Archive for October, 2007

THE MILLION DOLLAR ATTITUDE

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Recently I’ve developed a new habit…In the morning I’ve been frequenting a new coffee shop to sip my tea and read the paper. There is a financial paper that is only sold inside the Safeway.

I seldom shop at Safeway….usually buy organic at the farmers markets and the local health food store…but here I am early in the morning walking into Safeway…usually early in the morning things are a little slow as folks are just getting into the rhythm of the day.

Most checkers I have experienced not only at Safeway but at many markets are just putting in their time earning their paycheck.

But there is Maureen who I look forward to seeing in the morning who is high on life always smiling and laughing. I look forward to our brief conversation. She loves what she is doing and I am sure loves almost everything.

What a great way to start the morning….It doesn’t take anything extra.

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.em>

GET ENERGIZED

Monday, October 29th, 2007

What do you do to get going in the morning? Today I did what I like to do…started with my morning program. Meditation…yoga and a little tea afterwards…but I still feel like my energy is dragging. So how to get out of it. More caffeine is one way….but it depletes the rest of me and I feel jittery the rest of the day.

Getting stimulated naturally is another way. Moving usually seems to work…whether its exercising or dancing or walking around in the brisk air.

I have been creative lately with creating more movement in my life. If I need to drive to town I’ll park a few blocks away so I’ll get in a little exercise…or if I’m really up to it I’ll ride my bike….It’s a beautiful day for that. There’s one more thing that usually works…soem uptempo music…..

There always is a time of the day when you are dragging….how you get out of it can make a big difference in the quality of your life and in your level of wellness.

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.em>

MAKE THE MORNING WORK FOR YOU

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

I slept in a little later than usual. And it was such a nice day that I went to Borders and read the paper and had some tea and then to the Farmers market. It was great to be there but I wasn’t feeling as good as I usually do.

I didn’t take time for my usual morning practices which consist of meditation and yoga. My body responds well to yoga and it sets the tone for the day. I feel more of a freedom in the way move and hold myself. But I didn’t take the time and it doesn’t have to be very long…even 10-15 minutes makes a big difference….it affects how I feel the rest of the day and evening.

It’s ok to cut yourself some slack occasionally…but is it worth….if it affects the experience of your day….I still have the rest of the day to catch up….will i do it is the question because I’m already thinking about things I want to do…

Take the time in the morning.

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.em>

IT’S STILL BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE

Friday, October 26th, 2007

You are having a perfect day. It’s beautiful outside and then you get home and get back to work. You can’t get on the internet. So you do what you need to do to make it work again and it still doesn’t seem to work. So then you call your ISP.

The person you talk to is new on the job and can’t seem to help you. And then you go to pay your credit card bill. Of course there is a mistake that you called about last month that still hasn’t been cleared up.

You feel yourself start to get annoyed when you again have to call the company and go through the whole procedure of identifying yourself and explaining the problem. They say they’ll correct the problem on your next statement but of course they said that last time.

While I’m waiting on the phone…I’m listening to some good reggae music on ITunes….I’m smiling and it’s still beautiful outside.

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.em>

THEY WON’T CHANGE

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

If only they would be more reasonable. You probably have said this over a hundred times. Maybe you have said this version. “If only they were easier to deal with.” That’s what we discussed on a call today.

After exploring numerous approaches to make the situation better nothing seemed to change. The other person stayed in their unreasonable mode…or at least that’s the way you saw it.

Perhaps it’s a situation with a past spouse regarding the welfare of your children or it could be with a coworker. The other person in your mind seems to be unreasonable; perhaps even pathologically so. You’ve tried everything. You are frustrated. You want them to change.

I’ve been there countless times. They won’t change unless you change first. Be the example. Don’t go to their level. This is such a common situation. Your challenge….don’t get plugged into their stuff. Since they won’t change, your only choice is to change how you react to them. And over time the dynamic will be different.

I have found this tool to be quite helpful. Ask yourself how you want to feel after the conversation. Visualize that happening…….

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.em>

MY TEAM

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

It wasn’t a good day for my team. Since I’ve been a kid I’ve always had a team to root for. Often the teams were just average and in some years they would achieve excellence. This was one of those years, so I thought.

