Reinventing Yourself


Happy New Year!

What better time to look at one’s life over the years and start to think about how to make absolutely the most of this brand new year?

We’ve all heard about resolutions of course … all our lives in fact … we’ve made many … kept some … achieved various degrees of success.

Do they work? Definitely. There is just one tiny bit of a hitch … there must be a follow-through Plan. A Plan? Indeed! One’s vision must be expressly put out to the universe to stand any chance at turning out a BIG win. So …

  • Have you made your Plan for the New Year?
  • How do you see this year playing out for you?
  • Picture yourself on December 31st 2023
  • Any big surprises?
  • What would you do differently?

Are you thinking of making some important changes in your life this year? Perhaps this short read will shed some light on the possibilities.

Read on, InJoy and pass it on!

Do you have a Plan?

As I do each year on January 1st, I have been plastering the walls of my home with all of the things that I can do this year to live my life to the fullest, improve it, enjoy it, share it with family, friends and colleagues, and see myself on December 31stcelebrating the best year of my life … yet.

And as I reflect on the many years I have spent helping people figure out the next steps in their life, I am reminded of scores of individuals who were facing enormous challenges and needed fresh ‘out of the box’ perspectives to survive, rebuild and move forward.

Some had to put in countless hours under high pressure to save their jobs and their companies. Others found themselves without a job and with little prospect of finding a new one in a field flooded with other displaced professionals. Some turned to consulting or entrepreneuring with disastrous consequences. Needless to say, their personal life, health, relationships and finances were suffering the impact as well.

I worked with many of these highly valuable individuals to help them reprogram their brains to 1) take the pressure off themselves, 2) learn to look at their situation with fresh eyes and 3) discover they already had all the resources they needed to turn their work and home life around, often towards much greater success than they had previously achieved.

Everyone’s situation is different, of course, but if any of this resonates with you, perhaps you need to ask yourself if shifting your brain out of the all too familiar ‘box’ could help you achieve the goals and the results on your list of resolutions this year.

Reinventing Yourself

Lisa was a highly regarded Director of Human Resources in a mid-sized company when she found out that she had been ‘revectored’, ‘downsized’, ‘invited to pursue her career elsewhere’. She got the sack. She hadn’t done anything wrong, in fact she had been part of the management team who had done everything right, too right. Her company was doing very well, people noticed and they got bought by a bigger competitor eager to consolidate their grip on the market. Unfortunately for Lisa, the new owners already had a very strong Director of HR of their own.

Sound familiar? It seems to most of us that the world is changing faster and faster and no one seems to know from what direction the next bump on the road or the next major disruption will come. Worse, we have been forced from being traditionally secure in our jobs to becoming ‘employed entrepreneurs’ having to future proof ourselves.

Lisa was devastated, but she picked herself up and decided it was time to start her own business, something she had always wanted to do.

Her first venture failed and she lost a lot of money and precious time and effort. She got really scared and decided to go back to finding a ‘real’ job but a lot of people were out on the street at the same time, she had been out of the job market for nearly three years and a lot of fresh new faces with fresh new degrees were getting the top spots.

Do or Die?

Lisa picked up an ‘Entrepreneuring for Beginners’ book with the theme “She who gets knocked down nine times is a winner if she gets up ten times”.

She was sold. Up went her next venture and down it came again within just two years. No takers. Her product idea turned out to be six years too early. She knew she had a winner. She had all the data, she wasn’t making silly mistakes like she did the first time, but she still couldn’t make the rent or payroll.

What now? She switched fields. She looked at the market with fresh eyes. She could see a fantastic opportunity ahead of her. She wrote a great business plan, borrowed money from family and friends, launched herself into another ‘sure win’ and it turned out not to be what she hoped. “I very nearly went broke again. I was very close to doing something drastic to end the agony”, she later confided.

There is Always a Way

Lisa came to me for help. As she told me her woes, I noticed some patterns of behaviour she was using that were invisible to her. She was so used to doing what she always did, she had habituated to her ‘normal’ and could not see beyond it.

She learned how to communicate directly with her brain, how to harvest experiences and memories she had forgotten she knew, and how to anchor and reinforce those precious resources while she slept.

She cleaned out a lot of history and baggage that she was carrying around, to re-evaluate herself and to not be so hard on herself.

