I was honored to get the chance to meet Bayu Prihandito, a life coach who owns the business Life Architekture — a site built with the website builder Shopify that helps people shape their own life path. I’m excited to share his journey through climbing the corporate ladder and his radical shift into his own path to help people take hold of their lives.
“I did the inner work and I found out that I just had two options; it’s either I stay on this path and I’ll get bigger homes and I get faster cars to compensate for this feeling inside. Or I go on an adventure to answer the question: if it’s not engineering, what will be the medium for me to give value to others?”
Spoiler, I’m happy to say Bayu chose option two – let’s take a deeper look at his journey.
I am originally Indonesian and I left my country when I was seventeen. I went to Germany to study environmental engineering, and I did both my bachelor’s and master’s over there in Germany. And then I started working in an environmental company, in their recycling sector. I was lucky and blessed that I got promoted to manager in a relatively quick time. And I found out also relatively quickly, that it wasn’t the path that I want to proceed with in my life.
I had this dream that I thought was mine. When I started working, I wanted to arrive at that level where I get to wear elegant clothes, and have meetings with the important people. I wanted to have my own name in front of my office and all of those things. But then I was surprised that why? Why is it not providing me the satisfaction that I thought it would be?
So there I was, in a house that was bigger, and it was very nice. I had a car from the company, everything I’d ever wanted. But then every day I came home and was like, what is it actually that I’m doing? And what is it actually that I want to achieve? All of these questions started popping up in my head. And then I did the inner work.
I decided to change the medium of how I would like to give value for others. I did training in psychology. I got a certification with a focus in individual psychology, which allows me to work as a life coach and that is where I started doing the coaching.
Our company’s name is Life Architekture with the mission of helping others build their own meaningful life.
The strongest tool that I was blessed to be able to learn, and I am still using it today, is meditation. At a relatively young age, I learned meditation, so, I learned the skill to observe myself. To be honest, I needed to collect the courage to ask myself the hard inner questions, because my identity was always attached to what I do. I’m from Indonesia. I’m going to Germany. I’ll be an engineer. My ego and everything were already attached to those ideas.
Then asking the hard questions for me was:
- If it’s not engineering, like who are you?
- What do you actually want to do?
- If the list that you already checked is apparently not your list. What would your list look like?
It’s kind of like me questioning my own identity that I consciously or subconsciously built through the years. My journey with Life Architekture is to help people build their own meaningful life. And it starts with understanding oneself:
- Who am I?
- What are actually my core values?
- What kind of belief systems do I have right now?
- And what are my visions and then how do I think about myself?
- If you’re not a reliable person for yourself, how can you be reliable for others?
Because those are things that we took unconsciously from our environment, whether it’s the family always giving us their values or the environment. Family is usually the first context. But, we are not our parents, we have dreams that are usually not the same as our parents’ dreams.
To ask these questions and then through meditation, I was able to build my own list and then do the adventure of this! What I’m doing right now.
I did my 200 hours yoga course in India in a city called Goa. My intention was I wanted to have another skill to help people to know themselves fully. I built Life Architekture with the Three Months Program through this holistic approach. We are working on the four pillars, the intellectual, emotional pillar, physical pillar, and also the spiritual.
I fell in love with the philosophical part of it. One of the topics that I really liked was about the inner child, becoming closer with your inner child, and then you have some conversation with your inner child, that part I really loved. And then there’s obviously the physical part where you are learning how to teach Yoga. I was having at least three hours a day of the physical-yoga part, and this part hones the discipline.
I believe that these pillars have to be balanced. Also in my experience, if I pursue happiness it gives the taste as though I can’t reach that space. When I reach happiness, and I expect it to be there always, obviously we will be disappointed because happiness comes and goes. So, what I’m offering is more of the calmness and inner peace, and an understanding that happiness, just like other emotions, comes and goes.
When other emotions other than happiness, when you feel sadness, instead accept that those emotions are actually a positive experience because if you have an aversion against those kinds of emotions, it causes suffering — you’re not accepting of the present moment. And it’s actually all that we have.
