your life. Like in my case, you know,
Lisa Christen 16:49
we’ve switched on the American eye.
Jan Muhlfeit 16:53
If we talk about energize, right, if you’re talking about the energy, I did very well with my physical energy, but I underestimated like renewing my mental energy. That’s why I ended up you know, when I was 50 years old, in the mental hospital, I think Lisa figured out earlier that that’s necessary to do hopefully, she will avoid mental as
Lisa Christen 17:14
well, so you never know, right?
Jan Muhlfeit 17:16
Now, is the question. Here’s the question. I said like 15 years ago, that, you know, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian managers, all of those, you know, guys with with like, traditional cultures, in like meditation, yoga, tai chi, they are handling stress much better than the managers from the Western Hemisphere, right? And you have this unique position you have like Chinese, but why living in London? So I would, I would like to ask you, because it seems to me that Asian people, they, they they are like, oh, we need to work as much as you know, hard as a people in the West. And we started to meditate. Right? So do you think that those cultures are getting like closer? Or what’s going? What’s going on there? You know, if we’re talking about the energy,
Simon ALexander Ong 18:04
definitely, definitely. I mean, I think these cultures are coming together more than ever before. I mean, you just have to look at Silicon Valley, the startup culture over in the west side of America and, and talk and talk about this coming together. I mean, there are now chief wellness officers, chief people, officers, chief heart officers, and I think they’re starting to understand the importance of addressing our mental and emotional well being. I mean, even if you look at some of the academic research, Google conducted a study called Project oxygen back in 2008, which was to understand what made great leaders. Now what they discovered was that just because you are a great salesperson, or you are a great engineer, or technical analysis, it doesn’t make a great leader. What makes you a great leader is the fact that you are a good coach. And I think related to that is understanding yourself, you know, you can’t lead others until you’re powerfully leading yourself first. And I think this is the role of awareness. And awareness is something that has been part of Asian heritage, if you go back in history and the proponents of meditation of mindfulness, and I think a lot of this is now coming over to the west to understand the importance of slowing down. And when you look at how busy the world is, how noisy the world is today, slowing down is becoming increasingly an important superpower. You know, there’s a, there’s an interview I referenced in the book, and I’m sure both of you may have watched in the past before, but there’s an interview hosted by Charlie Rose, where he has the opportunity to interview both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And at one point of this interview, he turns to Bill Gates and he asked Bill, what has been some of the lessons that you have taken from your friendship with Warren over the years that you have known one another? And the first lesson he shared was to never pass down wealth says children. And so he set up a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The second lesson he said was, I remember when I first looked at Warren’s diary, and at that moment when Bill says it, Warren takes out a blank book and pen, and he jokes with the interviewer, very, very technologically advanced right here. But but in fact, it’s very old school. It’s just a new pen and pen. And Bill says to Charlie, when I first looked into Warren’s diary, I saw so much blank space. And then I compared it to my diary. And I saw that my diary was back to back meetings, it was meetings with shareholders meetings with colleagues, social calendar was full. And I realized, as soon as I saw Warren’s diary, that it was no way to live, it was no way to enjoy my life. And then that became one of the catalysts for Bill Gates now employing his famous reading weeks. So Bill would deliberately take time away from the everyday business to retreat into a cabin to read to learn and to write,
Jan Muhlfeit 21:03
you know, when Bill was traveling with me, there was like one security guy and he was always carrying the like, the bag with your your books. He still enjoys he’s using Kindle, but he still enjoys to read, you know, from the real books, because he’s doing a lot of notes in those. So this is absolutely another another question. You mentioned leadership, right? Because our energy our emotions are contagious, if you are like as a leader, you are pissed off, then your team very soon. Also, first of all, they are scared. Even worse, okay? If you are like, Hey, you are brave, and you are positive, then the chances are that those emotions because of the what we call mirror neurons, those you know, emotions are contagious. So I wanted to ask you, what is what is the ideal chief energy officer like a leader who is having energy but is able also to like radiate energy to the to the team, right? What do we need to do to be like you said, one thing is self awareness? Absolutely. You want to understand others, you need to understand yourself to compare where we are the same where we are similar, where we are different. But how about however, the energy what we need to do as leaders to have energy enough? And to be able, you know, to basically radiate energy?
