How to defeat the Pandemic and come out as an Achiever

With guides from Mike Pegg

“There is nothing, no clues. I don’t know what is going to happen; what can you actually do, what are you doing?” A friend of mine asked me in March 2020 when she was laid off from an international company where she had been serving as a senior worker for years. I asked her if she could think of something else she could actually do and maybe work with that. Her immediate answer was she did not have any skills. After a conversation, I understood, by other skills, she was thinking of a major qualification such as IT or Accounting. When I explained that it could be something she practiced as a hobby, she found my thoughts childish at first. Interestingly, she started practicing yoga in the park last summer, something she was able to offer to other women during the isolation. Until now, she never thought of herself as a mind and body health instructor. She was raised to think she needed to be in an office to be a validated working woman. This is what the pandemic has done. It has changed the whole dynamic of how we need to think and see the world.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change is inevitable. Survivors know how to evolve with the change. They dream new dreams and make with what they have and make something new and great. Adverse situations shake us up in our comfort zones, and we are compelled to think in innovative ways. As a result, we reinvent ourselves and rebuild lives.

Coronavirus has left us with two choices: give up or reinvent ourselves. Now you know you must choose the latter. Do you love yourself?  Do you believe you deserve to be happy on this earth? Do you want to give your best to your loved ones? Then you have to find new ways and believe there is a life after the pandemic.

“It is easy to say,” you think, “But how do I move forward from here?”

Your doubts are true. With what we have lost in this pandemic, it is hard to fathom how to move forward from here. But also know that your belief system is more powerful than you think it is. If you know how to convince your mind to achieve something, you will find ways to achieve it, no matter how difficult it may seem. But to achieve such a result, you need to be in a specific mindset. You need to understand that there is no magic, and yet the magic is in what you do and how you do it. There are two elements of Doing; they are Physical and Mental. If you build your Mental state to an Achiever’s mind-set, the Physical work will take place in due course. Hence, it is most important that we start thinking about getting into the right way of thinking, into an Achiever’s mind-set during the pandemic so at the end of 2021, we can come out with something solid, something we can look forward to.

We shall look into Mike Pegg’s tools, the British confidence-building guru who has been improving mindsets for fifty years, and we shall think about how we can self-reflect and explore what else we can do and how we can prepare ourselves to achieve things.

Mike Pegg has been improving lives by building inner strengths and working on the consequences of weaknesses and how to overcome them. Mike ran a pioneering therapeutic community for young people in the 80s, and his work was featured in the BBC documentary “Escape to Fulfilment” in 1972.  Mike set up his company in 1974 and has been helping people to achieve success ever since. Mike has written several books, including “The Positive Encourager’s Book,” a self-help guide that is inspirational and full of tips and tools helping to work towards a target.

Mike’s guide has never been more helpful as it is in the current circumstances; therefore, let’s look at how we can help ourselves from the growing frustration, worries, hopelessness many of us are suffering from during the pandemic. We shall use Mike’s tools and guides and examine our everyday thoughts and beliefs and explore if it is at all possible to find new ways and build a life after the pandemic.

Mike tells us that if people focus on what they believe in, they can eventually achieve what they believe. The things we believe in deep down inside, the visions we have of the world, are the things we genuinely love. Imagine if those inner visions come true! How amazing would that be? Mike calls it “Building Something Brilliant.” Because what you love, when achieved, is what is brilliant to you.

Now you may argue that you are just an ordinary person, you just want to be happy and look after yourself and your family, that you have a small dream. You are not after anything brilliant. So many times have I witnessed people panicking when they mentioned that they could achieve something brilliant. This is because we imagine that Brilliant is something larger than life achievement like climbing Mount Everest or forming a multi-millionaire company. Yes, these things are brilliant too but remember that it is about you and you only. What is exciting and desired in your imagination is Brilliant in your world. The adrenaline and the satisfaction you will experience when you will bring your inner dreams into reality is actually the same as the climber who has achieved to see the peak of the Himalayans; because our dreams may be different, but the joy of success we experience is the same.

So, for example, perhaps you have always wanted to open a little shop selling specialty food from your grandparent’s birth country. Why? Because you really believe this particular food has to be introduced to society because they have unique qualities and they shouldn’t be forgotten. This is your inner desire, your vision of the world where people appreciate a dying art, and in your own way, this is how you have always felt you could help the community. Perhaps you have been doing the same job for many years, and you became comfortable. You never really enjoyed the job, but it offered you security, and you thought of your inner vision of having a specialty food store, connecting with people in a niche market, and helping the specialty producers was an unrealistic dream. Perhaps you are bounded by cultural identities and feel that although this is all you ever wanted to do, it is not a suitable occupation for you from a societal perspective.

