Pivot your life, then hit the afterburners

Dennis Allen experienced the change no one wants to make. In one moment, his dream job was stripped away because of a health crisis. No longer would he be able to fly jets for the United States Air Force. This was more than a simple change of career; this was the shattering of his life’s dreams.

Dennis could have spiraled out of control after this devastating loss. Many people would have gone off the rails when everything they wanted was stripped away instantly. Even worse, Dennis did nothing wrong to lose his career. It was because of a medical issue that was far beyond his control.

What impressed me in my recent Unbeatable podcast interview with Dennis Allen is his ability to bounce back after this career-ending illness. Dennis decided to pivot his life and find fulfillment in a new direction. Nothing stops a simple illness or an unforeseen problem from ending your career tomorrow. Therefore, I’m convinced we can all learn something from Dennis’s ability to pivot his future and build a different life for himself.

Redefine success

Hold on to your dreams with a loose grip if you want to be unbeatable through the unforeseen circumstances in life. We all pursue a future that we hope will bring us success and happiness. However, some people don’t learn until too late in life that the future they are pursuing often doesn’t get the happiness or success they hoped for.

In some strange way, Dennis received a gift when he was forced to redefine his vision for success. In the middle of his career, he was forced to decide if his career really lined up with his passions. This wake-up call helped Dennis pivot in a new direction and craft a new definition of success.

You don’t have to go through a personal tragedy to learn the same lesson that Dennis learned. Perhaps now is the perfect time to examine your career aspirations and life’s goals. Do these two things perfectly line up? If not, do you need to make some changes in your life? Do you need to tweak your definition of success?

Review past accomplishments

It would be an absolute waste of time and energy for Dennis to throw away all of his experiences and accomplishments while serving as a US Air Force jet pilot. Some of the skills he learned in the military helped him transition well to leading teams and ultimately leading corporations in the second half of his life.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You’ve earned some things in the first phase of your life that can help you transition to the next phase well. It takes great courage to make a personal pivot in life. However, reviewing some of your past experiences can help propel you towards a new future. Don’t forsake your past while forging a new future.

Reboot your new future

To have a new passion and vision for the future, you have to be willing to turn around and walk away from the past . And this takes courage. Many people struggle to move on after their dreams are shattered. Much of the challenge of moving in a different direction comes from looking back at all the wasted effort and energy pursuing your fulfilled dreams.

Dennis could spend the rest of his life telling everybody about the great jet pilot he was in the past; instead, he focused on a new future for his life. Don’t fall into the trap of lamenting all the loss from a career that crumbled around you. Don’t get stuck grieving over life dreams that didn’t come to pass. At some point, you have to put those things behind you and start to forge a new future.

Refuse to look back

This is what really sets Dennis apart from others who made simple improvements in life. Dennis has never forgotten the lessons he had learned in the past. However, he chose not to dwell on the pain of losing his life’s dreams.

Dennis’s success really hit the afterburners when he forged a new passion for his future. -a future that would ensure his life’s desires and his career work lined up perfectly. Today,  Dennis is a leading leader who influences many people’s lives. He even influenced me in our recent conversation.

To make a successful pivot in life, you must cherish your past experiences despite the pain of shattered dreams. Once you can hang on to those lessons learned without allowing them to hold you back, now you’re ready to soar toward a new future.

Listen to the entire interview with Dennis HERE

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