Simon ALexander Ong 22:25
Definitely? Well, I think it’s a great question. Because when you are in a position of leadership, you are essentially the thermostat of the company. So as you said, you know, when you’re low on energy, that will radiate into everybody else in the organization. When you are positive, of course, that will radiate as well. And so if we are to be that positively charged leader, then what we must be aware of is how we are managing our own energy. And so that goes back to something that Lisa shared the beginning, our physical, or mental, or emotional, and spiritual, how are we when we reflect on those particular areas? And if we are low on any of those areas, how do we address it. And it also comes down to understanding how we manage our diaries, you know, when we talk about productivity, we tend to default to focusing on time management. And now don’t get me wrong. Time management is important when it comes to productivity, but it is missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. Because if you focus exclusively on time management, you are assuming that your energy is constant throughout the whole day. So if you start putting in your calendar, at four o’clock, I’m gonna go to the gym, six o’clock, I’m going to do this project, you forget that your energy goes through cycles. So unless you’re working with your energy, you’re going to be working against it. And so when you better understand how to work with your energy, that means that when you do show up in the office, when you show up for your employees, your staff and your colleagues, you show up in a very different way, the energy that you emit and you radiate will be infinitely different.
Lisa Christen 24:01
That’s right. Here’s the big question. I have Simon, because here’s the trend that I noticed. And I love this in your book as well. You talked about how we wear busyness as a badge of honor. Right? So when when people ask, how are you? Busy, right? That’s the default. Is that even good anymore? Fine, it’s busy. Why are we stuck in this trap of busyness? And then if I can also add this, this was one of my favorite things you have in the book, you have a story with a client where you asked for Emma to create Emma’s perfect system for always running late to meetings and feeling exhausted even on weeks that are not super busy. Can you tell us a little bit about that and share it with the audience because I think they’re gonna enjoy it as well.
Simon ALexander Ong 24:44
We’re going to the first question about the business. I think that as a society we are so we’re so used to thinking that in order to be productive in order to be making progress, we have to be doing something so If I am not doing something, I am not productive. I am not making progress. But actually what you realize it’s a girl, yes, the guild if I’m doing something, then well, I’m not productive, then I should do go back and do something. But what we forget is that actually, when we slow down, when we are able to build in moments to disconnect as much as we schedule in moments to do work, and go to social events, and have a holiday, when we schedule in moments intentionally to disconnect, that is actually how we access our creative energy. You know, I don’t know if these anecdotes are true. But if you go back in history, some of the greatest insights were not discovered by somebody sitting hours on end in front of their desk, looking at a screen, Isaac Newton and gravity Apple under a tree, or what have you, Rica, Thomas Edison fishing with no bait, so nobody, not even the fish. And so even though I don’t know these anecdotes are true or not, I think there is so much wisdom in them, in that, in order to make the most meaningful progress forward, you’ve got to have a rhythm between periods of deep work, and periods of intentional rest. And when you can get that rhythm light, and we will all have different rhythms, we will work differently, we will function differently. But once you understand your rhythm, that’s when you experience greater moments of flow. And, and just in response to the second question about Emma’s perfect system, so I like to use it as a bit of a joke, Lisa, so when somebody tells me that this is going on in my life, and I don’t know how to change it, I will have a bit of fun, and just come to them as if what they’re doing now is exactly what I am seeking. So I want to know your perfect system for always being busy and never getting the most important things done. Tell me how you do that. Because the process of having a bit of fun with them in this exercise is really raised their awareness of what is going wrong in their life. And so when they list all those items out, it awakens their mind to wow, this is, this is really why I’m always busy. This is really why I’m not enjoying life at the moment, and really why I’m always stressed. And so the purpose of that even though it’s a bit of fun, it’s just really to raise their awareness about what is really going on.
Jan Muhlfeit 27:20
Yeah, you said one or two things that, you know, if we do something which we really enjoy, we are in the flow. And if we are in the flow, we are not busy, our brain is on the frequency eight to 12 hertz, which is called alpha, you know, your, your brain is very stable, you are like here, and now in the present, concentrate. That’s why your brain can your brain is not reacting to each and every situation for the first time your brain is like comparing what’s going on with what is sitting in your long term memory. And for that you need to have like 100% concentration, otherwise you are not reflecting reality, right? So how much because you obviously don’t like Eastern philosophies, like you know, Buddhism and all other stuff, how much you personally, Simon, are inspired by people like you know, Buddha, because Buddha was a psychologist, they created, you know, religious underworld, they created all marketing around it. Who wanted to get rid of the suffering? That was it? That was the main you know, reason what, that’s why he did what he did you know, right? How much did you, you know, inspired? were you inspired by those guys?