However, the pandemic has confiscated your comfort, you don’t have job security anymore, and you don’t know what will happen after the pandemic. Think about it now, would it be so defiant to wanting to be the person you always wanted to be? To be brave enough to do what you want to isn’t the most amazing and humble thing to do? And once you achieve it, imagine, from a societal perspective. It is you who will be the achiever because you have built something brilliant by making your dream come true.

Mike tells us that to build something brilliant, you need three elements.

Beliefs: You have to believe that you can achieve it, providing that you are fully committed to doing your very best to achieve your goals. Your motivational leader can make you believe that you can achieve something temporarily; however, if you don’t have the faith developing from within, this belief will soon wither away. Hence, you need to work on your belief first. What is stopping you from not believing that you can’t do something new?

You can write down your goal and then think of all the scenarios and possibilities. Make a realistic note on what you think is possible to achieve and what are maybe achievable. Now you have an idea of what things you can be sure about. Then think about what the things are you need help with; can it be possible with the help of a team or organisations, and what can you do to reach these people? Lastly, think about what is not practically possible in the current circumstances and how you can work around it. For example, you know that you cannot import a food item overnight in a pandemic, although a prompt service would make you stand out. In such a case, what will you do? Can you make this item in the home country? Can you cross this item out?

Basics: You have focused on what you can achieve, now, diligently, keep doing the basics required to achieve this goal. You will not achieve your goal if you take intervals in doing the basics because you felt tired or lost your belief momentarily.  Yes, cynicism will grasp your internal state, and you may physically feel lethargic because of the negative thoughts; however, you still have to carry on with the basics even if you have to trudge along for a while. So the key is to keep looking after your health and mind because to carry on with basics, you need to stay positive. Therefore, adapt to a healthy lifestyle; follow a routine, turn up to the meetings, classes, and work schedules you are expected to on time. Blank out the negative speeches; people will indeed say some dispiriting things. It is not because people want you to fail. It is because people are scared, and they feel they are helping you by discouraging you. Have sympathy but do not nurture negative discourses. Now stay calm, do one thing at a time. Do not overstress yourself by making a hectic schedule; do a little at a time. The aim is to slowly gain control over yourself and your target. This will be a natural process, as you will slowly develop yourself, you will learn new things on this journey, and you will meet like-minded people who will guide you. You will learn how to overcome setbacks, you will keep improving yourself by knowing your weaknesses and strengths, but this can happen naturally only if you keep doing your best.

Brilliance: A great achiever or a great team keeps doing the basics and keeps building, and when appropriate, they add the brilliance. To achieve brilliance, you have to focus on your strengths rather than your weakness. You will build based on what you have got rather than what you haven’t got. You will utilise what is available instead of focusing on what elements you need but don’t have.

There is a great potential of losing hope or discouraging people by focusing on what they don’t have. Although, this “I don’t have” or “she/he doesn’t have” is not a true situation. Let us try to understand it better.

Whether we want it or not, our society is full of diverse people. We can be dyslexic, be in a wheelchair, might be highly sensitive, and have depression and anxiety, perhaps have autism or a physical illness. Then some are over-enthusiastic, amazing in a particular thing but get bored with the rest of the responsibilities easily. We have different neurological make-up, and we process information differently. Few are late developers, and others tend to move way ahead, leaving the peers behind.

It is important that we don’t see these as obstacles and the reasons for us to be non-achievers by default. Instead of thinking these qualities are a problem to build a meaningful life, they can be seen as a part of the make-up of a person who would enable them to be what they need to be. Albert Einstein, the most influential German Physicist of the twentieth century, was dyslexic. In school, he loved science and maths, but he disliked grammar and always had problems with spelling. His teachers declared him as a borderline intellectually impaired child. Can we state that it is his dyslexia that enabled him to focus on science only? It surely makes sense if we understand that we are here with certain traits, and these traits sometimes overtake other qualities, and perhaps this basic make-up is needed to make us what we are, in what we achieve brilliance in. Einstein later said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

If you keep comparing yourself with someone who has something in their basic make-up instead of what you have in your make-up, you will not be able to continue with the basics and add brilliance to it.

Next, Mike tells us about the Driven approach. Great achievers are focused on a certain path; they follow a chosen discipline and can often be daring. They confront disappointments and achievements on the way; they deal with the drama and do not get destructed by their surroundings. Their ultimate focuses are to learn, achieve, acquire, and deliver. The Australian American motivational speaker Nick Vujicic was born without limbs. He is the star of the short film “The Butterfly Circus” and the founder of “Life without limbs” and a writer of several books on how to surpass the negativity around us and outshine in a chosen principle. Therefore, it will be a great challenge for us to re-build ourselves without the driven approach.

Start constructing a visual image of what can be achieved at the end of the road? Start thinking about what drives you. Perhaps:

You want to provide care to the elderly.

You want to provide for your family.

You want to achieve a certain qualification.

You want to take care of animals.