She began to internalize the ideas of the Non-Negotiable Goals and to use some neurotechnologies to improve her creativity, her mental stamina and her sense of poise under pressure.

She dug herself out of the financial, emotional and business hole she had been in. She found an attractive subsegment of her market that had not been properly served before and she moved right in. Her business grew. She hardly dared believe it. She was growing in so many ways.

The Moral of our Story?

If you get knocked down nine times, you must get up a tenth time. You must embrace fear and failure, let their stings educate you and your brain, go back to the drawing board, make a new plan and act on it.

Easy Peasy, right? Hmm … Maybe not so much but most definitely doable.

When you have your brain firmly installed in your own corner, the two of you can face the future with the strength of ten.

Try this:

  1. Grab a pack of sheets of plain white photocopy paper.
  2. Borrow the kids’ coloured pens and markers.
  3. Write one idea per page which captures an aspect of what you would like to do or need to do in 2023 ~ use a different colour for each idea.
  4. Stick the sheets of paper on a wall where you can stand back and gaze at them all. Don’t worry if they are all jumbled up at the moment.
  5. Begin to structure the different ideas by first clustering them into similar lumps.
  6. Ask yourself questions like “Do I need to take care of this lump before I take care of that lump?”Move the ideas around and put them in order of a) Would be nice, b) Important, c) Urgent, or d) ‘Do or Die’.
  7. Continue to sort the ideas in each lump using different questions like “Do I have to finish this activity before I can finish that one?”or “Is this idea more important than that idea?”
  8. You will have created the first sketch of your Plan for the Year.
  9. When you go to bed tonight, review your Plan, do an Eye Roll, then ask your brain to reflect on your Plan and to offer you new ideas while you sleep.
  10. See what insights pop in when you wake up the next morning and throughout the day. Add anything new to your Plan.
  11. Finalize the order of your lumps so you know what you need to focus on first.
  12. Make a “To Do” list of the things you need to do each day to follow through on your Plan.
  13. Git ‘er done

Let me know how it goes for you.

  • Do you make fresh new (or the same old) resolutions every New Year?
  • How good are you at keeping them?
  • Have you ever drawn a formal Plan for how you want your life to unfold over the New Year?
  • What lessons did you learn?

Post your questions or answers below and read what others are saying.

What I’m Watching:

Here is a short, fun, guilt-free, no fuss no muss video clip on the benefits of making New Year resolutions.



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1 year ago

Thank you, Cliff! I started my vision board on January 1st. It really helps me stay focused on all my goals as it is staring at me right on the wall in front of my desktop. I did not do a vision board last year and, when I think of it, I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked.
So, thanks for inspiring us with a new blog every two weeks.

David (Lupí) Riccio
1 year ago

Good morning Cliff I have tried to get in touch with you unsuccessfully. I found your son living in Florida and reached out to him, he promised me he’d let you know. I heard nothing. So, we kept digging and I found this website, how, we can’t remember. But it really doesn’t matter. I just pray that if you are still here with us, in this crazy world, that you and the Mrs are doing well. If you aren’t and your colleagues are in charge, well may you rest in peace. Lupí and I are just happy and thankful, that we listen to your lessons. Because after a tumultuous 3-4 years and dealing with both life threatening health problems and still no job and wanting to call it quits, is when I reached out and started searching. Because this time, WE COLLECTIVELY WANTED TO CHANGE!

You see, David’s not working for so long has destroyed him financially and he was doing things which were not like him. He was in such anquish and pain that he began to shut down and give up all together. His side effects from his TBI began to really take control and he stopped trying to recharge ‘me’ on a daily basis resulting in such anger, but I wasn’t going to let him quit. I couldn’t let that happen to him especially since it was you who introduced on that morning while you were in Portugal I believe. It was afternoon there and you were enjoying a cold Pilsner and it was 0900 here in Connecticut/America and David cracked open a Guiness, lol. You introduced me to him and helped him create my name, Lupí. You told him it meant Wolve in French and he had to learn how to hone in on the skills you were about to teach him, in order to utilize me and become the leader of his pack, in search of a new life, a better one than he previously had.