Simon Alexander 28:37
I am, I am very much inspired by Eastern traditions. You know, when you read the book, you will notice I’ve referenced a number of Zen stories and parables. And there’s a reason for that, because a lot of those stories, a lot of those. Yeah, exactly a lot of those teachings have have affected me in a very positive way. I mean, just to give an example, I remember on my very first trip to Japan in in 2017, I went from Tokyo to Kyoto and in Kyoto, if you’ve ever been to Kyoto, it is full of Zen temples, there was a lot of Zen temples in Kerala, and you can visit them. And just by visiting them, you feel calmer when you set foot in any of these temples. And I remember going to one of these temples, and there was a 45 minute experience in which you as a tourist could experience meditation in one of these guided classes. And I remember there was, there was a section on the wall that was inscribed in English so me as a tourist, I could read it, I can’t read Japanese. And at the top of this inscription, It read, be attached to the outcome and open to everything, be attached to the outcome and open to everything. And I thought it was just so beautiful. And just within one sentence, there was so much wisdom. You know, first of all, if we break that down, be attached to the outcome that we reason many people are happy or unhappy is because they’re attaching their well being and their emotional feelings to an outcome.
Jan Muhlfeit 30:09
That’s even in the sport, if you are so much concentrated on the results, you are usually not long term successful. If you love the way if you love performance, you know, and you try to be the better version of yourself every day. It’s kind of a growth mindset from Carol Dweck, you know, the book mindset, definitely.
Simon ALexander Ong 30:28
And that is very much that because by detaching ourselves from the outcome, what happens is that we can actually live more in the present. And then the second part of that statement, which says, Be open to everything, that simply means be open to learn, be open to adapt, because the world is constantly changing. And unless we are open to opportunities, conversations, connections, then we’re just going to stay stuck. And you know, when I look at my journey, Yan and Lisa, I never planned to write a book two years ago, two, two and a half years ago. That wasn’t that was not my outcome. You know, I was not attached to the outcome of writing a book. I never even plan to write a book, but simply by by being open and as young beautifully said, by just trying to be better than who I was yesterday. Suddenly, I had people wanting to have a conversation saying Simon, we would love to have a talk about writing a book. And these opportunities came about not by deliberately trying to pursue them, but really just by focusing on being better than who I was yesterday. Yeah,
Jan Muhlfeit 31:30
yeah, exactly. No, because you said that perfectly. You know, there are two things for optimal performance be in the present moment, which means like be detached from the outcome. Because once you are tied with the outcome with the with the result, you are not anymore in the present moment, okay? When I, when I met for the first time, Rafael Nadal, he told me, Hey, I really became real player. When I was able to forget about the last ball, whether I’m winning the ball or losing, it doesn’t matter, that ball is gone. It’s captured on the scoreboard, I need to concentrate on this current, but you know what I mean, right in the car. And the other thing open to everything, okay? Whatever is happening in your life, it’s past, basically, even if it’s very traumatic, doesn’t matter. You just need to accept what happened and move on. It’s called Post Traumatic Growth, you are you are emerging as a hero, because you are like, Hey, this is, as you rightly said, This is what I can learn from it. Let’s move on. If you are still in the past, you know why you’re suffering once it happened. And, again, all time you remember or to suffer against stress disorder. Yeah, I think those guys were really very smart. And a very wise, while, you know, saying that, you know, many 1000 years ago, right?
Lisa Christen 32:53
Yeah. And this is the thing. Yeah. And Simon, I mean, when we’re talking about our energy management, a lot of them were a lot of the energy that gets lost is in the emotional stuff. And it’s in the am I looking good? Do I look smart? Am I doing this? Right? Have I convinced everyone that I’m not an impostor today? Right. And we’re doing so much management of other people’s expectations of us, that drains our energy, because instead of us coming from, what’s the message from within, right, Simon has a clear message. And he said, oh, shoot, okay, the path opened that I should take this message out in a book. Great, but he’s still living the message from within, instead of letting other people’s expectations drive us how do we let us drive from inside out? And I think that’s really the key that most people haven’t yet learned to make that switch. And that’s where energy is dying?
