Following Your Life Path with Charlie Wagstaff

Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, you might even feel that the whole world is against you. But everything happens for a reason and you have the power to create your destiny.

In this episode, Charlie Wagstaff discusses his life journey and its golden nuggets. If you think being the second choice and not fitting in isn’t good, he’s about to change your mind. He shares his insights and realizations from his family and career. Lastly, he talks about believing in yourself and making an impact on the world.

If you want to find out how you can grab hold of your destiny, this episode is for you! 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out why being the second choice is a good thing.
  2. Learn how to understand other people’s perspectives.
  3. Discover out how to control your destiny. 


Episode Highlights 

[02:22] A Peek into Charlie’s Shed 

  • Everyone needs a space to work due to COVID and his was a potting shed.
  • Charlie likes being there because there’s a lot of light and he can see clearly in it. The shed serves as an escape.

[04:32] Being the Second Choice

  • Rather than shaking his pom-poms, Charlie feels more comfortable talking about how he acquired or built up his proudest moments.
  • One of his pom-poms is he’s been the second choice on numerous occasions.
  • Being the second choice made him realize not being liked by everyone is okay as long as he does the right thing.
  • Listen to the full episode to find out the many times Charlie was the second choice — and how amazing those experiences turned out!

[10:49] Believing in Yourself  

  • As long as you believe in what you’re doing, everything will work out fine.
  • Some things are just meant to happen.
  • These things happen for a reason. They probably made you tougher and more resilient–making you believe you fought for it whether you have or not.  

[13:14] Was Charlie Second Choice With His Wife?

  • Charlie said he would ask her if he was her second choice.
  • They waited to marry because they wanted to find the right person.
  • His parents’ divorce impacted him and his brother differently. Despite their differences, Charlie and his brother love each other greatly.

[14:22] Understanding Others 

  • Get out of your comfort zone; there’s always something out there you can relate to. 
  • Finding something to relate to gives comfort, which makes you feel safe to explore.
  • Charlie has always loved other people’s perspectives because it replenishes him; on the other hand, parochialism disadvantages people.
  • While watching Happy Valley, he’s reminded that people’s perspectives are based on their individual experiences.

[16:11] Knowing Your Limits 

  • Understanding other people’s perspectives is a coping tactic.
  • Observing yourself and other people allows you to learn so much and empowers you.
  • But it’s also important to buck certain things off and remember that there’s only so much you can do to help others. 

[17:19] Controlling Your Destiny

  • You can control destiny.
  • Working in the corporate world, Charlie learned a lot but he also worked with lots of bullies. He didn’t know how to deal with them.
  • To create your own path, determine what path that is and take control.
  • The corporate world is tough but he learned a lot on transitioning and backing yourself.

[18:53] Fostering Self-Belief and Forging Ahead

  • Sit back and reflect.
  • His family has a history of doing their own thing — some things were successful while others didn’t quite work out.
  • If you hit a wall, there’s always a way around it.
  • His family is a sanctuary for him, and family can be found in different places.

[24:21] Charlie’s Family

  • Because of his father’s absence, he didn’t think he wanted children.
  • While his brother was unable to accept their father, Charlie needed to accept him to move to the next stage of his life.
  • Children need autonomy to allow them to develop in their own way.

[27:13] Making an Impact

  • He wants to leave the world a better place than when he came in. 
  • Sustainability, understanding consumerism, and taking ownership are some of the things that concern him.
  • Everyone is capable of making an impact on the world.

[29:48] Charlie’s Life Journey

  • It’s been wonderful building something with his colleagues. 
  • There might be frustrations. But they believe in what they’re doing and doing it slowly because the world can’t be changed overnight.
  • He feels grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn from amazing people.

[31:27] Defining Success

  • Being different doesn’t make you a victim, it makes you unique.
  • People often want to fit in that they don’t realize their uniqueness sets them apart and should be celebrated.

5 Powerful Quotes

[05:39] “… you can’t be liked by everyone. And that’s okay. It’s a real sort of moment of realization that as long as you do the right thing, and it feels sits well with you, that’s important.”

[14:34] “It’s okay because there’s always something there that you’ll find that you can relate to. And if you can find something you can relate to, then it gives you that comfort. If you’ve got that bedrock, that comfort, then you can explore from there. You can navigate from there.” 

[18:01] “… if you were going to create your own path, you need to determine what that is and take control.”

[21:29] “If you watch water flow down a stream, it hits a stone then navigates around it. And you just got to do that in life. There’s always a way around it.”

[31:38] “Being different does not make you a victim, it makes you unique.”

About Charlie

Charlie Wagstaff is MD and a co-founder of Criticaleye. With his diverse industry background, he has a unique understanding of the challenges and leadership issues that plague today’s global senior executives.


Before founding Criticaleye in 2002, he was based in Harare, Zimbabwe and oversaw 16 commodity businesses employing more than 30,000 employees. Charlie has also worked in local government in the UK in an industrial relations capacity during periods of major employment legislation upheaval.

If you want to know more about Charlie, you can connect with him via LinkedIn.

Enjoy this Podcast?

It’s tough to navigate and journey through life, and Charlie Wagstaff shares how he did it and what he learned so you can find something valuable in his story, too. If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Mindset Mentor Meets, hit subscribe and share it with your friends! Everyone can find success by looking at their origins and building new connections.

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