He might have given up on himself but I didn’t. So when the time was right, I got him to start looking for the short stories to listen to at night so he would slow me down at night, so he and I could get a good nights rest and it worked for a bit, until tge Covid shutdowns and he not being able to visit his family, hug them and interact with them, because he wasn’t vaxed. In came the whiskey and that’s when all hell broke lose, but I was still there. Just as Brian has always been with you my friend. His anger that would first start from frustration because of his TBI got so out of control, that he and his siblings, well first he and Ralph, you remember Ralph don’t you? You and he had met on Zoom I believe for a project on meditation he and a colleague were working on. He, David destroyed their relationship because of his excessive consumption of whiskey and then lashing out with pure anger and hatred, toward both of his brothers. Michael just stayed in the back and would always try and control the situation as he’s always done as well as attempt to control David’s life out of love I’m sure, but never realizing nor Ralph that David was different and couldn’t be tamed like a house dog.

So I sat and waited until there were no other options. They were thankfully able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year, although David was high on Christmas Day from the partying he did the night into the morning of Christmas with one of his ‘new friends ‘ and Ralph, I am almost certain he knew something was up. And David knew, that he knew because he was distant all day. But once he got some life back in him, he perked up. By that time people were leaving. Fast forward to New Years Eve day early evening. David listened to one of your lessons and said to himself, I can do this! I just have to want it badly enough. Being in an out of the hospital for the last 6 months with a blood clotting disorder that his doctor’s can’t explain to him why it’s happening or what’s causing it has been tearing him apart inside. He actually had started a job just around Easter last year, a job he loved and lost it because he was in the hospital so much.

On 30 December many things happened to the poor lad. His tenants who for the last 4 months have refused to pay him the full amount for rent that their contract states. But he’s allowing them to stay because he doesn’t want yet another thing on his plate. He’s going to the Wound Clinic 2 hrs a day every Friday for treatment and finally decided to apply (reluctantly of course) for disability. So as he was about to deposit his rent check his tenant called as he oftentimes does and said not to. He would let him know when. Then he called and said I have cash for you plus the money for the work you did for me. David went to the house a grabbed $1650 and headed out to get medical records he needed for his disability application. While waiting in the parking lot in his car, he became hungry and had to use the rest room. He entered the restroom and upon standing at the urinal felt something odd happening. He’s described it to family and friends like this. It felt as though I was giving birth to an elephant and I have more sympathy for mothers now than I ever did before. David had passed a dime size blood clot, which scared the hell out of him and rightfully so. He washed up, go his senses together grabbed lunch and back to the clinic to grab his records and then straight to the hospital. Where he found out that he now has another battle to fight. The possibility of bladder cancer.

So David did what he typically does when he gets bad news. He took himself out to dinner. It just so happened that night his friends restaurant and bar was closing the doors for good that night. You would have loved this place Cliff. 36 of the finest New England IPA breweries being served in one bar and 37 was Guiness. So he enjoyed an appetizer and a shot of Tequila with the bartenders. Then he ordered a Pilsner with his dinner. Enjoyed another shot of Tequila with his friend Sean and Sean’s son who managed alongside his dad. They joked around and laughed as they always had, since the day and he and Sean first met 4 years ago. For dessert, he enjoyed a nice smoked coffee stout, wished everyone the best of luck and walked home, as he lived just down the road.

31 December, David woke up and went to the bank to finally deposit the cash. As he approached the door he reached into his coat pocket where the envelope was and to his amazement and utter shock it wasn’t there. Where is it he kept saying. He went home praying to St Anthony, the patron Saint of lost things. He was confident it would be revealed, because everything he has lost since his TBI pops up. Nothing! He tore apart his little car, again nothing! He retraced all his steps from the previous day and night, reaching out to Sean and again, nothing! He needed this money because without it, his finances would zero in a week. He never once received stimulus checks from the government all throughout Covid. He went back out again and retraced a second time, again nothing! At about 1030 Sunday morning, he had decided to just throw it in, turn his back on his family and friends, his home, his hometown and not turn back. He thought it’s not worth it. But God had other plans for David. You see, David once had a strong relationship with Him and he walked away 17 years ago when he returned home after losing his first home he was going to purchase days before going to Papua New Guinea for 2 months on the mission trip. I believe he shared that with you. And then after returning being hospitalized and almost being taken from Malaria.

