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Published on December 22nd, 2013 | by Aeris



Simon Alexander Ong shares with AERIS the rollercoaster path which led him to becoming a life designer and success strategist, what compels him to help others achieve their goals and practical tips for achieving your dreams even when it involves jumping into the unknown.

Tell us about yourself.

Well, in terms of my career, it has been one rollercoaster of a ride! I went from having to resit my second year of university to experiencing first-hand Lehman Brother’s road to bankruptcy, and working on the trading desk of a billion-dollar hedge fund at the height of the financial crisis. Along the way, I have also been exploring the field of human potential, consuming information from books, speakers and personal experiences.

I started working with students back in the winter of 2005 to help them land the jobs they wanted, working as a trainer for a careers coaching company. Initially doing this for a bit of pocket money (I was a student in London at the time after all!), I was finding the process of helping people achieve the success they were after an immensely rewarding experience.

A few years later, I began working with people, not just in their careers, but other areas of their lives. We all have aspirations, dreams and passions that are unique to us as individuals, and the ability to inspire people towards living their best life is something that truly excites me.

What do you do as a life designer and success strategist?

It is often said that life must be accepted or changed. If you do not like your current situation, you must change it; if you are not willing to change it, then it must be accepted. You are exactly where you are as a result of the decisions you have taken and the thoughts that currently inhabit your mind.

I work with those who want to change where they are, because deep within them, they believe they are capable of infinitely more. What I do with my clients and those who I deliver workshops to, is to help them in taking the necessary action to get there by connecting them to that vision of exactly where they want to be. Having the right mindset is also crucial and by raising their awareness of this and the power of thought, they are able to see the world through new eyes.

I am a results-driven coach and there is nothing more I love than to see people living the life they want and turning their dreams into reality. As Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Career changes are becoming more and more common in modern day society.

What advice do you have for those who have identified their dream career but are unsure of how to get there?

The first thing that needs to be in place is belief. As a key driver of what actions we decide to take and our response to events in our external environment, beliefs are incredibly powerful. If you believe that something is possible, you will do everything in our power to get it and this inevitably leads to massive action being taken. On the other hand, if you do not, then your efforts are likely to be minimal at best and so you should not be surprised if results fail to materialise.

Once you believe what you want is possible, your mind will turn its attention to how it can get there and the resources required. Things then need to be broken down into small chunks with regular, purposeful action taken in order to build momentum. Start small: speak to people working in your desired field, tell your friends about your ambitions (they may know someone who can help!) and begin surrounding yourself with highly positive people, as well as those who have achieved what you are looking to do.

So what are you waiting for? Make today the day you begin an exciting new journey!

Have you found that the younger generation are more receptive to your work and ideas?

I would say that people in general have become more receptive to the field of coaching over the years. While the US is a far more mature market with people having a greater understanding about the benefits of working with an effective coach, it is at an earlier stage here in the UK, Europe and Asia.

Previous beneficiaries of the work I do would have primarily been CEOs, entrepreneurs and celebrities, but the growth in the number of individuals who want to put people back in control of their lives and catapult them from average to amazing has allowed a greater audience to experience the impact this can have.

What I’ve also noticed in recent years is an increasing trend for people to pursue more of their passions regardless of what is going on around them (e.g. state of the economy). Whether that’s on the side of their ‘day job’, a big career change or the decision to take a leap into the world of entrepreneurism, people have become more determined than ever to  live this one life we all have to the full. Not all of us fully appreciate how short and fragile life can be, but once we do, we begin to do things differently and slowly but surely, each day of the week becomes full of excitement and adventure as we take a jump into the unknown.

You say ‘opportunity has a mysterious way of presenting itself to us’ – what do you mean by this?

I guess what I mean by this is that when you are truly doing what you love, associating yourself with the right people and are committed to developing yourself to be the best you can be, you tend to become a magnet for opportunities. I have always found that genuine enthusiasm and positive energy is infectious. There is nothing better than seeing someone in their element, who is in their flow and enjoying the present moment for all its wonder.

You could say that I was fortunate to have been able to choose from a selection of job offers despite having to repeat my second year. Or that I was at the right place at the right time to have been involved in some exciting projects. I am very grateful for all that has happened and the people who have helped me along the way, but none of this would have been possible if I had sat at home in front of the TV all day, away from the world.

You need to get up off the sofa, put yourself in front of the world and take action in chasing the dreams that matter most to you. The best way to leave this planet, is with a collection of some incredible memories that you made happen and not dreams that you regret not having made a reality because you were too lazy to work hard for it. The question to ask yourself, is how will you leave your mark on the world?

What one tip would you give our readers so they can enjoy a successful 2014?

A key tip, as Stephen Covey would say, is to begin with the end in mind. Know how you want to end 2014. Notice what things would look like if you were to achieve everything you wanted to. How would that feel for you? What would people be saying to you when you have accomplished so much in just 12 months? And how would this impact other areas of your life?

More important is that these goals need to be important to you and as specific as possible. When you are able to associate yourself emotionally to the destination you want to get to, you have a bigger ‘why’ as to its importance. When you have a powerful vision that means something to you, it will act as a magnet that will pull you towards it.

Think of when you are booking a holiday. Once you know where you are heading to, the excitement kicks in and you begin to plan all the things you want to do. In a similar fashion, you need to write your 2014 vision down somewhere where you can see it everyday and begin embracing the habits that will help you get there. Because our habits – in time – will define who we become.

As a Life Designer and Success Strategist, Simon Alexander Ong helps people create a life and career they love through unlocking their unique talents and inner awesomeness. You can find out more at and follow him on Twitter (@SimonAlexanderO) and Facebook He will also be featured in the forthcoming book by Steve Forbes, titled SuccessOnomics, due for release in Spring 2014.

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