Archive for September, 2007

WAY BACK WHEN

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

I don’t know if it’s the season, the feeling of nostalgia that I feel in the fall, but I have had a desire to connect with old friends. Nowadays with phone calls so inexpensive, it’s easy to pick up the phone and dial. Since i have been around the block more than a few times, I have a lot of close friends spread out all over the country.

They have known me for quite some time prior to my life being what it is today. In some ways that’s kind of cool. We keep evolving and changing and getting into new things but there’s that part of us that’s like we were “way back when.”

That it got me to thinking about the expression “way back when.” I guess that means a long time ago but I’m not exactly sure how long ago. How long does it have to be to be “way back then.” But there is that esssece, our core, that stays the same. That core reflects our core values that sometimes gets difficult to see when our life gets involved and we feel the pressures of everyday living.

Perhaps that’ s why I picked up the phone and dialed in some of my old friends from “way back when.” To remind me that I am on the right path…as I said sometimes it gets difficult to see. But unlesss you are committed to walking the path, no one will want to walk with you. Celebrate this time of year by reconnecting with some of those old friends from you know where.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

THE ATTRACTION PRINCIPLE

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I’m thinking about my next newsletter. What am i going to write about? What do I want to create in my life? I realize now that what I focus on goes a long way toward making this happen.

So here’s the catch. if you attract to you what you focus on, then this principle applies whether you want it or not. So worry is not a good thing. If you worry about events occuring in the future,then your focus is on what you don’t want in the future, rather than in the present.

Many of you might be wondering if there is a technique that increases the likelihood that your life can evolve in a certain direction and the answer is yes. Since we know that what we focus on expands, then the big question is what can we do to shift our focus. And the answer is………count your blessings. Express gratitude for all that you have in your life.

By doing this, you shift your focus to what is good in your life from what is bad. Try it…It definitely will be helpful on a practical level….And spiritually it is fulfilling to express thanks for all of the blessings in our life.

Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

GETTING OUT OF THE BOX

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

As we all know at some point in our life we start to feel boxed in by our life circumstances. Our choices seem limited by our beliefs around what is possible in our life. And when we are really honest with ourself we know that our beliefs are just beliefs and not truth.

It’s difficult for many of us to accept this fact, but if you do it will free you up. And what is really disturbing is that these limiting beliefs about what is possible in our life are based upon our interpretation of our past personal history. The meaning you have given to these events including labels or things people have said about you, limit your ability to make choices today.

Freeing yourself up from this past is the first step in experiencing more personal freedom in your life. Look back at your life and realize that every event and experience that has occurred has made you what you are today.

Take a look at some of your past experiences. Can you give this past experience a different meaning? I know you can but even if you can’t what about being open to the possibility that because of this event you are better for it. Sometimes forgiving yourself or someone else is also freeing. Stop hanging on and let it go. Let go of your attachments and your identification with what has happened. Be willing to give it new meaning.

Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

GET A NEW LENS

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Last night I was giving a workshop. Many of the people who were there are stuck in their lives. I see so much of that with the people that I encounter in my life.

They process over and over again what’s wrong and what they don’t like. For example if they are talking about relationships so much effort goes into changing the other person and into making them fit their pictures. Does that sound like you? Perhaps a little bit. Because we are consumed with the problem in our relationship our entire life is filtered through that lens. Perhaps we need to change the lens but how do we do that.

We need to create a different picture. We need to think of something much grander. For example instead of thinking about how the relationship is preventing you from living your life, think about what your grand vision is. Think about how it would feel to be with your soul mate. Perhaps you are with the wrong person and are afraid of being alone…Or are concerned about the consequences of your actions on other family members.

Instead of complaining about your work environment, focus on one that supports you and in which you thrive. Don’t lose sight of what it is you want. You deserve it. You don’t have to settle for anything less.

Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

THE PARADOX

Friday, September 21st, 2007

For many years now I have been a spiritual seeker. It’s a passion and hobby. It helps me feel inspired. I’m one of those people who is looking for the meaning of life. And after many years things are coming together. As part of this quest I have read hundreds of books on the subject of personal development.

In the middle of all of this is my love of sports; particularly football and basketball. So it’s a fun time of year for me. I’ve love going to the games this fall at my alma mater, Berkeley, and it has brought back fond memories of being on the campus. So far I’ve gone to two games. And I love to see the leaves change color and fall to the ground. It reminds me of my youth when I played these sports myself. It also reminds me of what’s possible in life when you have focus and commitment. It’s also an escape from the problems of the world. In some ways it simplifies life. If it doesn’t work out this year there is always next year. We can’t always win but we can try harder and expand what’s possible in our life.