What drives you is based on who you are, your make-up, on how you want to see the world, and there is no right and wrong or what is acceptable or not acceptable. To give you an example, I once attended a global conference for women who have achieved excellence. I met a lady from the Middle-East who received national recognition for developing the state-of-the-art sewerage system. She told us that she was always interested in the drainage system and wanted to develop it since she was a child. People around her would tease her by blocking their nose when she was hired in the city sewage department. She was determined that she was going to improve city life, and within a few years, with her driven approach, she not only achieved her goal but gained recognition from the public, which means that when she started working, it wasn’t socially acceptable for a woman of her high status to work for the drainage department, but she was not fazed by the drama around her.  Hence an ability to overlook the standard social concepts of what is normality or what is acceptable or possible is required.

An achiever will think about their dreams and aims before they will commit. This is a part of the Decision-Making ability you have to focus on. Explore the potential way forward and consider the possible implications. This is done differently by different people. Some people work through this logically, and some people make prompt decisions. With decision making, Mike tells us that the following may be useful:

  • To clarify the real results, you want to achieve and translate this into a clear picture of success;
  • To clarify the key strategies, you can follow to achieve the picture of success;
  • To clarify the pluses and minuses involved in working to achieve the picture of success.

Remember that to be the achiever and making your dreams into reality, you have to embark with your eyes open. It will help you to check on your motivation and commitments. You will be able to consider the pluses and minuses in achieving your goal; you will have a realistic outlook.

“…Those who dream by night may or may not follow up… Dreamers of the day are dangerous … for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible” T E Lawrence (British archaeologist, army officer, and Writer).

Discipline is a quality-asset of an achiever. Great achievers take delight in following certain disciplines. They follow a rhythm and do the right thing in the right way. They may use the following steps:

  • They explore the real results they want to achieve and clarify their destination.
  • They clarify the steps they can take – the principles to follow and the practical tasks to be done – to reach their destination.
  • They focus on doing each of these things properly on the way towards reaching their destination.

Once you can adapt to a life of discipline to achieve your goal, you can think of:

  • How can I keep developing?
  • How can I build a repertoire or become invaluable to the organisation?
  • How can I tackle the areas of improvements?
  • How can I apply this knowledge to deliver great results?

You have now chosen your path and found your discipline. So now it is time to be Daring. By looking at how far you have come now, you may decide that you have more to gain and less to lose if you dream in the daylight and follow it calculatively. Therefore, this is what you get:

Discipline      =>       Daring       =>      Desired Results

As a great achiever, you will know that sometimes you will return home feeling down, and in counterpart, some nights will be full of great feelings. You can accept this reality before it has started to happen and begin keeping a log of the experience. You may reflect on the delights and disappointments and think about how you could improve the beaten issues.

Dealing with dramas

We have already discussed that as a great achiever, you will not focus on the drama on your journey. Do not get sidetracked by individuals who choose to be dramatic, negative, seeing problems instead of solutions. Think about How:

  • Can I prevent these dramas from happening? How can I deal with any dramas if, despite my best efforts, they do happen?
  • Can I buy time to think? How can I focus on the real results to achieve in the short-term and long-term? How can I do my best to find possible solutions to the dramas? How can I implement these solutions?
  • Can I return to following the required disciplines? How can I get a quick success? How can I continue doing good work on the way towards the destination?

You will find your rhythm back once you have worked out the above.


Whatever day-dream you have decided to pursue, say you want to be an entrepreneur, an artist, a writer, a professional; you have to ultimately deliver. Great workers often go into a relaxed relentlessness mode. Meaning that you need to continue your basics and add your brilliance at a relaxed pace, but you have to be at it relentlessly. You may want to separate the relaxed and relentless modes into two elements but remember that you need to take care of yourself in this journey. It is better if you know how to pursue your dream relentlessly but in a stride that you can control, that you are doing it at a relaxed pace. This is where self-care comes, such as a variety of relaxation therapy, meditation, a routine between life and work, listening to music, or spending time with your loved ones.

This is a good time to explore if something else to be done if you need to change the gear to achieve the target. We may start our journey with something specific in mind, but things may change on the way. In such circumstances, we cannot give up and get back to where we were before, but we can think about new paths and ask for different types of help; because we know we are still going towards the same goal. So when the negative thought comes into the mind because something on the way has changed, close your eyes, and start visualizing the end of this journey and re-instate your belief.

To find out how Hypnotherapy can help to achieve the relaxed and relentless approach towards achieving goals, visit

Your feedback on this article

I really loved your writing. The article is excellent, simple n easy, more important it gives a thought about my life how I have been overcoming many struggles in my mind which were affecting my physical self.

