August 4

Building a New Chapter in Life with Peter Wright


Building a New Chapter in Life with Peter Wright

By Deborah Johnson

August 4, 2023

Africa, apartheid, Deborah Johnson, habits, healthy habits, overcoming fear, perseverance, Peter Wright, podcast, rebuilding, Rhodesia, setbacks, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Peter Wright has had much experience in building a new chapter in his life as he’s had to do it multiple times. He has both obtained wealth and he has lost wealth. He has lived safely and he has had his life threatened at gunpoint. Yet adapting a mindset that is thankful and grateful has kept him moving forward to create new chapters in life with his business and for him personally.

Peter lived in Africa for forty years and has currently lived in Canada for nineteen years. He went from employing 180 people as a business owner in Africa, to then doing the same jobs he used to hire others for when moving to Canada. Doing so took a humble shift in attitude and the willingness to do what it took to get back on his feet. Most listeners or readers won’t have to face such a drastic change in life, but the principles we cover apply in most every personal or business situation. We’ll expand on overcoming adversity, rebuilding after major setbacks, overcoming fear and applying habits.

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Overcoming Adversity

Those who conquer adversity are the ones who possess an unwavering determination and an unyielding spirit. They understand that challenges are merely stepping stones towards personal growth and success. With resilience as their driving force, they refuse to let obstacles hinder their progress and instead use them as opportunities to learn and improve.

This is contrasted with those who struggle to overcome adversity, seeing challenges as insurmountable barriers that hold them back. These individuals may lack the necessary resilience and mindset to navigate through difficult times. Their fear of failure or rejection often paralyzes them, preventing them from taking the necessary risks to overcome adversity. Understanding that every situation is different, there may be times we seek to overcome and other times we lack the strength and mindset to forge through. In most every situation, there are simple steps we can apply:

  • Adopt the mindset that adversity serves as a catalyst for transformation.
  • Take the perspective of looking at the big picture to not stay circling within a roundabout of victimhood. (See book: Stop Circling) This helps one to not remain stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and struggle.
  • Seek support of others when available and needed, getting beyond the pride of not asking for help. This can be support from family, friends or professional contacts.

Rebuilding After Major Setbacks

The key to moving forward lies in resilience and a positive mindset. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, and it's during these times of adversity that our true character is tested. While setbacks can be disheartening and overwhelming, I firmly believe that they do not define us. Instead, they provide an opportunity for growth and inner strength to emerge.

Major setbacks can include financial loss, business challenges and even serious illness or death. There are no hard and fast answers to solving each of these issues but there are mindsets we can all apply. Peter had to completely readjust after his farm was confiscated and he was thrown in jail for three days in Zimbabwe.

Simple steps to apply:

  • Acknowledge emotions allowing yourself to grieve and heal.
  • Adjust your perspective to look forward to possibility instead of looking back at failure.
  • Re-adjust goals with a realistic plan that includes small steps of action.

Applying Habits

It is through small, consistent actions that we can create meaningful and lasting change. It’s more effective to focus on one habit at a time, allowing yourself to fully integrate it into your routine before moving on to the next. This approach helps to avoid overwhelm and ensure sustainability of the habit for lasting change. Applying habits is a transformative process that empowers us to create a life that is intentional, fulfilling, and in line with the vision we have for ourselves. For Peter, after experiencing a heart attack and having by-pass heart surgery in 2017, he set and achieved his goal to walk 250 km (approximately 155 miles) on the Camino de Santiago from Porto in Portugal to Santiago in Spain. Today, he’s continued walking to walk up to 7 km (about 4 ½ miles) most days, also taking fewer medicines.

When setting goals, feeling of failure and discouragement are often a part of the process of striving to achieve goals. Implementing tiny habits will greatly increase the chance of success.

Simple steps to apply:

  • Set clear, specific and measurable goals that can be broken down into very small steps.
  • Find an accountability partner. Accountability plays a crucial role in maintaining consistency.
  • Track and measure your progress. Just having goals doesn’t make them happen—action does.
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Most readers haven’t personally experienced Apartheid but have faced innumerable setbacks and challenges. The principles to overcome those challenges and building a new chapter in life are universal and much depends on a healthy mindset that is willing to do the work necessary to persevere and do the work it takes. My wish for you is to do the work. It will be worth it because you are worth it!

Recommended Books:

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Atomic Habits: An Easy Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear


Peter Wright  is a former corporate marketing manager, business owner and farmer. He was born in the United Kingdom and lived in Africa for 40 years. He's now been in Canada for 19 years and is a video & podcast co-host, editor, producer, writer and speaker. To stay fit, he wasked 250 km (150 miles) on the Camino de Santiago Portugese route.

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Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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