As the year is coming to a close what are you looking forward to next year? How committed are you to seeing it happen?

Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Five Practices for Relationship Building

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Are you really connecting? Sure you are in agreement, but is there real rapport? Are you sensing what it’s like to be in the other persons shoes. That’s what it takes to make it in this world. It’s about relationship building. It’s about communication.

It’s about being genuinely interested in the other person. Too often we are more into letting the person know how we think and what our opinion is. I have often written about real communication…Relationship building does not replace the need for real communication but it’s very important. Are there some practical practices you can do that can help you in this process? Yes and here are the top 5 that come to me.

1.Keep in mind the needs and desires of the other person.
2.Be an active listener. Not only listen to what the other person is saying but what are the feelings and emotions behind the words.
3. Don’t wait for them to contact you. Be the initiator.
4. Be you…Don’t try to be someone else because you think that is what’s called for.
5. Think of how you can connect them with others who can be a good fit for them.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I recently wrote about the Difficult Conversation. You know the conversation you are avoiding. Think of all of the energy that is expended thinking about that situation or that person. I recently had a conversation with one of my coaching clients. I had been encouraging him for months to have a conversation with a close friend who also happened to be his business partner. For approximately six months he complained about a behavior of his partner’s that offended him.

He had a million reasons not to say anything as the complany was doing better than ever and he didn’t want to rock the boat. But the truth was that he always found a reason to avoid having that conversation. Instead he worked harder and isolated himself. Finally I got him to make a commitment to have that conversation. We talked a few days ago and he told me that they finally had the conversation. He couldn’t believe how easy it was. His partner was unaware of how his conduct offended him and apologized.

So often the other party is unaware of his conduct and how it impacts others. In the next few days make a mental list of some people you need to talk to. Talk to them!!!!

Journey On

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

THE DIFFICULT CONVERSATION

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Do you wonder how your life would be different if you were a master of communication? There is a skill if mastered would change your life in a dramatic way. But we do everything we can to avoid it. You might be wondering what this skill is.

It’s learning how to have a difficult conversation, the one you are avoiding. I’m sure you know what it is. It can show up anywhere in your life but usually it shows up at home with your loved ones or in the workplace. Here’s a basic truth. If you don’t have the conversation you won’t become skillful at it. And if you don’t communicate what’s on your mind, the situation will become worse. It won’t go away.

We avoid having this conversation because of our fear of confrontation. We are afraid of what the other person might do or say and of the consequences of our expressing our feelings or opinions.

I believe that in almost every situation between two people there is a conversation that can begin the healing process. But if you don’t have this conversation you end up enduring the pain indefinitely. Let me give you an example from my own life. For many years Sean and I were very close almost like brothers. But things started to change. Sean started to distance himself and seemed to shut down around me. Even though I noticed this happening I didn’t say anything. I was afraid of what I thought Sean might say. Our conversations remained cordial yet superficial and eventually we stopped communicating and went our own ways. I lost touch with Sean.

It was approximatley 20 years later when I had a chance encounter with Sean that I got to have that conversation. After a busy day of running errands in an obscure place I noticed an attorney’s office. I walked inside and there was Sean. It was a special moment for both of us. I told Sean how special he was in my life and how hurt and disappointed I was when we went our separate ways.

Sean shared his journey with me. He said he had to hit bottom and as part of that process he pushed everyone away. For many years I felt that it was because of me that the relationship broke down. Part of me felt like a failure. Sometimes having these conversations is a risk. I certainly felt that way walking into that office but i’m glad I did. I spoke my truth and found out that I was not responsible for Sean and I going in different directions. We both understood what it was that at one time had connected us. We also understood that we were now walking different paths.

Probably the most fertile ground for having these conversations is with your significant other. Sometimes trying to figure out love relationships can drive you crazy. Prior to meeting Annie I was in an unsatisfactory relationship for three years with Shakira. I accepted the circumstances of that relationship because I didn’t want to confront the truth. Shakira and I wanted different things from life. I wanted to have a family but she was ambivalent.

I also didn’t want to be alone but the truth was that even though I was in a relationship I was alone. If I would have been willing to accept the truth it would have been easier to have that conversation. Instead for almost three years I avoided it. Finally things came to a head and we had that conversation. If I was more truthful with myself I would have had that conversation much sooner.