Simon ALexander Ong 33:46
Definitely. I think that. Yeah. When we think about our reality, one of the insights that I came to understand Jana Lisa, is that we live in the feeling of our thinking moment to moment to moment, you know, we like to think there is one reality but there simply isn’t, there is only customized reality. So you know, the way you interpret an event may be different to the way I do and different to the way my partner does, or my colleague or my friend. But if that’s true, that means we have greater power over our reality than we give ourselves credit for. Because at any given moment, we can choose a different thought and thereby influence the choices and behaviors we make. And so I think that’s a superpower we don’t give ourselves enough credit for.
Jan Muhlfeit 34:26
Yeah, I agree. And Lisa mentioned one important things emotions. I think stuff like Instagram, you know, Facebook, it’s failing. Because people are putting them some pictures. They look much better than the reality right? looking into the mirror, oh shit, I don’t look that good. So they’re off. And they are fishing of all other people because they think it’s damn really they look so good, right? This is why we do it because I think it’s it’s kind of the Fear of other people’s opinion and we are fearful that other people would say, Hey, she, she or he does not look good. And we do like that. And our predecessors they, I think it is about your soul and about your heart rather than about your look, you know, right. I mean, once look, I’m you know, 60, I probably looked a little bit, you know, younger. Anyway, you know what, I don’t care, to be honest, I don’t care. Because it’s not about your lube. It is really about how you feel about those emotions. And unfortunately, we are spending so much energy with negative emotions, like enemy, we end with that people look better, or they are like you, you work very hard. And then they don’t your best friend is like, I’m on Seychelles, you know, put some pictures. And maybe they were they like half year ago, right? They are not there anymore, but you are still not good. And I think if you really, as Simon rightly said, if you are on your own, and you try to be on your way and be better version of yourself, stoics in old Greece, they said, You cannot change other people the situation, the only thing you can change or influence, it’s you basically. And if you felt like deep inside of you, then you can manage quite well. Also your energy. So there’s your emotional, mental energy, and so on.
Lisa Christen 36:26
Yeah. And can I just add here, I actually love the emotions of envy and jealousy. Because most people think, Oh, I’m not good enough or that and they interpret it in a certain way. But Simon, like you said, we have the ability to decide how to interpret it. Whenever I notice I’m feeling a jealousy and envy. I’m like, oh, that means I want something. This is giving you self awareness. Right? Oh, this person went on vacation,
Jan Muhlfeit 36:55
which is not good news for your husband, right.
Lisa Christen 37:08
But when I noticed, like, oh, you know, they have they’re doing something I want to do. They got some promotion, I look, then I say great. And I take it to me that that means there’s something there that I want, what can I do for myself to get myself there? So I can use it to interpret a high have more self awareness of what I want? And now how do I go out and get that for myself? So I turned it into a motivator and an insight creator? Right? And then it’s a great thing to know what’s going on? It’s a drive. Yeah, definitely.
Jan Muhlfeit 37:42
That’s a good view. Yeah.
Simon ALexander Ong 37:43
You know, just briefly on this, this topic on social media, I think for me, it comes down to our intention with it. Because I think at the end of the day, social media, just like money is just a resource, it’s a tool. And, you know, just to show you what I mean by how we intend to use it, if you give, if you give a knife to a doctor or a surgeon, it will save a life. But if you give a knife to a murderer, it will take away your life. In the same way. When we use social media, there’s two ways that we can use it. Either we use it to consume or to compare, which is unhealthy. It’s an unhealthy habit to simply just consume and compare yourself to everything that’s popping up on your newsfeed. Or you can use social media as a platform to create add value, just exactly, to learn from other people to use it as an educational tool, and a way to share your value with the world. And when you approach in that way, it becomes an amplifier of your message. And so I think with these things, we have to go back to awareness. Again, we’ve got to be aware, how are we using social media? Is it having a negative impact on me? Or is it having a positive impact? And if it’s negative, how can I change my relationship with it? So I’m using it as a platform to spread positivity and to learn from it rather than drain my energy and exhaust myself from all the mental comparison. And and just sort of trying to keep up as you said, Yeah, I’m trying to keep up with what everybody thinks I should be doing.