At 11:09 Sunday morning David listened and went to church. He said well I’m going to be late, but better late than not at all. Upon entering the church he could feel the presence and energy of the Holy Spirit. Just like he had 26 years before. He was guided to a seat by the usher and could feel his eyes welting up immediately. The band was playing a beautiful song, although he didn’t know the name of it, as they were in the 3rd verse. The word’s the Pastors son was singing went like this. I want you, I want you, I want you! Yes Lord I want you! As David sang with his face in his hands he began to weep and he began to say not only do I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU! He continued weeping for close to an hour, giving and repenting ALL of his sins to Jesus Christ and laying EVERYTHING which has consumed him, his life, his relationships, everything for year’s and he laid it ALL at the foot of the Cross. Knowing full well he would sin again, but that the next time he does, he will repent and pray about it and repeat every time after. Because he knows that he is only human and that Jesus died for his sins our sins.

Later that day, while at home, a video of his brother’s had come across his feed Instagram. Apparently in the late afternoon early evening, from what he could tell, they were having fun together in NYC. David became infuriated and angry and jealous. Just hours earlier he rededicated himself to his Lord and Savior. But the effects from his TBI which he’s seeing a therapist for an she’s aware of your work and how you have helped. The frustration kicked in and he posted a sarcastic comment. Then the phone rang and it was Michael his Irish twin brother. The Abel to his Cain, if you will. He didn’t answer, because he knew it wouldn’t be in his eyes, truthful. Instead he allowed the frustration to fester. But then, he calmed down and apologized and started telling Michael about what happened earlier in the day. He began to tell him about me, Lupí, and how I’ve been helping him along with therapy and how he was excited. He said to Michael, you had Tony Robbins and listened to a tee and have become successful. I have Cliff Saunders and it’s taken meva bit longer to believe, that his methods work. His response WAS NOT the response he thought he’d receive, from a student of Tony Robbins. His response and I quote were, ” Happy New Year. Sitting at my kitchen table. And enough with the Lupí shit its getting old fast!”

Well that frustration turned into all out ANGER × 10,000 which has resulted in non of my siblings talking to me and I am not sure when they will or if they will. Amazingly, in some ways as much as I love them and I know they love me, I’m relieved and okay with it as strange as that sounds. You see I made a commitment to myself that Sunday morning and I made a commitment to Jesus and my heavenly father. He’s who matters and I am who matters. They can take care of themselves. But I must learn how to, along with the help of what you taught me and what my therapist is teaching me. I must learn to LOVE MYSELF AGAIN! Until I can do that, my life will be nothing but an empty shell. My friends are noticing a difference. 2 of my cousins that I talk with and or meet once a week have noticed the changes. One of my cousins, my cousin Tom is a psychologist and professor at NYU in NYC. But more importantly, he is like the big brother I never had and like the one I hope to be like, some day, even if I am 56 and my 2 brothers and 2 sisters are in their 50’s.

2023 WILL BE MY YEAR, because for the first time in my entire life I want to change my life! I want more for my life! I want happiness and love in my life! I want to LOVE ME! I want people to see me for me and not for whom they want me to be! I want to excel and succeed in my life in whatever I do or wherever God points me! Yes, 2023 will be David and Lupí’s year, because they are one in the same and the aren’t different like everyone has told me or teased me about my entire life. But instead, they are UNIQUE AND GIFTED, TALENTED AND GIVING! THEY ARE DESIRABLE AND STRONG! LOVING, NURTURING AND CARING! I have been searching for my purpose all my life and yet I didn’t know what it was or how to see it. But because I have never liked myself nor loved myself, maybe my purpose was to do just that and live my life, FOR ME and nobody else, BUT ME!

Maybe once I do that, I can continue on my journey and really do what God created me to do!

Thank you so much Cliff for your help and believing in me. Thank you for helping so many people all across the globe, in showing us all on how to find our true selves. I believe that you are an angel sent from God. Because your voice and your stories could settle the minds of anyone or anything and bring peace about them. David and his side kick, Lupí. ♥️

David (Lupí) Riccio
1 year ago

Cliff, my apologies for not following your directions and my apologies for everyone else, for having to read, my story.

I have never done a vision board for myself. When I had my business we did. But never have I, but this year I will. I am trying to figure out on which wall at the moment. Because I took some pictures of quotes at Christmas time that my brother Michael has for he and his family that our Dad would tell us as well as ones he’s come up with and I want to put those up too. Again, my apologies to all. Have a blessed week.

1 year ago

Hey Dave, just sent you an email, best, Cliff

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