The word authenticity means for me, you are asking yourself the self-reflection questions. That will help you to become radically honest with yourself.
Imagine when we are born in this world, we are like a blank paper. And then as a child, we are functioning like a sponge, and taking in information. We are learning from our family, from the environment, maybe from kindergarten from friends, and everything. And then scientists say it is until the age of seven, this process is happening and then you are able to think by yourself. You are not a blank paper anymore because you already have the coding on how you see the world through your environment and your learning process.
Now, the challenge comes. When we become an adult we rarely ask ourselves: is it still the program that I want to work with?
We tend to think, I am the way I am. I am like this and then there’s the danger of coming into the victim role. You may find enough reasons to justify why you are the way that you are, and to justify that, you don’t have to do anything to become better.
Then that’s where the authenticity comes in again – not anymore the program from my childhood. I can now think for myself and am able to see my program.
When I was creating my brand and website, the massive realization was it’s not about what I can do – the spotlight is on what the clients need. When they visit the website they need to feel understood and when they hear about Life Architekture, I want them to experience the joy and enthusiasm that they can create the life that they want.
It was only back in June this year when I started with the website and social media so it’s relatively new. It allows me to share more of me and my work and where people can
understand what I am doing. I’m working with a friend on everything SEO related because our goal is, we want people who come to the website from terms like mindfulness or emotional intelligence, so they can educate themselves or get values from our websites and learn about it.
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I think it’s about the user friendliness because you can customize the store and then add the blocks like pictures and FAQs. It’s pretty user friendly because of the drag and drop feature. It was convenient for us to build and the reputation that Shopify already has for building websites was also a plus for us. I also found the payment processing is straightforward.
Shopify is usually for ecommerce and for physical products, so for now, we are able to build for this coaching service. But, currently when me and my partner, talk of if Life Architekture grows, we tend to think about WordPress because of the capability of making it more customized. I think when Shopify also offers the tools [for coaching services] that will make it easier for coaching based services. But again, we took this decision by knowing Shopify is usually for commerce and physical products.
My advice for anyone creating a website is to leave perfectionism to the side. You get started because you yourself will evolve to this process. We already think about the next products that we are going to make, maybe just the physical part, for example, yoga. There will be more products in the future.
You just have to get started, you will learn in the process, I’m talking to myself here too by the way. To say that you want it to be perfect is to have fear of judgement, so that’s why just get started. It is a learning process.
You are not a finished product. Neither is your website! It’s never a finished product in my point of view, you are going to grow together with your work.
Here we asked Bayu to complete the sentence from his own experiences. This fun little game led to some lovely insights, we started him off and here is what he said.
- I am happiest when… “I can leave a positive impact for others.”
- To me, success looks like… “A beautiful and colorful picture built from a collection of puzzle pieces. Those puzzle pieces can be good financial stability, meaningful relationships with others, and a strong relationship with myself.
- If I could go back in time, I would advise myself to… “Go for it. And trust yourself.”
- What having a website has done for me is… “Made my work visible. And built the credibility for me and my work.”
- Being an entrepreneur means… “Learning every day to acquire the skills needed to share my work with more people.”
What I loved about talking to Bayu was his idea of learning to earn your own self-respect. He calmly acknowledged his own tendency for perfectionism, something I myself struggle with at times – but noted the importance of being reliable for yourself so that you can then become reliable for others. I also connected with his thoughts on learning to unlearn other people’s expectations of you, particularly he stated:
“Is it selfish to pursue one’s dreams? But the answer is if you’re doing something just to fulfill other people’s expectations, it’s a ticking time bomb. You are a ticking bomb. At one point, it will explode. And then the resentment that is built. You have to take that accountability for your own life.”
I could see why clients spoke with Bayu, as I felt uplifted to take accountability for my life, and to let go of the expectations of my family and wider society in just that one hour interview. It’s interesting to me to see more businesses lead with this intention to bring authenticity, and often wonder if the boom in meditation in the west is a part of that. Either way, it was an enlightening discussion and if you’re interested in being the architect of your life, we highly recommend looking through Bayu’s website for his Life Architekture coaching.