How I Turned My Life from 3–2–1 Go to 1–2–3 Begin

Brian Pandji
6 min readOct 21, 2019

Coming from the CrossFit community, the beginning of anything starts with the trademarked phrase 3,2,1 Go. This indicates the beginning of a workout routine that is typically performed as a group with the timed score determined who would be stronger, faster and potentially fitter. It indicates a race in which everyone in it prepares themselves with a plan as to how they will perform each movements, how to break out each rep and then strives to perform it just as planned during the timed workout of the day.

Looking back, I’ve realized that the reason why these types of workout feels natural to me is because often times I look at life, business and the pursuit of success in the same exact way.

I plan for what i would like to accomplish (the goal), determine how I am going to do it (the plan) and then 3,2,1 Go… I do it. And if I ever feel doubt, I tell myself the famous nike slogan, Just Do It.

If you are reading this right now and think to yourself, hey that’s exactly how dreams come true or success is attained, ask yourself if you have ever thought of it in a different way? And can you think of a different way to approach it?

I followed this principle in college, in the corporate world and when managing my business. And let me tell you…

It works…

Until it doesn’t.

There are two things that will be missed when you attack life in this race.

One, alignment. Two, fulfillment.

When I had a high paying consulting job in San Francisco, I was so dissatisfied that I quit to open my own gym. When I opened my gym, and grew it to become the first CrossFit gym in Indonesia, I received the fame I have never expected. I was interviewed by magazines, tv shows, and had followers from all over the country. But that still didn’t feel like I achieved any goals. Not until I let everything go was when I finally understood how things work.

Three years later, I sold my gym. And today, I’ve realized where I can find fulfillment.

Within my self.

Sounds familiar? You’ve probably heard it. I did too when I first heard it and the hard part is not understanding where fulfillment is, but in the process of finding it.

Finding fulfillment needs alignment

You will not find what is fulfilling to you if you don’t know your self. I have gotten used to pleasing others and doing everything to get approval for others that I don’t remember what energizes me. What am I like and what do I like if everything was up to me? This is the first thing we must explore. Once you find at least one bit of what you like, you will then find like minded people that you can start surround yourself with. This is when you start aligning yourself with the people and the energy that makes you thrive.

Finding alignment needs patience

Recently my car needed new tires. And because it is a “tuned up” car, it took them a while to get to the closest alignment of all four wheels. Because of this unique situation, the service advisor at Northtowne Fiat have nicely showed me how it is done and how the report is generated. There is no way to achieve wheel alignment without starting with one wheel at a time. They had to adjust, readjust and readjust to achieve the best alignment that will ensure the tires will last long.

This is what alignment is all about.

When I first thought of “alignment” in a personal growth setting, I see it as me, being as two straight lines with the universe. When this is done, then, I’m good. I’ll get everything I’ve asked for.

Sorry. I wish it was that easy.

Realigning with the universe is very much like my Abarth wheel realignment. You are going to have to change one of your life (add and remove) to get aligned, and then you may have to make some more changes in another part of your life. Then you will need to see the big picture to make sure it all aligns with your self.

And of course your interests and priorities will keep on changing, your goals will be updated and life just keeps on moving. Just like a car with four wheels going towards one destination.

So.. How do you do it?

You need to be brave to be patient.

You need to be brave in making decisions in uncertainty. You need to be brave when you are afraid to make a decision. And you need to be ok with not knowing.

You need to have faith to be brave.

I drive a manual car. I wrote about it here. When I want to get my car moving, I shift from 1–2–3 and so on. There is never a case when I would start driving from the third gear to the first. Life is very much like this. You must be brave and comfortable with starting every pursuit in the 1st gear before going to the next gear. And while you are in the first step, you need to open your eyes for all the signs you encounter, the feelings that arise within you and the connection you make with the people that you meet.

All this will determine what your second step will be.

And the great thing about this strategy is when you get to the second step, you already know all about the first. And you can be sure you don’t make the same mistake.

But here’s the thing, in all cases and in all situation that you are in when you are in whichever step, you must have faith.

You must believe that you are where you need to be now. Even if your mind or your attempt to compare tries to tell you that you are behind or wrong or not enough. Because the moment you lose faith, is the moment you will lose direction.

You need to believe in yourself.

With all the information out there telling you to do this, and do that, to buy this or buy that, there is only one person that you can believe. You. Your self. The only person that knows the best “abs workout” or the best job for 2019 or the best time to have snacks, or the best whatever … is YOU. There is nobody out there that can tell you better about what you need to do than you.

The problem is, often we don’t believe in ourselves. We are afraid of what other people may think, sometimes we are even afraid of what we would think about ourselves. How many of you have tried to think about doing something and then suddenly a voice inside your head doubts you?


This is why we need to be brave to take the first step. And then weneed to be brave to hang on and be patient in the first step before moving on to the second one. We live in the world where we want “how-to’s” and “quick fix” or 21 day challenges and coaches to show you how you what is the best way to do something. These are all great resources, but before you go and do anything or even when you decide to do any of them, you must believe.

You must believe in you.

So to sum up, how do you live 1…2…3?

You must have courage to be patient in order to find alignment that will lead you to fulfillment.

If you would just open your eyes (and ears) and see how lucky you are to live in the moment and feel the connections that you have in your life, you will see it.

1…2…3… Begin.



Brian Pandji

Perfectionism has nothing to do with being perfect.