Jan Muhlfeit 39:16
Lisa Christen 39:18
So this is a key part of your book as well. And I want to pause here and just say if anybody has any questions, put them into the chat box because you know. But a key part of what you say about how to you know, manage your energy and gain energy is to consciously design your life, instead of letting things happen to you and be like passive within it. You be the active creator. So you said I’m conscious. I’m intentional about how I use social media. What are some small ways that we can consciously begin to design our lives to get more energy? One thing you already said? Figure out your schedule based on your energy cycles, right? Don’t just let go meetings happen are don’t just throw meetings on your calendar actually decide, where’s my energy and my highest at night or in the morning, and I can sort of create the schedule? That’s right for me, what other places can we be designing for energy?
Simon ALexander Ong 40:14
Sure. So I wish, two easy tips here. The first is, and it’s one that you probably already heard about, but I’m gonna like, focus in at it in a different angle. So it’s about gratitude, except I’m going to add in the next few words with it, which is gratitude with intention. So we’ve got to the point in which at the end of every day, we just go, what are the three things we’re grateful we write it down, that’s it. And it’s become, I think, very superficial to the point, we don’t really feel the emotional sense of gratitude, we just tick the box, we wrote three things down, we move on. So what I mean, to express gratitude with intention, it is to deliberately take time to connect to the feeling of gratitude. And so understanding the role it plays in our life and on our mood. So for example, there’s an exercise I share in the book, which is one of most powerful exercise you can do to transform your energy immediately. And that is, first of all, think about one person that you can be truly grateful for. Next is to write down why you chose that person. What was it that they have done for you? How have they shaped into who you are? What would life be if they simply didn’t exist in your life. And then the third part is the part that is with intention. The third part is when you pick up the phone, you call that person, and you tell them exactly what you wrote down. This is gratitude with intention, you are sharing with them, why you are grateful. And here’s the beauty of this, not only does the recipient benefit from you sharing that peace, of gratitude, use a benefit. Because what happens in that moment is you connect to the fact that we are all one, that we are all connected on this planet. And as Pam Brown wrote, in her book, Thinking Grow Rich, which is actually a play on the original book Thinking Grow Rich, she wrote in that book, gratitude is the gateway drug to abundance. Because once you experience gratitude and express it with intent, what happens is a you begin to open your mind to opportunities that you were previously blind to your gratitude turns a meal into a feast, a home into a palace and a stranger into a friend, as many of us discovered when the world went into lockdown.
Jan Muhlfeit 42:29
I agree because normally, if your brain is not trained, your amygdala, which is the emotional part of the brain is five to 10 times faster than your logical part of the brain. If then things are going very well that particular day, and one thing you didn’t do well, your amygdala goes and going around that bad thing, you know, once you will start to do and gratitude with intention, I think it’s fantastic. You will change it, you will like cool down your amygdala, you will see, hey, my life is good. In fact, you know, you will change, everything is about paradigm shift, one, you will check your way you see yourself, your life will totally you know, change. Right? That definitely, that’s exactly you know, true. There is a there is a one thing, which is chapter one or part one, focus on what matters the most. Okay, when I coach, for example, you know, top tennis players, I’m telling them, you know, you always need to ask question after each and every ball winning question, which, which is more or less, what is important now, because, you know, even if you are losing the previous ball, your Amiga tries to oh, I should not lose it. Now. The other player is going, Oh, well, whatever, you need to get back to the present moment to ask this logical question, What is important now? Because if you are like winning, and it’s like 40, zero, and there is a one, you know, ball from the other person, yeah, it’s like 4015 sales. So what is important now to play, you know, well, to concentrate, right? So I would like to ask you more about this part on what do you would recommend if there are some, you know, exercises like what people can do, what they can help them? What are really most important things in their life?
Well, for me that that is a great exercise I did in the other part of my journey to help me understand what was most important. And the thing is, I still do this exercise again and again, because as you said, Yeah, and what’s important then is different to what is important now things change, life changes. And one of the things I did is I got a blank piece of paper, and I got a stopwatch out and I put the stopwatch on 60 seconds. And what I did is I wrote down everything that I wanted to do in my life. I see everything like 160 seconds and here’s and here’s why.