What can we learn from the few experiences that I have shared with you? I know most of you have had similar ones. Rather than confronting the other person you avoid having the conversation. As I have shared with you, all that does is prolong the tension and stifle any real communication. Here are a few ideas that hopefully can be helpful in the process.

Whenever you experience conflict or tension make the commitment to have the conversation. Think of confrontation as an opportunity for deepening the connection with the other person. Look at it this way.
Conflict=Confrontation=Opportunity.

Select a supportive environment. You want to be strategic. Think of a supportive place and time when you think the other person will be receptive to this kind of conversation. If if it’s a workplace issue, if at all possible do not have this conversation at the workplace.

Don’t make the other person wrong. You might be wondering how you can let someone know that their way of doing things might be in conflict with yours and not dump on them. But remember they might not even be aware of how their actions have impacted you. This is where you get to develop your expertise.

Start the conversation with an observation. In the workplace the conversation might go like this: I know how important this project is to you and it has some good merits. Let me tell you how I feel. I know it’s different than what you expected but perhaps there’s a way that works for both of us.

With Sean I could have had the following conversation:”I feel like you are pulling away from me.Did I do something that offended you? Are you ok?” That conversation would have made me aware that the distancing that I was experiencing wasn’t because of me.

Sometimes you just have to be courageous and be willing to live with the consequences. With Shakira I could have had the following conversation much sooner. “We’ve been together for a while now and it’s clear that we want different things from life. We have different dreams.”

Some final thoughts seem appropriate. Sometimes you just have to ask the questions even though the answers might be painful. Having the conversation is an art form. It might seem awkward in the beginning but that’s where the practice comes in. If you don’t address what’s bothering you the problem won’t miraculously go away.

I believe there is a conversation that we can have that can heal most relationships in our life. We already are aware of which relationships these are but have resisted initiating the conversation. It’s time to be courageous and begin this conversation. Imagine what a difference we could make in our lives and in the world if we all committed to having this conversation. It all starts here.

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice. As they say practice makes perfect. Maybe not perfect but pretty good.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

THE GIFT WITHIN THE DISAPPOINTMENT

Friday, September 14th, 2007

During the last few weeks I have beem focusing on my book…Witness to Life and my daughter, Makaela’s CD project. Both projects have parallels. First you need to make the project as tight as possible. What i have learned is that in all of these projects there are delays and disappointments. Many more than I had anticipated. Makaela’s project is much further along than mine. In fact her CD will be released Oct 1… http://www.Makaelamusic.com Let’s see how close I am to that date. I’m hoping to finish my first draft by this date.

What i have learned is that all of those twists and turns have silver linings. Projects keep getting better as you keep evolving, Her final project is so much better now than it would have been a year ago. My book is much closer to what I want it to be than it was a year ago…In fact a year ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted. Yes it’s taken longer than I thought, but it’s something that I am beginning to feel good about. Sometimes though it’s a struggle and disappointing.

In any project we undertake, the challenge is to ask yourself in the face of disappointment, what the opportuniity is. Your progress is never to going to be in a straight line. It’s a good habit to get into. I am experiencing that right now. It’s been much slower going…but it’s getting there. I’ll keep you posted.

Journey ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com

DREAMING THE DREAM

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

My brother Bob, asked me how was it being back in Marin after my long extended stay on Kauai. I told him about my first morning back which was Saturday. The phone rang at 7:30…On Kauai, that would have been 4:30…I reached for the phone and groggily said hello. The voice responded with “Hi, this is Andrew, Savanna’s soccer coach, is she there?”

I said no Andrew she’s back in Marin and you’ll have to call her there and repeated our number which was the number he had just called. A minute later the phone rang again and it was Andrew and he said: “That’s the number I just dialed”…I apoligized and told Andrew I thought I was still on the island. And he said ” I would love to think I was in Hawaii.”

So it’s about having the dream and making it real.. But it starts with the vision…the dream….What is yours? How real are you making it?

I was dreaming when the phone rang…and I had just been there for seven weeks. So was I really dreaming or was this my new state of reality . Where was I? Physically in my bed in Marin but mentally on the island. What if I could take the island mentality and make it my natural way of being? So far I am doing it…Handled a few potentially stressful situations prettty well. I also realized I have a choice as to how I react… And of course there are those pet peeves that sometimes plug me in.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational and motivational way.http://www.inspirepossibility.com


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