Rosy Fernandez; Sales Consultant (UK)

What you wrote is so brilliant and so true, a lot of will people think and most will be able to connect with what was written and what most are thinking as well; it was like you were in many others mind, I think and say the same to others and in health and wellbeing, being supportive of each other and working with each other’s strengths, there is so much more to be said in part 2, 3, 4, etc., would be very welcomed.

Sal; Volunteer at Health & Wellbeing Group (UK)

I don’t usually read motivational staff as I know pretty much what to expect…but love what you have written. It’s perfect. I can’t think of anything to follow it up with though I can think of one or two things I’d have included. The first one is especially for me as an Artist, sometimes negative can be brutal and if someone else says something bad… yes it’s hard but I’ve learnt to think more clearly about why they felt that way. Then look again at how I can improve. The second one is simple but highly relevant and that is having a bath, having me time and ready to go out again. I can’t think of anything you have missed out and I love the Einstein Quote. Nice job!

Lucy Wikeley; Artist (UK)

It is true that we all have lost a lot during the pandemic time. But I don’t know much about “Mike”, but I agree with “basic” must be followed. Then the route is through self -discipline, desire and dare to move forward. I am also of the view that everybody has different abilities to cope for different circumstances of their own. All good approaches don’t always suitable in every body’s position. For some-there is need for personal sympathetic listening or a lovely soft hug can motivate. I wish I was a trained psychologist to respond if part two is needed.

Wow, I really loved this. Felt like you were talking to me. I don’t think there needs to be a second part to it. As you listed everything. Maybe after the lockdown to see if anyone is still doing their hobbies.

Cessa De Santos; Retail Manager (UK)

It’s Brilliant. If you think Part 2 is required then it’s up to you. In my opinion, it’s brilliant. Well Done.

Syed Mazhar Uddin Taj; Director of Universal Centre of Mind Sciences and Alternative Therapies LTD, (UK)

Definitely some food for thought there as many people I have spoken to are getting quite depressed with all the covid issues. Something else likely does need to be done to get things on the right track, I just don’t know what.

Wolf Drescher; Photographer (Canada)

I think there should be a part two since it can allow readers to expand on an already very useful article and as we are not sure how much longer the pandemic can last, it would be useful for readers still to be guided through this experience.

Omar Zura; Photographer (Canada)

Very good, informative, plus common sense in many areas (good reminders)!!! A part 2 would probably very informative also!

Keri Thommen; Caregiver (USA)

 I tried to read it all but to be honest it’s a bit too long and repetitive in some places. It’s still good to give a person the inspiration to at least try something.

Tammy  Pavilchek; Retired Retail Person (USA)

I know there are a lot of “self-help” books and stuff out there but since we are soooo different… like cats who want to swim or fish who want to climb trees that there is not a one size HELP that works for everyone. I know I have often been touched by some of the simplest things and totally missed the big things people were saying. I would like to hear more…but I guess that would be more up to her wanting to do more, would be more to do with her “brilliance”…lol….her need be creative etc. I love the Einstein quote…I have often been the fish who tried to climb a tree. But at our ACLU group, we have learnt to do things in the pandemic, we learnt to see each other on zoom and practiced Chinese character writings. Danger and opportunity; I think that is a very clever way to looking at things.

Brenda Holmes; Retired Stagehand (USA)

I was very impressed with your story. It is written in simple but definitive wording to coach people who are struggling to reinvent themselves in these times. Yes, you should do a follow-up. I agree with the forgone ideas presented within the article.

I believe you should follow your intuition and talent. You already know there is a need for people to find ways to repurpose their lives and not give up in despair. It is important for people to realise there are ways to cope with handling the effects of Covid-19 has had on their lives, personally as well as career-wise. There are so many stresses that have led to outbursts of rage and or depression. People aren’t sure of how to safely release these feelings, causing so many horrific stories around the world when they lash out. The article gives them options to use to destress and cope.

Rolinda J Bailey; Retired Medical Administrator (USA)
Shanta Sultana
I have worked for social services encouraging clients to receive training and educational qualifications towards personal development. I studied at Southampton City College and received the “Best Student Achievement Award”. I studied Journalism at the University of East London and did part of my final year with the University of Greenwich. I received the award for “Outstanding Achieving” for writing the best theory for creating a fair society. I focused on social and political issues as a Journalist and wrote about the topics that are affecting the communities in England for three years, especially in health and social care and worked with the politicians. I have worked with the Lambeth community and collected the users’ experience in health care and mental health services for an umbrella organisation of Age UK. I then completed a PGCE/PCET, Teachers training with ESOL, Invisible disabilities, mental health, and the refugee reintegration from the University of Sunderland. My working route was on generating continuous educational opportunities, journals, and media programmes to overcome social and cultural prejudice and division and improve productivity by celebrating differences. I have worked in the mental health department and I work with special needs children and adults. I have published articles and stories in UK and USA and promoted organisations and personalities in Arts and trades in the UK and in South Asian countries.