Jan Muhlfeit 44:57
The reason why I know why, but tell them
Simon ALexander Ong 44:59
why. No. And the reason you time yourself is to prevent overthinking. Because if you had no time limit, you would be judging your force. Actually, can I do that? Can I not do that? Is this possible and you don’t write anything down or you write something down, that is heavily edited. So when you, when you limit yourself to 60 seconds, what happens is you get the raw data, you get the raw data, the first thing that comes to your mind, it goes on to paper. Because often there is a reason why something has come up into your mind straight away. That is your soul or your heart speaking to you, there’s a reason why you’ve had that vision or that idea comes to your mind. And so what you’re doing in this 60 seconds is you’re downloading all of the data from your mind of what makes you feel happy, what makes you feel alive. And then the next step that I did, when I did this exercise, is looking at all of the things that I wrote down, I fast forwarded myself to the 85 year old version of me, at the end of my life, looking at this list, as if I had done none of them. I had not even followed through or started with anything on that list. And I started the circle the things that I would regret the most. What would I regret having not even started on that list? This begins to open up what is most important? Exactly. You shift your perspective, it’s not what do I think is important is what I’m going to transport myself in a moment to the 85 year old person at the end of my life? And if I did nothing, would I be happy? And if not, that tells you a lot. You if you feel a bit of guilt that you didn’t get the opportunity to start this particular project, or this particular task that you wanted to have done in your life, then that tells you something that is your heart trying to give you a signal.
Lisa Christen 46:52
Yeah, Simon, if I can add here, so part of my thing and the people that I work with, I work with corporate CEOs and stuff. But what I really love is these entrepreneurs who think really big, and I’m sort of here to blow everyone’s minds and expand even further, right? So in examples like that, when people list what’s possible, and then you say, okay, here are my goals, here’s what I want to create. That’s perfect. But what we forget is we’re still within a limited frame of mind of what we believe was possible. Maybe it just never occurred to us, or maybe we’ve self edited. And then I say people, okay, take that 10 times bigger, and that even beyond, right, and what’s that even more, because what we think we want is still very limiting. Right. And I recently gave a commencement speech for an MBA program, one of the top MBA programs in Europe at the University of St. Gallen. And I was writing it and it was all about breaking your boundaries and busting free and I’m practicing it with my with my husband at home. And he’s like, oh, man, you know, this is great. You’re Harvard’s next. And I’m like, Harvard second to invite me and he’s like, did you just write a speech about not limiting yourself? Or did you just limit yourself? And I’m like, Oh, shit, everybody does this, right? So even I think having the list getting focus, and then having someone who’s gonna be like, Wait, why couldn’t you do even more? Why couldn’t you do even more? And why can you even more just expands what’s even possible, so that not only would we feel satisfied at 85, I want to be blown away when I’m 85. I want to be like, holy, how did I get? How did I do? All? Right. That’s sort of my goal. I know, I’m a little crazy. I’m a little out there. I want people I don’t want people to be like, that was nice. That was good. I want them to be like,
Jan Muhlfeit 48:45
I did it. No, I, I agree. I gave you my, my kind of the motto is aim for the moon. Even if you miss the moon, you are still among the stars, you know, right. So why if I, if I work, for example, with athletes, and they want to be among top 10 at the Olympic Games, that’s not good material. For me. I work only with the people who wants to be at the podium, not everybody will be there. But you need to have this mindset. There’s no way you know, you, you need to have this kind of mindset otherwise non compete, you know, right. This is it. But what do you said about this, like 60 seconds. This is interesting, because I mentioned Clifton Strengths Finder. And in fact, I worked for like 22 years with with Gallup and, and Jim Clifton, who is now his father created Strengths Finder, by the way. 2004 But I work very closely with with you know, Jim, I even spoke at a you know, summit last year, and Jim told me I said, Jim, what is the reason why you have only 20 seconds for each and every question in the test? And he said, basically, you need to be very authentic that it’s the answer because the test is testing your preferences, your life preference, like in your life, exactly, as you said, so it is it needs to go from your hand immediately there. So I really I really like it. It’s it’s kind of you know, and the five years, you know, Oh,
Simon ALexander Ong 50:15