As it turned out, this weekend made it clear that they are not an elite team. There bubble was burst. Where are they? Are they an average team or perhaps good team? What do they have to play for? It’s for pride and for them to be the best they can be. And it’s for the players and coaches to get better and to be the best they can be.

And that’s the way are lives are. We need to focus on always staying open to learning and growing from each experience. Sometimes that’s all we can do when things don’t work out. We look at what we learned in each experience.

Life is full of disappointment. But what makes the difference between the the successful person and the one who is always unhappy and full of excuses is how they handle adversity and disappointment.

We’ll see how my team bounces back. We’ll see how I handle each disappointment. What helps me in most of these situations is that I realize that tomorrow is a new day. I’m not defined by what happened in the past. I’m looking forward to where I want to go and I can use what happened then to make tomorrow better and you can to.

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.em>

EXAMINE YOUR FALSE ASSUMPTIONS

Friday, October 19th, 2007

We all have certain beliefs about life that hold us back. We accept what someone tells us and don’t inquire further. So we live a life of mediocrityand stay stuck in a box.

Let me tell you about Harry who believed that he wasn’t very good with money and that he could never get ahead of the game. He had accumulated a substantial amount of credit card debt and even though he was paying over $3000 per month, the principle sum that he owed stayed the same. He was defensive about discussing his situation and accepted that he couldn’t do anything about it because his credit rating was low. He felt hopeless.

Finally after much prodding he was able to find a lender who loaned him the money that he owed at a substantially lower rate.

Even though he still owed the same amount of money, his attitude about money and his self esteem immediately changed. He was smiling and optimistic about his future.

There are many assumptions that we make about our lives that are just not true. Challenge them to see if they are the truth. Sometimes they are but usually you’ll find that all you need is a shift in attitude.

So for Harry his next inquiry is to look at other areas of his life, where he might also be making false assumptions and to examine them one at a time.

In your own life, take a look at one of your false assumptions. What shift in attitude could you make that would change how you feel about the situation.

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.em>

THE DIFFICULT CONVERSATION

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

if you are a reader of my newsletter, Letters on Life, you might be familiar with what I’m about to say. I wrote about becoming a master of communication. I left out a discussion of perhaps the most fundamental skill in achieving this final piece. It’s a skill that is difficult to master because we do everything we can to avoid it.

It’s learning how to have that difficult conversation, the one we are avoiding. 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. 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 Lori. I accepted the circumstances of the relationship because I didn’t want to confront the truth. Lori and I wanted different things from life. I wanted to have a family but Lori 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 it’s a workplace issue, if at all possible don’t 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 Lori I could have had the following conversation much sooner. “Lori, 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.

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

By the way if you aren’t a subscriber to Letters on Life feel free to sign up.

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.em>

COMMUNICATION: Fourth Fundamental Truth

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

I have been working on my communication skills for years and by some people I am considered an expert in the field. But I still slip into some of my old habits….of course I’m much better at it.

The fourth truth is that communication is a process and an art. Being a masterful communicator doesn’t happen over night but it starts with the intention to experience more connection in your busy life. Just like other art forms, i.e. dancing or music, their is a natural ebb and flow in the learning cycle.

As your commitment deepens to this process you notice that you are having more frequent glimpses of the magic that is possible in your life. The ultimate communication occurs when you are able to touch each others soul and share who you are. This new-found magic then becomes the gateway to a more fulfilling 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.em>

COMMUNICATION: Third Fundamental Truth

Friday, October 12th, 2007

When was the last time you had a disagreement? Or perhaps just a difference of opinion? You had your opinion and the other person had theirs. Perhaps your feathers or the other persons were ruffled. That’s usually the case. You kind of know where it’s going yet you’re totally into it.

The third truth is to know that you must take responsibility for the quality of your communication. Because we all have long standing attitudes and beliefs we sometimes find ourselves trying to convince the other person of our viewpoints. How often are you successful? Being right then becomes the goal of the interaction rather than communication and the next thing you know you are in a full-fledged argument. Just think of what happens when you discuss politics or religion. I don’t know what’s worse. Probably more arguments about religion than politics but it’s a tossup. It’s almost as if you just want someone to tell your opinions to. You don’t care what they think.

Here’s something to think about? Is being right more important than experiencing one of those magical moments when you really connect?

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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