Neilon Pitamber is a former DJ turned personal trainer and Thai yoga massage therapist based in Brighton.
I guess my dream was to find my purpose and my purpose has changed flavour over the years but at the core, it’s about helping people to have happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives. At first I thought my dream was music so I became a full time DJ and music producer. I had fair bit of success but then I started to drift. I noticed I wasn't really pushing my career forward so I started thinking, what do I actually want. I had a look at my life and I realised I really enjoyed teaching Kung Fu which I’d been doing for a few years. I got a lot out of working with people, seeing them grow and working with the body so I decided to become a personal trainer. Most recently I took on some more training and am now a Thai yoga massage therapist.
When did your dream first form in your head?
I’d been inspired by teachers and personal trainers I've had. That planted a seed. I started martial arts when I was very young and soon I was teaching the newcomers. I found it really rewarding and got a lot of confidence. I guess I liked telling people what to do!
Did it feel different for you once you’d moved from music to working with the body?
The body work feels more sustainable. It’s amazing playing a gig to 2000 people going nuts to what you’re doing and it’s fun flying all over Europe but with the body stuff it just felt right. It was rewarding in a different way and I didn't get my usual 18 months itch that I've had with everything else I've done whether it’s video editing or building websites. That was a good signifier in itself. When the 18 month itch occurred again it was really disappointing. I started thinking about what I was doing feeling like, this isn't what I thought it was. I became quite resentful, especially when I was video editing. It was too insular for me.
What steps did you take to realise your dream?
The first stage was realising what I wanted to do then thinking, OK what do I need to do? Train. There are plenty of personal training courses out there so I just chose one and did it. Though the training was easy, in a way, it’s like learning to drive. You’re very much a beginner once you pass. It’s when you start to work you really learn the job. I decided to do that in a gym environment so I’d be surrounded by other people doing the same thing every day. We all learned loads from each other and I loved working locally again.
Eventually, though, I realised I didn't want to work for anyone. I had my way of doing things and I didn't want to fudge my values so I chose to work in a studio and work freelance so I could do things in a way I felt was best for my well-being and for my clients’ well-being.
Being freelance you do lose the comfort of that monthly cheque but the trade off is freedom. The worry or acute stress of money getting tight keeps you more alive. I do what I can to create security and comfort but there is a certain aliveness to being self-employed.
What would life be like if you hadn't realised your dream?
I think I’d be uptight and miserable and I’d be making people around me miserable. I'm not sure I’d be in the music world. I think nature would have taken its course and booted me out at some point.
I’d agree there is some kind of current that carries you. Some people see the universe as an external force or higher direction. I don’t really see it that way. For me it’s about your drive at the centre of it. It’s almost like I didn't have any choice in the decisions I made because of the underlying drive.
Maybe those things that come into your path when you get on track with your dream are always floating around but you become attuned to them so you start to see those possibilities more and then when you take that first step towards a certain set of possibilities even more reveal themselves.
What advice would you give those pursuing a dream?
Find out what you want. I really believe the world would work perfectly if people only ever did what they wanted. Find out what your true desire is. Make sure it’s aligned with your values. If you’re doing something that isn't aligned with one or more of your values you’re only ever going to be miserable. And to remember, the dream is about finding the right journey not finding the destination.
Neilon shared this video on facebook and I wanted to share it with you too.
Have a fantastic Christmas, loving the ones you're with and a fun-filled New Year loving what you've got! x