definitely, definitely. And listen. Yeah. And if I may, I’d sort of two thoughts on one what you were saying just now least about, you know, what you like about entrepreneurial thinking and entrepreneurs. And also about this aiming high. You know, as you were both speaking, you reminded me of one of the quotes from Sir Ken Robinson, you’re one of the famous TED speakers and he said, he’s amazing. And so the late Sir Ken Robinson, one of the things he said is that the problem isn’t that we aim too high, and we fail. It is that we aim too low and we succeed. Exactly. And it does make you think it makes you think, and just on the second point, which is about entrepreneurial skills, a lot of people ask me, how do I, how do I activate more of my creative energy, because when you want to be innovative, when you want to be entrepreneurial, a lot of that involves thinking creatively. And one of the things I often tell them is that don’t look at your competition. If you only look at your competition, you can only be as good as your competition is to actually look beyond your field and into other fields in which people are accomplishing some incredible things. And then asking yourself what of what he or she is doing, that I can bring into what I do to be different, to be innovative, to be creative. And you know, just to give you a sort of live example, yesterday, I was shooting a video at the Connaught Hotel in London, at the world’s best bar, which is which is inside this particular hotel. And it was a free two hour three to four hour video shoots. And the head mixologist at this particular bar, designed the cocktail based on my book. For me, that was a bit of creative energy and action because I’m looking at the people I know. And I’m thinking well, how can I draw on the success they’ve had? How can I draw on the way they think, and blend it with how I think, and blend that with what I’m doing. So that’s one example. Another one is that I’ve got a friend who is a film director, and I love films. And so we were talking about how do I market a book to create something that is more experiential. And so we talked about the idea of a trailer. Now when you go to a cinema and before the film comes on, you have a series of trailers. And a trailer is only about one minute, two minutes long. But if the trailer has done its job, you are going to say to yourself, I want to come back to the cinema and watch that film when it’s out. And so a toggle I wanted to do by learning from him is to design a book trailer a trailer for the book that instead of coming soon to a cinema near you, and it’s coming soon to a bookstore near you. So to create that emotion and again thinking a little creatively Yeah,
Jan Muhlfeit 53:03
I think that that’s a that’s a that’s a great idea. In fact I work because I you know put together like based on my book The positive leader course positive reader and the guy who is putting the staff together is the guy who is you know, working for a little bit Robin Sharma is working and you know Misaki Selita is his name, who is putting on staff to get an ace fantastic professional, he knows exactly what to do. So he did the trailer for the course absolutely amazing. It is I think it is a good to partner with some smart in OB pro because you always think like especially if you are Microsoft presume I think hey, I eat all I ate all smarters of the work like that. Want to say you may you know react. Lukash is not having look at Coachella is not having question, but I want to share something I love Dr. Joe Dispenza work, his. His meditation techniques are one of the best things that happened to my life. I think Joe Dispenza is I mean, I know him I did some trainings. It’s really good. It’s a good stuff, you know? Yeah, I
Simon ALexander Ong 54:15
think his work is fantastic. In fact, in the introduction of my book, I draw on one of Dr. Joe Dispenza his quote, which talks about the fact that energy is really much about where the game is, you know, when we start to transform our energetic field, which is the charges that surround us. That is when we begin to shift shape and transform reality into one that is more aligned to who we are.
Jan Muhlfeit 54:43
And I’ll finish for tonight it’s like shoot for you and even if you miss and Simon stunning evening, thank you hello
Simon ALexander Ong 54:55
new quote. Yeah, and shoot.
Jan Muhlfeit 54:58
I think Lisa and same on down on the same level as me, I just have a couple of more wrinkles here, you know. The only difference is me maybe even.
Lisa Christen 55:13
I’d like to saying, Yeah, you ate all the intelligence. This is not a saying I’ve ever heard of before, but I love it. So I want to make sure we have only five minutes. With our time left. It’s so short, if anybody has any other questions for Simon. And Simon, I have a question for you. We talked a little bit about what really started you wanting to write this book, you found your purpose you wanted to share with the world, you have your own experience and your own sort of coming to light moment. What’s the one big takeaway for anybody who’s listening here today? What’s the one big thing if you could say, just one key advice or message or thing they should work on? Or no? What is that?
Simon ALexander Ong 55:56
I would say a key message. And I would wrap this message up in a question for you to reflect on. And I was reminded of this message when I became a parent for the first time. And that happened in April 2020. And now just to paint the scene in April 2020, the world when much of the world went to lockdown. And so I became apparent for the first time, a few days after we could not go outside here in the UK. And so while I could be at the birth of my child, because of guidelines at the time, as a partner, I was only allowed in the recovery ward for one hour after our child was born. And then the staff had to assure all of the partners outside of the hospital so they can manage foot traffic around around the ward. Now, the very moment that I held our daughter in my arms for the very first time, as you can imagine, firstly, I was flushed with emotion, I was flushed with love for my entire body. But secondly, I was reminded of something that we so easily forget in the busyness of our everyday life. And that is the fact that you and I are a miracle. The fact that we have got this opportunity to experience the gift of life in all of its flavors, colors and spectrum of emotions is an absolute blessing. In fact, we have won the greatest lottery ticket there is going the lottery of life. And so the question that I want to leave the listeners with is what are you going to do with that winning ticket of yours?
Lisa Christen 57:28
Amazing. And Simon if we want to get your book, it’s always good for us to preorder your book, right, I’ve already got mine on pre order. But it’s, it’s
Jan Muhlfeit 57:38
I needed because I have a dog here. They came in even looking for the doc you know, right? So that’s why I disappeared?
Lisa Christen 57:50
Well, Simon had this great question you the miracle of you exists now. What are you going to do with that miracle? How are you going to make it so impactful in the rest of the world and shine your bright light? And when you’re 85? How are you going to look back and go holy, that was an amazing life that I led for me, not to the expectations of other
Jan Muhlfeit 58:12
guys for me, I will study for many, many years, what is happiness? And you know, I saw it first it’s you know, money results wherever that was gone. It’s like 30 years ago, right? And I thought while happiness it’s like when I will live a life very much the process the way what I do. And it’s the halfway through, I think really happy people are those who can make other people happy through some activity, they laugh, they have Yeah, they are they are living a meaning and then meaning is helping other people and making them happy. You know, and this is in order. And in a nutshell, like three of us because we are like, you know, authors and you know coaches and, and mentors and so on. We really try to help other people to understand who they are so they can figure out who they can be. You know what I mean? Right? As Simon said, You need to understand you need to have a high self awareness to figure out where you can go otherwise it’s like Alice in Wonderland like if you don’t know where you are, you cannot figure out where you go. You know what I this is it so that’s how I would you know shape it up.
Lisa Christen 59:22
That’s it. So everybody go out buy Simon’s book preorder it. It’s called it’s get energized book.com
Simon Alexander 59:31
right to get energized.
Jan Muhlfeit 59:34
Doing we will put it in the link. If you send me a link. I will put it in the link in the YouTube and also on LinkedIn. A couple of more questions for Simon is it available on Kindle?
Simon ALexander Ong 59:46
Correct it is available on the Kindle paperback and audiobook
Jan Muhlfeit 59:51
or whatever, you know,
Simon ALexander Ong 59:55
if you if you download audible you will get to hear me speaking directly into your ears.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:05
Tomorrow, no. Yes. So
Simon ALexander Ong 1:00:08
if you preorder it now, and it is officially published on the 21st of April, so exactly a week today.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:15
Same on now. I listen, I still have like 10 hours to go. I listen, Michael Jordan. And that’s the same level like Simon Alexandre on Kuna, right. So I will, I will continue with you. That’s the same level. Okay, ladies, thank you very much for being with us. Thanks to Lisa. And Simon, I think was a great discussion. You know, it’s, we have a second book already right here, you know, amazing. So we need to continue thanks very much. For sure. You will be more than welcome. You know, after some time, we will reflect how is it you know, going on and, and have a great Eastern, you know, Eastern break and yeah, looking forward to be back again in two weeks.
Lisa Christen 1:00:59
Yes. So Jan and I will be back together in two weeks. I’m in next weekend. I’ll be reading you know, everybody will be reading your book. Once it’s watch. I got the pre read copy. So I’ve already read it. I can tell everyone it’s great.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:01:17
On my Kindle, the
Lisa Christen 1:01:19
you spend your Easter, Jan. Thanks everyone for joining.
Have a great one. Take care.